The photo albums from my childhood are crammed with images of everyone in my family except my mom. She was usually the one snapping pictures while the rest of us posed or ran away. I’d venture to say most women spend more time behind the camera than in front of it. So, when you do get a chance to be photographed, you really don’t want to look like a washed-out character from the dustbowl. You don’t want to be remembered like that! Because photographs don’t perfectly reflect the actual image—skin tends to look more washed-out, for example—it’s a good idea to learn how to play nicely with the camera. Here are some tips from makeup and photography experts to help:
- Always apply makeup in natural light.
- Start with a make-up primer to fill in wrinkles and camouflage scars.
- Use under eye concealer if the skin under your eyes is darker than the rest of your skin.
- Apply foundation that’s one shade darker than your normal skin tone but blend well.
- Go a shade or two lighter on lipstick, because the darker shades often look harsh.
- Apply 1/4 more eye shadow and blush than usual but avoid glittery or shimmery colors because these reflect the light.
- If you must use liquid liner, use it only on the upper lid, to avoid creating hard lines.
- Curl your lashes and apply 2-3 coats of mascara to brighten up your eyes.
- Take a flash-photo of yourself when you’re done to get an inkling of how you’ll look.
- Keep oil-blotting papers handy to de-shine your face without upsetting your makeup.
- Keep your teeth bright and white for a dazzling smile.
- Keep your chin up so that your neck is elongated and wrinkles/sags are camouflaged.
Obviously you can’t do all of these things for every picture that’s taken of you. Sometimes someone just sneaks up on you and says, “Say cheese!” For those candids, always keep #12 in mind. It’s the top piece of advice one professional photographer I know gives to new moms who want pictures taken just after labor and delivery. She tells them, “I know you want to look down and admire your new baby in your arms. But if you look up for just a moment when I snap the picture, you’ll look younger and won’t have chin-rolls in the picture with you!”
Looking your best isn’t about vanity
It’s about empowerment.