How To Take The Best Selfie Ever?
(This post was originally published on 9 July 2016 and updated on 25 November 2018).
Want to take better photos for your social media accounts? Or perhaps you need a new pic for your dating profile and want to look your best. And we get it – taking selfies is hard (why do we never look like we do in the mirror?!).
At the same time, you’ve seen those amazing selfies of other people and you’re a tad jealous. How do they do it? As it turns out, taking a selfie is fast becoming a bit of an art (seriously). In this article, we’re going to help you and the whole world take better photos with our top tips on how to take the best selfie ever.
The selfie has become so popular that it’s now just a part of everyday life. Celebrities and the rest of us all seem to have caught the bug of sharing pictures of ourselves, on an almost daily basis. Not all selfies are great, though, are they? In fact, some are downright embarrassing! If you’ve become addicted to selfies, here are best tips on how to take the prefect selfie and not end up with a picture that is being shared for all the wrong reasons.
Here are our best selfie tips:
Invest in an Awesome Camera
If you’re here to take the BEST selfie ever (you are), you should consider investing in an awesome camera.
Sure, you can take selfies on your smartphone. But for the best ever selfies? You really should be investing in a camera.
There are plenty to choose from, from Canon’s to Olympus’. Do a bit of research and see what fits into your budget.
Understand Your Audience
Who are you taking photos for?
Whoever your audience is, they will decide what your selfies should look like.
If your goal is to boost your Instagram following, you need to take selfies that appeal to your followers.
If your goal is to take a few selfies for your Tinder profile, you need to do likewise.
Understanding who your audience is and what they expect to see from your selfie is key to taking the best selfie ever.
Get Your Makeup Right
Before you pick up your smartphone or camera, you need to perfect your makeup first.
If you think you could look better, work on your makeup.
If everything feels right and you look great, it’s time to start taking your selfie. Further we will talk more in depth about makeup tips for a perfect selfie.
Check the Mirror First
“Well, hello there beautiful!”
Before you take a selfie, it’s absolutely vital that you check the mirror first.
Because as you’re posing for a photo you won’t be able to spot the stray hairs, the improperly arranged clothes or the smeared eyeliner. It’s only by checking yourself in the mirror that you can make sure you look absolutely perfect and are ready for your close-up.
So check yourself out in the mirror first. Take a good look at yourself and make sure everything is just right.
Improve Your Lighting
It’s really disconcerting (and frustrating) when we take a pic of ourselves, look back at it and think “that’s NOT what I look like. At all!”
The key reason for this is lighting. If the lighting just isn’t on-point, you’re going to look pretty drab and totally not what you look like when you look at yourself in the mirror.
You can’t expect to take a photo anywhere and for it to turn out perfect. The lighting needs to be right.
This isn’t easy to do, of course. You can’t simply switch the overhead lights on and expect it to be brill.
So, how to take the best selfie? Be a bit creative with the lighting (it’s worth it). Open your window and let some sun in. If it’s not out, move your lamps around until you get the lighting you want.
Experiment with angles too, as well as soft and hard lighting. What works best for you and your face?
Choose a Good Background
You know what can easily ruin what would have otherwise been a really cool selfie? A terrible background.
What is it with girls taking selfies with a toilet behind them?!
Background is everything and it can make or break your selfie. If you accidentally catch a person taking a big bite out of their greasy hamburger behind you, it’s going to kill your photo.
We’ve all seen the selfies that have given away a secret because the person never thought to check what was in the background. The best background for a selfie is one that is nice to look at, but not so busy that it districts from the picture of you. Think about what is behind you before you take a selfie. It will make for a better picture and it could avoid an awful lot of embarrassment.
So, how to take the best selfie? Take yourself away from public places where there are lots of people milling around and place yourself against a neutral background. White is always a great option as white symbolises purity, cleanliness and vitality. It’s a really good colour for selfies.
Ideally, any brighter colour works fine, but you need to make sure that you don’t choose a background that you merge into. It will just look weird!
Invite a Friend
Taking the best selfie ever isn’t easy when you’re by yourself. Sometimes, your pose looks awkward or totally staged. It doesn’t always look genuine.
As such, it’s a good idea to invite a friend over and take a selfie with the two of you in it. Perhaps you can make each other giggle!
Of course, you’ll need to be prepared to take a few photos so that the two of you are happy with the result.
Some people take really serious selfies. They don’t smile – instead, they pout!
Especially if you’re taking a selfie that can be used on a dating site, it’s important that you smile for the camera. A smile instantly makes you look like a positive, happy person and it instantly improves the whole photograph.
Don’t like your smile? If you think your selfie smiles always look too forced, invite a friend over to make you laugh before capturing your natural smile.
Remember, no one likes a sourpuss in a photo!
The great thing about the modern day selfie is that you can touch it up afterwards with a spot of editing.
If you’re not totally satisfied with, say, the lighting or the colours, take advantage of your smartphones in-built photo editing feature to touch the image up.
How to take the best selfie? Maybe consider adding a filter too but don’t go over the top with filters – they just ruin what could have otherwise been a really great photo.
