10 Tips to looking good in pictures
Picture this: you’ve spent hours getting ready for a night out with your girls, painstakingly applying your foundation, highlight, and contour until you’ve transformed into a glowing goddess. You’re out dancing, and after a couple of glasses of wine you find yourself calling over the club photographer to take a picture of your squad. You pose, confident that you look a million dollars – but the next day you wake up and find you’ve been tagged in a slightly less than flattering snap. Shiny face, white pallor and messy hair galore. What went wrong?!
Taking the perfect picture depends on a multitude of things: lighting, the ingredients in your make-up and angle all affect the finished product. It can all be a bit much to think about when you’re just trying to get a nice candid pic for Instagram, but thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you. Follow our tips to looking good in pictures below and you’ll look like the beauty queen you truly are in no time at all. Promise!
Lighting is a girl’s best friend
It may sound obvious, but when it comes to taking the perfect selfie, good lighting is key. That doesn’t mean shining a torch in your face is going to turn you into Karlie Kloss, but a good, clean light source can go a long way. Turn to face a window or lamp directly rather than side-on if you can, as that way the face looks luminous and even without the chance of shadows ruining your even complexion.
Beware the ‘ghostface’ effect
Ever wondered why you go from bronzed goddess to complete ghoust in photos taken with flash? A common myth is that you’re buying the wrong shade of make-up, but that’s not the case at all. It’s actually the SPF in your foundation, concealer or powder that’s causing the undead look. SPF is a lifesaver during the day, but if you want perfect photos at night – you’ll need a foundation without it. So one of great tips to looking good in pictures is to get two separate day time and night time foundations, and they needn’t be expensive. Drug store foundations are often just as good as their high-end comrades – just remember to prime and set so you look polished all night.
Ahh, the eternal battle with angles. Too low and you look like a thumb, too high and your arm looks longer than Slenderman’s. Unless you’re a professional model, it can be hard to work out which angles are your best. As a general rule when taking a selfie, the camera should be slightly higher than eye level and as far away as your arm will reach. This way, your eyes look bigger, and there’s no unsightly under-the-chin shots. Practice makes perfect, and if you’ve got a spare 5 minutes, have a look in the mirror and see what you think. Right side or left side? Open mouthed smile or closed? Once you’ve decided, you’ll automatically feel more confident when the camera lens is on you. There’s nothing more attractive than that!
Shake it out
If you’re blessed with having naturally voluminous hair that stays put come rain or shine, you are blessed, (and we are very, very jealous). For those of us that are lacking in this department, the quickest and easiest way to make your hair increase from a 4 to a solid 8 on the Hot Hair Chart is to flip and shake. Basically, pretend your favourite jam is playing, and then head bang like you just can’t help it. Flip your hair upside down, and give the roots a quick ruffle through with your fingers. When you flip your hair back again, you’ll have a temporary boost of delicious volume that’ll last you a good ten minutes – plenty of time for an impromptu photoshoot.
This is another one of great tips to looking good in pictures. Finishing powder smooths imperfections, turns an oily canvas into a matte one, and generally completes your make-up. While most drug store brands stock a range of coloured powders designed to suit your skin tone, there’s only one you really need. It’s the absolute WORST when you pick a colour you think will suit you, then later discover it makes your face a whole different colour from your neck. Translucent powder has long been used by beauty giants like Chanel, but drug stores are hot on their tail. A translucent powder allows you to use the same one when you’re tanned and when you’re not, and is a good way to save your hard earned pennies. The thing to be careful with here is over-application, as white or translucent powders tend to be picked up more by flash photography. Even if you pick the best HD powder out there, over applying runs the risk of a serious make-up mishap. Use the smallest amount of powder to can to avoid this, and make sure you’re using a fluffy, soft brush to really blend the product in.
Get fleeky highlighter in one quick step
A long-time favourite highlight of ours is MAC’s Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. It’s the perfect pearly, pigmented highlighter and looks good whether you apply a little, or a lot. The best tip for making sure that your photographs reflect your IRL highlight shine perfectly is to add a spritz of setting spray into the mix. Apply your highlighter as normal using a dry, fluffy brush, then spray some setting spray on the brush and apply again. The second round of slightly wet highlighter amplifies the product’s effects and gives you a wet-look finish. The setting spray also means that your highlight will be poppin’ long into the early hours, and flash photography will set it off even more.
Frame your eyes
This is another one of good tips to looking good in pictures. In photographs, it’s easy for your features to get lost. The quality of your camera lens, colours in the frame and lighting all contribute to the finish of the final snap. Eye make-up tends to disappear in photos when your eyes are open (so almost every one, then), especially if you’re wearing nude shades. One seemingly obvious but often overlooked tip is to use black liquid or gel liner to define your eyes. If eyes are the window to the soul, eyeliner flicks are the curtains. Applying a thin line as close to the upper lash line as possible takes seconds, and finishing the line off with a feline flick will accentuate your eyes and make them look bigger. Say hello to bambi eyes!
Line those lips
Lip liner is an absolute staple in our make-up bags because of its versatility. It can be used all over the lip to create a matte effect, or just to accentuate your outer lip line for a fuller pout. A really simple way to ensure your lips are looking top notch in photographs is to grab a liner in the same shade as your natural lips. That way, you can use it regardless of the lipstick colour going on top, and no one will be able to tell you’ve purposefully drawn over the lines. This tip holds its own even with the deepest shades of red lipstick, and works the same way as liquid liner to define your features and make sure you’re hot to trot.
Give the above tips a try, and tell us what you think in the comments section.
What are your favorite tips to looking good in pictures?