Photo Day Makeup: 10 Makeup Tips For Photos

There’s a lot that goes into planning out the perfect look for your photo day. From choosing the best outfit, shoes and hairstyles, to making sure your makeup looks and photographs beautifully. Whether it’s an engagement shoot, senior portraits, professional headshots or even a family session, you will want to make sure that the makeup you choose makes you look and feel beautiful.

Keep Your Photo Day Makeup Simple

The most important tip for great photo makeup  is to keep it simple. Go with products you’ve used before in the climate conditions that you know you’ll be experiencing during your photography session. Be sure to stick to the basics and not stress out too much about finding a new look that you’ve never tried before. Also, keep in mind that professional cameras can capture details the naked eye might miss, so be sure to pay close attention to every detail, and remember to have fun during the process!

My Top 10 Makeup Tips for Better Photos

Makeup Tip #1: Blend, Blend, Blend

One of the most common mistakes I’ve encountered is when ladies forget to blend their makeup well. Starting with concealer, be sure that the color you choose matches your skin tone and blend it to prevent lines and streaks. Be sure to not over-apply concealer as it will be more prone to accumulating between fine lines or wrinkles. Moving on to foundation, don’t forget to blend the color all the way down to your neck. You want to make sure that your skin looks even and you can’t tell where the foundation begins or where it ends. For eye makeup, I suggest you take a blending brush after applying any eye shadow and gently blend it all together so it looks even and soft. If you’re going for a bolder eye makeup look, you may not need to blend as much but watching out for even color on both eyes will still be important.

Makeup Tip #2: Choosing the right foundation

Choose your foundation based on your skin tone and type. If you have oily, uneven skin (like myself), choose a matte foundation with some coverage and make sure you prime your face with moisturizer to prevent the skin from producing more oil. For dryer skin types, moisturizing still applies but a satin finish foundation will be just right. If you’re one of the lucky gals with perfect skin, I would suggest keeping it clean with a tinted moisturizer and skipping the foundation. Sometimes it’s hard to make foundation look light and you want to make sure your face has a healthy glow without looking too heavy.

Makeup Tip #3: Choosing neutral colors

If you’re going for the highly coveted no-makeup look, be sure to choose a color that will accentuate your eyes and not take the attention away from them. Define your crease with a light tan or darker brown depending on your skin color, and be sure to blend it in really well for a natural look. Try to avoid glittery eye shadows as sometimes the glitter can look rather harsh in the sunlight. I would recommend matte shadows in neutral colors for a clean, natural look.

Makeup Tip #4: Accentuating your best features

Watch out for heavy makeup that will draw attention away from your natural beauty. While some people are highly skilled in creating complex makeup looks, most of us feel more comfortable with a simple, yet classic look. What is your favorite feature? Focus on playing that up. Most people like to accentuate their eye shape and color by applying contrasting shadows.

Makeup Tip #5: Shine control

Hot or not, shiny faces happen. While a little bit of shine looks great, a full-on shiny look isn’t the most flattering look (at least not for my face). If you want to highlight some of your facial features, lightly apply a highlighter in those areas. However, watch your T-Zone, cheeks and chin as these areas tend to get a bit shiny during hot, humid summer days. Always complete your makeup look with a translucent or mattifying powder to prevent oiliness. After you leave the house, you can bring tissues or oil blotting paper to eliminate shine while on the shoot.

Makeup Tip #6: Coloring inside the lines

For my fellow lipstick wearers out there, be sure that the lipstick has been properly applied to just your lips. Avoid over-applying so the color doesn’t run down or around your lips. Also, be sure to remove excess lipstick to prevent any color on your teeth (yep, happens to the best of us). Nude and neutral colors aren’t at much danger of this, but watch out for the cute bright pinks, reds, oranges and purples as these bolder lips tend to be a bit more high maintenance. And because sometimes a bold color is all we want, consider using a clear lip-liner before applying the color.

Makeup Tip #7: No clumps!

Mascara and eyeliner clumps tend to make your makeup look heavier than you probably plan for it to be. Make sure your eyelashes aren’t clumped up and the application goes on clean. Lightly combing through your eyelashes quickly after applying mascara will typically do the trick, but make sure the product you’re using isn’t too old to help prevent this even better. And while eyelash curlers may look rather scary, don’t be afraid to curl and give your lashes that extra umph that will make your eyes pop even more.

Makeup Tip #8: Don’t skip the blush

Instead, keep it simple, and of course, blend! Blush looks amazing on everyone, so be sure to apply your favorite blush before your photo session. A color that goes nicely with your skin tone is much preferred if your goal is to achieve a natural glow. As with eyeshadow, try your best to avoid colors with glitter and opt for a matte or cream blush.

Makeup Tip #9: Give your eyebrows a little love

Everyone has a their own approach towards eyebrows. Some women look amazing with their natural eyebrows without having to shape them at all (I wish!). But if you’re like me, make sure you trim your brows at least a couple of days before your photo session. When I said that professional cameras capture details, I mean tiny little hairs that just so happen to be out of place. You can also shape them with a thin brush or eyebrow pencil to fill in any spots as you see fit. Be careful not to overdo it. I once bought a nice kit and after I applied the makeup, it looked as if I had colored them in with permanent black marker. I was not impressed.

[The BEST for Last] Makeup Tip #10: Hydrate and Rest

Honestly, whether you plan on applying makeup or not, the most important thing is that you drink plenty of water the week before your photo session and you are well-rested on photo day. Hydrated, well-rested skin is healthy skin, and healthy skin photographs beautifully. So drink up (the water) and get plenty of rest before your photoshoot.

Bonus Tip: Consider A Makeup Artist

If you're not comfortable with doing your own makeup for your photo day, don't be afraid to hire a professional to help you out. Professional makeup artists know best, and can work their magic to create an AMAZING look that will photograph incredibly well. You can visit a makeup counter at any department or beauty store but also know that there are independent makeup artists that will get you makeup-ready in the comfort of your own home. I've met a few makeup artists in North Carolina and can share their contact information upon request.

Book Your Session Today!

Hope you find these tips helpful and apply them as you see fit. These are just suggestions based on my experience behind the camera as well as in front of it. Keep your look personal, if you like bold colors - go for it! As long as you feel beautiful during your photoshoot, that is really ALL that truly matters. Now, let’s get those pictures taken! Book a photography session today by filling out this contact form. I am currently accepting new photography clients in the areas of Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill as well as surrounding areas of North Carolina. I can’t wait to hear from you!