Do you have a photoshoot coming up? Or an event where you will be photographed at? Perhaps it’s your wedding day and you want to make sure that after all the time and energy invested into preparing for your big day, you can be confident that your complexion will be your friend and not your foe.
Almost every woman has their makeup routine down pat, the basics such as a good foundation, concealer, blush, mascara, brow pencil and some shade of eye shadow. Usually, this routine is built for efficiency and simplicity as let’s face it, we’re all busy and ain’t nobody got time for layers upon layers of contouring and highlighters.
With this in mind, have you ever looked back at photos of an event, puzzled and a bit disappointed at what you see? Do you feel that the camera didn’t do you justice?
Reality is that makeup looks different on camera than it does in real life and in order to capture your best self on camera, there are a few tricks and tips that you need to know to make sure you’re as happy with how you look in the photos as you do in the mirror.
Consider hiring a professional makeup artist
First thing is first, consider that hiring a professional makeup artist may be well worth the investment. A makeup artist does this all day every day, they know the reality of what flash photography and lighting will do to your complexion and how to highlight your best features whilst still ensuring you looking like yourself!
A makeup artist knows how to match the ideal foundation to your skin tone, they know how to contour to enhance your features in photos, because the way light is captured on film or in photos is different to how your eye sees it in real life.
Another important reason to consider hiring a professional for, is the confidence boost. Knowing that your features will look as good as you feel without a trace of doubt gives you a palpable confidence boost.
However, hiring a professional makeup stylist is not for everyone, and that is okay. That is why we have compiled the fundamentals to stunning photography makeup so that you can nail it when it comes to looking great in the photos.
Photography makeup fundamentals
- Skin Preparation: the foundations of a building are of utmost importance! How you prepare your skin for the makeup you are about to wear is very important. Start with a clean, moisturised canvas. Leave the SPF alone, moisturisers and foundations with sunscreen will not work well on camera, they amplify sheen and often result in a suboptimal reflective appearance.
Additionally, if your skin is not used to facials, or abrasive facial scrubs, do not change up your skin care routine the day before your photoshoot or event. Simply wash and moisturise your skin.
An important bit of advice here is to consider that all the products you use on your face are ideally matte. You don’t want to add extra shine to your face as the lighting on camera already adds shine.
- Foundation and Concealer: with a beautifully clean and moisturised canvas, now it is time to apply a primer. A primer is an important step as it will aid in extending the longevity of your makeup, this is especially vital for all day affairs such as weddings. A primer also has the added benefit of smoothing out your complexion so that when you add foundation, wrinkles and creases will appear smoother.
Adding concealer is a step to even out complexion, especially under eyes, on blemishes and any red or irritated areas. Foundation comes next, choose a shade that looks incredible in natural light. This is very important because artificial lighting will change how your foundation appears therefore you want to choose your shade when you have natural light to be your guide. This will mean that in whatever lighting the photoshoot is in, your foundation will match your complexion.
The application of foundation is an art. In photos, makeup needs to be a little more exaggerated than in real life for it to show, however it is a fine line because too much makeup and the camera picks up on the caked-on appearance. Practice in natural light, take some selfies to see what amount of makeup is ideal.
The main rule here is: blending is key. Blend, blend and blend some more. The more natural your makeup looks in real life, the better it will appear on camera.
- Contouring and blush: flash photography will often wash out your face therefore highlighting your features with subtle contouring is important. Contour using a matte finish: your cheekbones, jawline temples and ideally blending it lightly onto your neck to add definition and depth to your beautiful face.
Add a touch of blush to the apples of your cheeks for a kind amount of ‘rosy-ness’ to your complexion.
An important note here is to consider that the camera will pick up on highlighted features, therefore too much contouring on the cheekbones and you’ll end up looking a bit gaunt, so easy goes with the bronzer.
- Eyes: your eyes are often the focal point in photos, you want to make them pop in a natural way. With choosing the colour of your eye shadow, consider that you want to choose colours that compliment your eyes, by choosing bright, trendy colours you also run the risk of the photographs looking dated in the future. We suggest choosing neutral shades, again with matte being the preference, avoid glitter and shimmer.
With eyeliner, less is definitely more. Apply sparingly on the lash line, careful not to line the inner rim of your eye heavily as this will often make your eye look smaller.
- Lashes: Eyelashes can be the feature to add a bit of glam to your look. Fake eyelashes can help to make the eye appear bigger and fuller however their application can take some time to master. Consider that applying a few coats of new, high quality mascara can have the same affect.
- Eyebrows: the frame of your face. Eyebrows are really important. On film they will be more washed out than in person, therefore you will want to fill your eyebrows in with a carefully chosen shade or pencil or powder. Be aware to not pluck or wax your eyebrows just before the event or photoshoot as the last thing you want is angry, irritated skin!
- Lips: this is the only feature of your makeup that can and probably should include some gloss! A lip gloss in your choice of shade will look great in the photos as opposed to a matte look. The shade is up to you, however we suggest a natural coloured lip gloss as lip colour trends tend to change quickly and you don’t want your lip colour to be the dating factor of your overall look.
- Hair:although not technically ‘makeup’, your hairstyle will have a big impact on your overall look.Especially important to consider in choosing your wedding hair and makeup, is that your hairstyle will stand out a lot more than your makeup does in the photos.
Hiring a wedding hairdresser could be an option here, regardless of whether you do your hair yourself or a professional hairstylist does it, the choice of hairstyle is more important. Choose a timeless look to ensure that your hair is complimentary to your dress and neckline as well as the jewellery you choose.
When your look is complete and you are ready for the photoshoot or event to start, have one more look in the mirror to check everything is blended well! The aim is natural not perfect, after all, you do want to look like yourself!