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Obviously, if given the option, I would always choose to have a professional makeup artist apply my makeup pre-shoot. Unfortunately, for you and me both, that’s not always an option. Lame, I know, but fear not! For those occasions when you are in charge of your own makeup, just follow these 5 tip to ensure you always look picture perfect.

Apply your makeup in natural light.
To make sure your makeup is always camera ready apply it in natural light. As much as we appreciate Thomas Edison and his marvelous invention of the lightbulb, it has been lying to women in regards to makeup application for the last 100+ years. Some lights can wash you out causing you to apply just a little too much – sometimes a lot too much. While other lights have funky color temps making you think that blush is a beautiful coral, as opposed to the putrid orange it truly is. Nature has this whole light thing down to a science, so that’s what I trust when I want to look better in pictures.


Stick to neutrals.
I love playing around and experimenting with makeup as much as the next person, but when it comes to beautiful portraits it’s usually best to stick with neutral tones. That electric blue or neon green may be hot now, but trends tend to come and go quickly. I’d be willing to bet that in 6 months, if not much sooner, you are going to regret that color decision. Stick with neutrals and colors that will be timeless so that your images are less dated and so people notice you as opposed to your makeup choices.


Use tinted blot powder.
No one wants to look like an oil slick in front of the camera, but you should be conscience of what types of powder to use. Steer clear of shimmery powders since they will reflect light and potentially leave you looking shinny, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid. Instead choose tinted blot powders designed to provide shine control without adding any noticeable color or texture. My personal fav is the pressed blot powder from M.A.C. which I always carry with me.


Define those eyes.
Eyes are the windows to the soul, and they are always the first things people notice when looking at a picture. Eye liner and mascara are a must. If you normally use browns, opt for black. The darker hue will give you better contrast which will make your eyes pop more. Don’t feel like you have to go overboard though, you are just defining what is already there. You can also help your eyes look bigger and clearer by using a little white shadow on the inside corners of both eyes and/or by lining your wet line, that area between your lower lashes and your eyeball, with white eye liner. Lastly, if you notice your eyes have a lot of those pesky little red lines or just aren’t as bright as you’d like, you can use over the counter eye drops with redness relief to make your eyes crystal clear.


Contour your features.
Now, not everyone will need to contour- if you feel that your cheekbones are more prominent already or that your face is on the thinner side, it is best not to contour as you may appear too “chiseled”. For those who need this it should be subtle. Use bronzer a shade or so darker than your natural color to brush on under your cheek bones, under your chin, along either side of your nose, and the outer corners of your forehead. Apply a lighter color on the areas that light naturally hits – the tops of your checks, center of your forehead, and the bridge of your nose. Be careful with this technique though, since too much will make you look really unnatural.

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