7 Makeup Tips That Will Have People Exclaiming "You're So Photogenic!"

It's easier than you think to get your makeup to look better in photos.

Camera-ready makeup is one beauty concept that doesn’t intimidate me. Sure, there’s a lot of prepping, setting and shading involved, but because of my time doing my own makeup for xoVain and for big events, I’ve learned a few things about putting my best face forward in the presence of flash photography.

If you’re preparing for an event--or just want to look better in your selfies--read on because I’m sharing my favorite tips for getting makeup to look better in photos.

Wear primer. You never know when things like the A/C mysteriously shutting off on a 90-degree day are going to happen, so why not have some extra support? I like Smashbox Photo Finish Primer for events because it fills in my pores, helps my foundation glide on and controls oil.

Choose your foundation wisely. Since dewy-finish foundations can make skin look too shiny on camera, semi-matte or matte finishes are your best bet. Beware of using a foundation (or any skincare product such as moisturizer) that has a high SPF since it can give your face a white cast in flash photography.

Go a little heavier with your base. For a flawless finish, use an extra layer of foundation where you need it, but blend well. I like to apply Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, which has a very natural, skin-like finish, in two layers using a beautyblender. To avoid the mask look, I blend the foundation down to my neck or even lower if the foundation isn’t an exact match for my skin tone.

Opt for brighter or richer shades. Since flash can make skin look washed out, use deeper or brighter colors on your eyes, cheeks or lips to liven up your complexion. Extra points for using a blue-based red lipstick--it’ll brighten up your face and give you a whiter-looking smile.

As for brows, you might want to fill them in with an extra layer of product (unless you have very dark brows to begin with) since flash can make light brows disappear.

Contour to add dimension where you want. This helps if your face photographs very flat like mine does. You can also add shimmer to highlight, but steer clear of anything too white or shiny, since it can look unnatural.

Add warm makeup. If the flash makes your face look very pale, balance the cool tones with a warm blush or bronzer.

Set everything with powder. I like Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder because it absorbs really quickly into my skin and doesn’t give me that I’m-wearing-powder look. I apply it with a flat brush and pat it on so it doesn’t smear the rest of my makeup.

Ideally, you’d do a test run of your makeup and take some photos. Here’s how my test shots turned out for this post:


  • Do you do your makeup differently when you know you’re going to be photographed?
  • What makeup products help you look your best in photos?