Dexter + Ann Arbor Photographer Betsy's Photography

10 Makeup Tips To Help You Look Your Best in Photos

The collection of tips is based on a compilation by Professional Photographer magazine for the March 2010 issue (a trade industry publication that I write for). In the article, Steve Moore, Deanna Rene, and Holly Schumacher weighed in on makeup tips. I've made my own adaptations to help you prepare!


1. Don't skimp on makeup.

Good makeup shapes and enhances the features of your face, and doesn't really jump out at you. When applying your makeup, you'll want to apply it as usual, taking particular care to blend for smooth transitions.

If you're not experienced with applying makeup so that it enhances your features and blends smoothly, have someone else do your makeup for you.

2. Focus on the Eyes

The eyes say it all. You want to make sure to compliment your style -- if your style is casual and lighthearted, then more minimal makeup will suffice.

On the other hand, if you're planning a something really formal and elegant, you will probably want to go heavier on your makeup so it matches the mood.

Take a look at the outfit(s) you've selected for your portrait session. You'll want to match your makeup style to your wardrobe. Formal evening attire will look great with heavier, more dramatic evening makeup, while casual attire will call for less makeup.

Either way, make sure to fully accent your eyes -- because that will be a key part of your portrait!

3. Don't Skimp on Concealer

Concealer really helps to lighten dark circles under the eyes, or to conceal blemishes. The article mentioned suggests, "For blemishes, first treat them with a natural or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, then cover with concealer.""

You can also prevent that "too dry" feeling by applying a moisturizing lotion to your face before beginning to apply your concealer. This will allow you to blend the area needing coverage more subtly.

4. Do a Makeup Trial Run

It goes without saying, right?

Plus.... if you decide you don't like the look, you'll still have time to come up with an alternative plan of action.

If you're not one to normally wear a lot of makeup (or any, for that matter), then you'll definitely want to consider a trial run so you are confident in your image.

5. Avoid makeup containing titanium dioxide

Some mineral makeup contains titanium dioxide, and while it looks fine in person, the makeup will reflect flash. This means your face will look super white, almost a ghost. It's not pretty -- trust me -- I've seen this happen. Not sure if your makeup includes the "ghost factor?" Take a snapshot with flash once you've applied the makeup in question -- it will show up on your consumer camera if it's going to happen.

6. Bring the essentials with you

Even if you use waterproof makeup, I'd still recommend taking the "essentials" along with you to help you "freshen up" if necessary at any point.

7. Keep Your Lips Moisturized and Colored

Whether you appl Applying colored lip liner before your lipstick will definitely help the color to "stay" longer. Check the mirror whenever you visit the restroom and you'll be able to do any touch ups then.

8. Don't Forget the Groom

"If the groom is red faced due to too much sun (or drinking), a little powder can help. That goes for shiny heads, too. And it’s a good idea to slip a tube of Chapstick in the groom’s pocket for his dry lips, as well as a handkerchief to dab well-wishers’ makeup smudges off his suit."

This tip is the most blatantly wedding-related. But the tip about too much sun goes for anyone. Although, I'd add that most guys won't let you put any "powder" on them, even if it will get rid of shine for any photos. But you're welcome to give it a shot if you truly feel the need to do so.

9. Don't Sprinkle on Glitter

"In photographs, it tends to look like little white spots, as if there’s something wrong with the camera."

And.... if you put glitter in your hair, it can sometimes even resemble dandruff in the photographs. Make life easier on your photographer, and don't glam up your hairdo with glitter!

10. Remember to Put Foundation on More Than Your Face....

"Don't forget to apply foundation and powder to your neck, shoulders and décolletage—you want your head to look like it belongs to your body!"

Also, unless you tan, your skin is generally lighter in the winter than in the summer -- so if you've matched your foundation and powder to your skin months in advance... you may find your makeup looking too "obvious" if you only apply foundation and powder to your face.

There you have it! Ten makeup tips to help you look your absolute best in photos