If you’ve literally got no confidence as you take your photo, it’s going to come across in the selfie. And that won’t be a good look.
So stand up straight and remind yourself that you’re an awesome person. Assert yourself on the photo.
Confidence is an amazing thing, and it can shine through in a selfie. And that’s part of what makes an amazing selfie so amazing.
Take the phone cover off
Even if you have a phone cover with a hole for the camera lens, you should still remove the cover before you take a picture.
Even with a hole, the edges of your phone cover will be caught by the camera and it will make the image slightly unclear.
Forget the duck face
The sucked in cheeks, lips pouting out, look really doesn’t work and everyone’s bored with it anyway, so ditch the duckface and look like you’re having some fun.
If you want to contour your face, do it with makeup. A touch of bronzer in the right places will do the trick and it will look a lot more natural.
Work on the angles
How to take the best selfie? Practice makes perfect, so check out all the angles to find out which angle suites your face the best.
Most people look better when their head is tilted at an angle to the camera and that’s a good way to make sure that your best features are the most visible in the picture.
If you your nose slants slightly to left, for example, then a picture taken to the left of your face will balance that out.
Use cream based makeup
When you take a selfie, you usually have your face close to the camera lens and that means that it’s going to pick up even the smallest imperfection in your makeup.
For that reason, cream based makeup will be the best type to use, because powder can settle in the creases in your skin and in any lines, whereas cream makeup blends in better and it will look a lot softer close up.
Get the light right
As with any photo, the light is everything with a selfie. For the best results, have the light source in front of you and shining down on your face.
Too much shade and you will look down and tired, too much light and it will wash you out. Don’t use the flash, because that will cause red eye and produce a very unflattering photo.
Use a filter
Find the filter that works best for you and then use it. Everyone uses filters, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
Different filters suit different complexions.
Nashville seems to work well with fair complexions, while Valencia is better for people with darker complexions.
Don’t expect to get it in one shot
When you are taking a selfie for something like a profile page, take lots of shots and then you can pick the best one to publish online.
Even people who publish what appears to be a really causal shot of them will have probably put a lot of effort into that shot and taken lots of different ones, before they decided on which one to put online.
Keep it steady
Posing, thinking about the light, and keeping your hand still is a lot to ask, but you are going to need to perfect that skill if you are to take perfect selfies.
So, how to take the best selfie? Just before you take the picture, take a deep breath, relax and then snap. Let your arm rest in between shots as well, or it will get tired and then you will get the wobbles.
Toss your hair before you take a selfie
A camera tends to make hair look flat, so add a bit of volume to your hair by flipping your hair over your face and then flipping it back again, just before you take the picture.
If you can, it’s best if you give your hair a bit more volume than usual when you take a selfie, both on the top and at the sides.
Take your time with your selfies, have some fun and try to be creative with your poses and your locations.
Try lots of different poses, because it looks so obvious when you look down someone’s timeline and see the same style of selfie over and over again.
Let’s also look at top makeup tips for your best selfies ever:
Love them, or hate them, selfies are here to stay. Ever since someone decided to put a camera in a phone, people have been taking photos of themselves to send to friends and to post on Facebook, Instagram and similar social networking websites.
Those close-up shots can be tricky to get right, though, and we’ve all seen some of the disastrous selfies that do the rounds.
It’s not just the pose, the lighting or the camera angle that can make or break a selfie; it’s also the makeup that you wear.
Taking a great selfie can be a pretty nerve wracking experience. You need to find the right angle, check the lighting, and your makeup has to be flawless too.
For the best ever selfies, try to find a natural light source that is not too harsh and experiment with different camera angles too, until you find the right one for you.
You can do an awful lot with angles and lighting to highlight the features you are proud of and to hide the ones that are not so keen on, but there’s no hiding any makeup mistakes in a selfie.
A camera phone is so very unforgiving. It will highlight and exaggerate every little mistake that you have made with your makeup and the whole world will be able to see it, so before you create your next selfie work of art, read these best makeup tips on how to get your makeup right for the best looking selfies you have ever taken.
Avoid using sunblock
It’s not often you will find us advising you to not wear sunblock, but sunblock can ruin a good selfie. The chemical SPF sunscreens are fine, but the physical sunblocks, which contain titanium oxide or zinc oxide, will show up on camera.
Don’t go out in the sun with no protection at all just for the sake of a good selfie, wear a chemical sunscreen instead, or re-apply physical sunblock as soon as you have taken the photo.
This is probably the one and only occasion that we would advise to you to avoid sunscreen. The whole purpose of SPF is to reflect the sun’s rays off your skin and it will do exactly the same with the light from a flash.
So, how to take the best selfie? Avoid makeup products that contain SPF when you are preparing for a selfie, because they will make your face look pale and washed out.
Prepare your skin
Dry, dead skin doesn’t reflect the light properly and it will make your face look all washed out in a selfie.
To prepare for a good selfie, exfoliate your skin with a gentle face scrub and that will clear away all the dead skin cells and reveal the younger looking skin underneath.
It’s best if you do this the day before a selfie, or at least a few hours before, just make sure that you don’t have red skin.
