Tips for the perfect photo make-up

Styling tips for portraits

Putting on make-up for a photo shoot is fundamentally different from normal make-up. The camera tends to pick up what the mirror doesn’t show. Small blemishes show up much more with a camera and they appear bigger than they are. We will tell you how to do your own make-up for a professional photo shoot.

Photo make-up preparation

Before a photo shoot, the location and the lighting should be thought through. Depending on the type of lighting, the colours may appear quite different in the photos. This is especially true for make-up. Sunlight, for example, brings out colours, make-up flaws and small skin blemishes more than studio lighting. Therefore, the make-up should be more subtle in daylight shots. If on the other hand, it is a studio shoot the make-up can be more prominent as the lighting will be stronger than the colours.

Comparison of the effect of make-up: natural light and artificial light
Effect of different lighting on make-up and colours. Left: daylight, right: artificial studio light.

Tips for the perfect photo make-up

Good photo make-up starts with good preparation. Before a photo shoot, it is a good idea not to experiment with new skin or cosmetic products. Skin irritations and small inflammations cannot always be removed with make-up. Eyebrow plucking should also not be done immediately before a photo shoot. A good foundation is recommended to prepare the skin for the make-up. Use a light day cream that matches your skin type.

Photo make-up: the complexion

An even complexion is essential for professional photo make-up. A good covering foundation or even camouflage make-up is highly recommended. When choosing a product, make sure that the shade of the make-up matches your skin tone and that it does not contain any UV protection in order to avoid the flash causing any reflections. You should also make sure that it matches your skin type, for example, if you tend to have dry skin, you should avoid mattifying make-up, as this will dry out your skin even more.

For a natural finish, apply foundation with a small make-up sponge. Work the foundation into the skin with tapping motions and finish by mattifying your forehead, the bridge of your nose and your chin with a translucent powder. During the shoot, these areas tend to shine more quickly than the cheeks, for example.

Photo make-up: contour

To give your face more contour and more three-dimensionality for the photos, it is now important to contour the face properly with a contour powder. Professional make-up artists like to use this technique so that the face does not look too flat in the pictures. First, take a contour powder that is a few shades darker than your skin tone and a slanted brush and use it to emphasise the areas under your cheekbones, the temples and the upper forehead up to the hairline. When applying, make sure that the lines are not too harsh. The best way to achieve this is to blend the product well.

Depending on your skin type on your cheeks, you can go for a light pink or a subtle peach shade. This will make you look very fresh and natural in the photos. To give your face even more three-dimensionality, use a highlighter. For the best result, we recommend using a liquid highlighter, as this looks the most natural. Apply it with your finger to the upper cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the lips. This will make these areas stand out more in the photos.

Picture: These areas are contoured on the face for photo make-up

Tips for taking portraits in black and white

If your photo shoot is in black and white, you should be aware that the result will not be as flattering to the skin as in colour shots. The photo make-up requires stronger contours as well as a stronger emphasis on the lips, cheeks and eyes. You should also bear in mind that scars, blemishes and wrinkles are much more noticeable in black-and-white photos than in colour photos. You should use make-up with high coverage that does not dry out your skin.



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