What Is the Viral 'Passport Makeup' Trend?—and How to Get the Look

Hint: It’s all about the contour.

If you're lucky, your passport photo doesn't make you cringe when the TSA agent asks to inspect it. But for most of us, the reality is that it's anything but a glamour shot. The good news: One of the biggest social media crazes of the moment is the viral passport makeup trend, i.e., the secret to looking your best in your photo, even with emotionless facial expressions and crazy-bad lighting. 

“The passport makeup trend blew up on TikTok when creator Georgia Barret did a version of soft glam for her passport photo,” explains makeup artist Kasey Spickard. “The trend is about defining and intensifying your natural features through contouring and brightening.” 

The reason why it’s so important to enhance your features is because “more subtle highlighting and contouring tend to get washed out on camera,” adds the pro. Ahead, he—along with Too Faced makeup artist Elyse Reneau—outlines exactly the right way to nail the passport makeup trend so that your passport photo doubles as a glamour shot. 


The first step in the passport makeup routine is to contour. "Whenever you are in a setting where you have to be photographed straight on, and you can't use your go-to angles, you have to create your angles with contour," says Reneau. 

How it's done? Spickard recommends utilizing a cream contour like Danessa Myricks Cream Bronzer ($26; sephora.com), opting for two to three shades deeper than your skin tone. Use that to sculpt the following areas of your face: The hollows of your cheekbones, chin, nose, and the crease of your eyes. Then, intensify those areas with powder bronzer, à la Charlotte Tilbury Matte Bronzer ($56; charlottetilbury.com) in the same shade family, says the pro.


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A warning from Reneau: Be wary of applying contour too low on your cheekbones. Otherwise, you won't reap the face-sculpting benefits of a good contour. As seen in Barrat's video, the sweet spot is the tops of your cheekbones.

Next, brighten your undereyes, the center of your forehead, and your chin using a high-coverage concealer, like Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Longwear Concealer ($34; sephora.com), in one to two shades lighter than your foundation. Then, set with a brightening setting powder. Finish with a cream blush, like the TikTok-famous Charlotte Tilbury Pinkgasm ($40; sephora.com), on top of your cheekbones, blend up to the temple, and then set with a powder blush. 


When your face makeup is complete, it's time to focus on your eyes. The key here is to do yet another TikTok trend: the siren eye. (Don't worry; it's not complicated). Spickard says the first step to achieving the look is to "intensify your crease with cream and powder bronzer and then brighten the lid with a light nude eyeshadow. "

After that, all you need to do is add a "super subtle flick of black winged eyeliner on the outer corner of your eye" and a tiny flick on the inner corner to elongate the eye even more. He recommends Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner ($23; sephora.com), which has a thin, marker-like tip that should make it really easy to perfect the look.

Then, wrap up your eye makeup by curling your lashes, focusing on the outer corner of your eyes. The pro loves Maybelline Falsies Pushup Angel Mascara ($12; maybelline.com), though fluttery lashes are also an option here if you'd prefer.


The final step in perfecting the passport makeup look is to, as Barret says, "majorly overline the lips." The TikToker overlines her lip using a brown liner and fills them in with a mauve lip gloss. To get a similar look, Spickard suggests MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Cork or Stone, followed by HUDA Beauty Cream Glow Bullet Lipsticks, which he loves because they come in "tons of pinky nudes for all skin tones."

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