So many women who look gorgeous in person can’t take a good photo to save their lives. Heck – I’m one of them by nature. Not photogenic? Don’t fret – just learn to use makeup, body positioning, and flattering clothing to make the most of the light and the camera’s effects. Here’s a step by step guide to combating the camera’s cruelty:
1. Define your eyebrows.
99% of girls I meet who’ve just had their makeup done by a makeup artist say, “He made my brows way too thick/dark!” Makeup artists know that brows always look wimpier in pictures than they do in real life. Don’t be afraid to fill yours in with some eyebrow powder and make them a little darker than their natural color. Use my guide on creating perfect brows for help.
Contouring fights nearly all of the camera’s naughtiest features that make you look older, bloated, or tired. Here’s a rundown:
- Use our contouring guide for tips, but skip the shimmery highlighting – sparkly makeup creates strange texture and shadows in photographs, so save it for the club.
- While shimmer is a no-no, a minimal amount of shine is not. (Think dewy – too much will look sweaty.) An easy way to create the illusion of fuller lips is to wear a shiny lip gloss.
- If the flash will be on, use entirely matte makeup, and be sure to finish your face with powder. A natural glow in the mirror can ruin a picture taken with flash.
- If your nose always looks wide in photos, read Amber’s post on slimming a wide nose using makeup.
- Avoid very dark eyeshadow shades, especially in black and white photos; they create unnatural shadows and make you look older.
3. Pose properly.
Depending on the photograph’s setting and position, you’ll need to change your posture to create the optimal effect. Here are some simple guidelines:
- Practice your expression in front of the mirror first. Get used to how your facial muscles feel in the position you like best.
- Make sure nothing feels strained when you smile; when the muscles aren’t relaxed, lines show up by your eyes and your smile looks forced.
- If you’re older and are worried about fine lines, consider taking the photo leaning back or lying down. The skin appears more taut and less wrinkled when the head is tilted back.
- To avoid red-eye, look slightly to the side of the camera instead of directly into it.
- If your nose tends to look large in pictures, tilt your head back slightly to make it appear smaller and shorter.
4. Choose flattering clothing.
Here are some tips on the best fashion choices for pictures:
- Wear solid colors; patterns are visually confusing and nullify the flattering contours that clothing creates around your body.
- In general, darker colors are more slimming.
- Avoid a black top if you have black hair or a red shirt with red hair – the colors’ similarity will wash your skin out.
- These color rules apply to skin tone, too: If your skin has very yellow undertones, don’t wear yellow clothing; the same goes for wearing pink with ruddy skin.