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15 Makeup Tips to Look Picture Perfect for the Camera

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Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
July 17, 2016 · 2.5k Views

A photo of you from your friend’s wedding over the weekend pops up on Instagram. You should be remembering what a happy day it was. But all you can think about is how horrible your makeup looks. So horrible that not even the most flattering filter could help the situation. Avoiding photos is out of the question – your summer is filled with more weddings, showers, and outdoor parties. Save yourself future embarrassment by following these 15 makeup tips and you’ll be camera ready for the next photo opp.

Ladies (and gents), looking good and keeping up with your skincare routine can get pricey. Whether you're a name brand lover or drugstore brand lover or both, don't forget to look at coupon discounts and beauty promotions from Ulta, Sephora, CVS, Drugstore.com and Walmart on your next beauty haul.


1. Start with a primer

Always start with a primer, especially on those days when you know photos will be taken. Primer evens out your skin, filling in fine lines and imperfections and makes your foundation look more natural. Invest in a good one like Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

2. Blend in under eye concealer

Source: Elysia Berman

On picture day, blend under eye concealer with a little bit of foundation to avoid weird under eye highlighting that can appear when the flash hits your face. And remember, concealer that isn’t blended in well can also expose fine lines in photos. Try Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.

3. Contour

Source: Skinbase

Contour features you would like more prominent in photos like cheekbones, the nose, and jaw line. Flash has a tendency to reduce and flatten out these areas in photos.

4. Use a good powder

The camera is going to magnify any oily sheen on your skin. Be sure to apply a good powder to problem areas like the T-zone. Try Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder.

5. Go matte

Shimmer and sparkle is brightening and youthful for everyday, but will come across as shiny in photos. Opt for makeup with a matte finish.

6. Use bronzer

Too much bronzer is a makeup disaster that can leave you with a dirty looking face. Don’t leave it out all together though. Rather, go lighter to maintain a soft and natural glow. Check out Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder.

7. Make your eyes standout

Source: C-Cassandra

If you usually use pencil, try liquid eyeliner. If you use brown for day-to-day, try a black hue. This switch will help to define your eyes and make them pop in photos. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is long lasting and smudge free.

8. False Eyelashes

Source: Dhgate

You can bet that every celebrity whose makeup stands out on the red carpet is wearing false eyelashes. They are meant to enhance your natural lashes. Better yet, false eyelashes will make you look marvelous in photos! MAC makes versatile lashes that create looks ranging from natural to high drama.

9. Blush

Source: Defymedia

You can go a little heavier on blush. Choose a shade that brightens and makes you glow. To avoid looking like a clown, be sure to blend the blush really well around the edges. For a radiant finish, try Make Up For Ever HD Blush.

10. Define your brows

Source: Lady Life Hacks

Eyebrows can fade away in photos. Lightly sketch them in with pencil to bring out your bone structure. A spoolie brow tool will help for beginners so it might be a good idea to invest in one! E.l.f. cosmetics at your local Target usually carry spoolie for $2-$3, not bad right?

11. Opt for dark eyeshadow

Steer clear of light pastel shades, which can make you look washed out. Instead, go for dark, rich colors, which will work to define and show off your eyes in photos. Check out Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadow 5-Color Palette, which offers a range of shades that work with any skin tone.

12. Show your lips some love

In the morning before the event, exfoliate your lips and apply a moisturizing treatment. We like the Sugar Lip Polish and Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment from Fresh. A cheaper, yet effective option is to gently exfoliate your lips using a toothbrush and then apply a thin coat of coconut oil.

13. Color your lips

Source: Rebloggy

You prepped your pout to look smooth and hydrated, so don’t be afraid to show it off! Choose a lipstick that you are comfortable wearing and looks good. Remember, it’s important to have some color on your lips for photos. Otherwise, your mouth will end up blending in with the rest of your face.

14. Take oil-blotting tissues

Summer is the time for outdoor weddings, barbecues, and evening cocktails on the patio. As fun and exciting as these al fresco events are, they are also hot and pose a threat to your freshly done makeup. So be sure to pack oil-blotting tissues in your bag, they will come in handy between photos.

15. Take selfies

Source: imagui

The only way to know how your makeup will look in a photo is to take a few selfies before heading out the door. Be sure to run tests in both natural and artificial lighting. This is the time to make any last minute touch ups.

Follow these makeup tips and you can walk into the next big event knowing that you will look fabulous in any photo whether it is taken with an iPhone or professional photographer’s camera.

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Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.

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