Moisturise and prime
Dehydrated skin won’t look good on a selfie either, so moisturise your skin to freshen it up and give it a glow.
Then, apply primer before you apply any other makeup and that will help to reduce the appearance of your pores and it will also give you a smooth canvas on which to apply the rest of your makeup.
Using a primer will even out your skin and hide any imperfections that the camera will pick up. It will also help to make your foundation look a lot more smooth and natural and it will give you a natural glow to your skin.
Wear matte makeup
Matte makeup will always look better in a selfie, because it won’t reflect the light and cause glare. Because selfies are usually taken quite close up, glare can reflect back into the lenses of the camera and highlight the features of your face making them look bigger than they really are.
Any kind of shimmer on your face may also look like you have an oily face, so stick to matte makeup, and you will get a much better picture.
How to take the best selfie? Avoid using shimmer and glitter when you are trying to take your best selfie, and opt for matte finished products instead.
You can also avoid getting a shine on your selfie by finishing your makeup with a light dusting of translucent powder.
Don’t overlook concealer
If you have dark circles under your eyes, be sure to use a concealer, because the camera will exaggerate dark patches on your skin.
When you use a concealer, be sure to blend it in well, or it will show up in place of the dark circles and it can make the makeup look thick and cakey around the eyes.
Check your makeup in natural light
Another one of good makeup tips is to check how you look in natural light. Indoor lighting is very harsh, so when you apply makeup under artificial lighting, you might apply a lot more than you really need.
If you know you are going out and you will be taking selfies outdoors, apply your makeup in natural light, or go to a window to check it before you leave home.
Use yellow tinted face powder to finish your makeup
Many finishing powders have shimmer in them and will cause the light to be reflected from your face, and this can make you look washed out in a photo.
How to take the best selfie? The best type of powder to use, when you know you will be taking selfies, is one that has a yellow tint.
Emphasise the beauty of your eyes
You want to make your eyes the focal point of the photo, so curl your lashes and use a mascara to thicken and lengthen them. This will open up your eyes and draw people to look at them.
Add a light shimmery eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes and right under your brow bone, and it will help open them up, and it will also let more of the light get into your eyes and that will add that sparkle to them that everyone wants in a selfie.
Here is a good tip on how to take the best selfie: when you take the selfie, close your eyes and, just before you press the button, open them again. This will make sure that you don’t blink at just the wrong moment.
Check your brows
Your eyebrows can make a big difference to how good you look in a photo too. So our next makeup tip for making perfect selfies is to make sure that your eyebrows are well trimmed and fill in any sparse areas with an eyebrow pencil.
The camera tends to lighten the features on your face, so using a slightly darker shade of eyebrow pencil, than you would usually use, can be a good idea too.
Well-groomed brows will frame the face perfectly, so give your brows a little bit of care and attention before you take your perfect selfie.
Remember, though, that a thick brow will look a lot more natural than an over-tweezed brow, so don’t tweeze away too many of those stray hairs. If you have lighter coloured hairs on your brows, a bit of colour will help to give your brows more definition.
Avoid using pastel colours
Pastel colours are too tame for a selfie; they will just look washed out in a photo.
So how to take the best selfie? To make your eyes pop, use bold, darker colours on your eyes.
Eye makeup can dramatically change the way you look, so make sure that you are 100% comfortable with whatever you do with your eyes, so that you are not disappointed with the final result.
Use blush, bronzer and highlighter to define your face
Because cameras wash out the face, you lose some of the definition of your features.
Use bronzer, blush and highlighter to emphasise the contours of your face, and this will help to define the shape of your face.
How to take the best selfie? The best makeup for a selfie is natural looking makeup, so be light handed when applying blush and bronzer, use a little product at a time, checking the results between each application. Too much blush or bronzer will look just as bad as not enough.
Contouring will give more definition to your face and it can also thin your face and make you look younger in a selfie.
You could start by using a concealer just a shade lighter than your natural skin tone to brighten up the area under your eyes, and using a matte bronzer on your cheekbones and jaw line to slim your face.
Make just one feature stand out
To avoid a makeup overload, make just one feature of your face the star attraction and tone down the rest.
For example, if you want to wear a bold lipstick, keep your eye makeup to a minimum with, perhaps, just eyeliner, mascara, and a neutral shade of eye shadow.
Don’t forget your hair
Your perfect selfie makeup will make your hair even more noticeable if it’s a bit on the greasy side.
How to take the best selfie? Use a dry shampoo if you need to before you take a selfie, because the flash is very unkind when your hair is not looking its best.
If you have some red blemishes or pesky pimples that are going to ruin the shot, hold some cotton wool soaked in some eye drops over the area for about ten minutes. That will bring the redness right down to a level that you will barely be able to see it at all.
Keep some blotting sheets on hand, because the camera will pick up any perspiration and oil on your face in a selfie. Pay particular attention to your T-zone, which will be where the sweat and oil will appear. A quick blot with some oil blotting sheets between shots will keep your face shine clear.
How to take the best selfie? What are your favourite makeup tips for perfect selfies? Feel free to share your thoughts below.