How to Be Photogenic in Every Holiday Photo

New York City makeup artists Ashleigh Ciucci and Lijha Stewart share a few easy pointers for prime photo-snapping this season.

Two girls taking holiday selfie with smart phone against colored lights
Photo: Milos Stankovic/Getty Images

You want to look good in all photos, of course, but especially the ones you take around the holidays. After all, these are the pics you'll be looking at years from now as you reminisce about those special times spent with loved ones. Plus, you might want to take a really snazzy one for your holiday card photo. Here are some tips for looking great in your photos this year.

01 of 09

Fake a More Awake Face

Two girls taking holiday selfie with smart phone against colored lights
Milos Stankovic/Getty Images

Whether you aren't wearing any eye makeup at all or have a full-blown smoky eye, dab highlighter on the center of your lids and along your lower lash lines (below your iris).

02 of 09

Mix and Match Makeup Textures

Pair a matte lip with shimmery eyes or a glossy lip with matte lids to create an interesting look in front of the camera.

03 of 09

Try This Foolproof Eyeliner Trick

Don't stress—you don't need to be good at applying eyeliner to ace this high-impact makeup move. Grab a creamy, black pencil, then tight line your eyes. What that means: Rim your upper and lower waterlines (the fleshy part) with black liner. Why? This makes your lashes look longer, and your eyes stand out, says Stewart, who likes to use Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Matte Black 0L ($22,

04 of 09

Go With a Little Glitter (Trust)

Pick up an inexpensive mascara with glitter in the formula. It might sound juvenile, but the subtle sparkle on your lashes will make your eyes pop in photos. A good one: Circa Beauty Dual Focus Volumizing Mascara & Top Coat ($14.95,

05 of 09

Fake Bold Brows

Yes, full brows are trendy, but more importantly, they make you look younger in photos, Stewart says. Brush your brows up so you can see where the gaps are, then fill them in with a fine tip pencil (one that matches your brow hair). Use hair-like strokes to create a naturally full-looking brow.

06 of 09

Don't Powder Your Whole Face

After you've done your makeup, brush powder on your t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) only. This will ensure you look glowy on your cheekbones but not greasy on those hot spots on the center of your face. Ciucci's go-to powder: MAC Cosmetics Blot Powder ($34,, available in five shades.

07 of 09

Find Your Light

The light should be direct to your face. Try to avoid overhead lighting. Natural daylight through a window is about as good as it gets, says Stewart.

08 of 09

Know Your Angle

Head on photos aren't the most flattering. Try tilting your head slightly to one side while still making direct eye contact with the camera.

09 of 09

Target the Lens

When taking a selfie (or group selfie), always look at the camera lens instead of the screen, which can make you appear cross-eyed. Take a few shots to ensure you've got one with everyone's eyes open.

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