Make up for photos

With prom and wedding season coming up, I’ve been getting a lot of questions on doing make up for photos. There are tons of tips out there, and not all of them will work for every person, but I thought I’d compile a list of my tips, that I use on my brides, and recommended products for those of you lovely people getting married, or going to prom, or anywhere where you may get your picture taken!

make up tips


Start with a clean face

It’s very important to wash and moisturize your face about 20 minutes before you start your make up application process. This will insure that your make up will go on evenly. also, don’t start using any new skin products at least a month before your wedding to avoid break outs or unpredictable skin texture. 

Don’t wear foundation with SPF

 I’m sure you’ve all heard this a million times before. The SPF will reflect the light back and make you look more washed out in photos.  If you’re SPF in your foundation is below 10, you should be okay, but if you can, play it safe and get a foundation with no SPF to avoid any possible flashback. 

Don’t forget a primer

If any of you have been following my blog, you may know that I’m not generally a fan of primers. However, On a day that I know my make up has to last all day long, I’ll definitely apply a primer! Find something that’s long lasting, and oil control/hydrating depending on your skin type. You can also add two thin layers of two different primers, just make sure you leave a few minutes between layers so it can absorb. 

Wear a little more coverage

Cameras pick up flaws, so in order to make your complexion look flawless, build your foundation up more then you normally would. This does not mean to cake on the foundation, but try to apply 2 layers of thin foundation. Apply one layer, wait for it to dry, and then apply anther for the added coverage. 

Go for a warm coverage

a pink, or cool based foundation will make your skin look more sallow and old. A yellow or warm based foundation or concealer will make your skin look more youthful and radiant. Cameras emphasize the pink tones in your skin, so adding a little yellow (warmth) it will contrast it and make you look radiant. (If you’re a pale girl like me, take it easy on the warm foundations! you still want your foundation to match your skin)

Keep it matte! 

This is where a lot of people mess up. We all want to look healthy and dewy, of course! and  some people can pull off that look in photographs too, but most just end up looking greasy and very oily. Unless you’ve tested it first, and are positive you can pull it off, I’d always suggest going matte! 

Wear about 30% more blush and mascara then you normally would 

The camera doesn’t pick up all of the make up, and if you wear your normal amount, it may not pick it up at all. So add an extra layer of blush to add some color to your skin in the photos. 

Keep your eyelids matte.

Wearing shimmer will again, reflect the light and make it look white. So keep with your matte colors! It’s also important to add depth to your eyes, so apply a dark brown in your crease and curl those lashes. Be sure to add a highlight to your brow bone and inner corner of your eye. (not with shimmer) It pulls the whole look together.


Go easy on the liner, you don’t want a heavy liner on your water line. It will enhance wrinkles and make your eyes look heavy. If using a waterline liner, try to use a brown or gold to bring out your eyes. If using a liner on your lid, I’d suggest using a black eye shadow to add dimension without making your eyes look heavy. 


I’d absolutely suggest false lashes on your wedding day! Not only does it add a very beautiful and classic look to your make up, but it also creates a lot of depth to your eyes which is so important in front of a camera! 


Even if you don’t fill your brows day to day, I’d suggest you do it on your wedding day. They frame the face, and give a flawless appearance.  The camera tends to wash out color, especailly if you’re hair is light, you don’t want to look like you have no brows! You don’t need to go crazy but make sure the arches are defined and the fill is even. You’ll be so amazed at the difference.

Highlighting and contouring

Our faces can tend to look a little flat in photos, that’s why highlighting and contouring is so important! it gives your face dimension and creates a great look no matter where you turn. Add blush to the apples of your cheeks, (when you smile, apply it to the part of your cheek that gets most full) If you apply it too low, it’ll drag your features down. Also, be sure your highlighter doesn’t contain any specks of shimmer.

Blend, Blend and blend some more

The camera will pick up any spots that aren’t blended in right, and make them look so obvious. It picks up on any flaw so blending is absolutely imperative. When in doubt, keep blending!!


Don’t go for a nude lip. As I’ve mentioned 100 times in this post, the camera washes out color. Give yourself a little pink or brown on the lips to add a natural look with some color.

Set your make up

This is so important. I’d recommend splurging for a good setting spray! But in the event that you can’t afford it, set it some something! Set your foundation and concealer with a powder if you need to, but also set all of your make up with a spray to keep that flawless face in place. 

Natural sunlight

My best trick is to apply make up next to an open window. If your make up looks great in natural sunlight, it’ll look good anywhere! I would not suggest going out side though. Unless the temperature is perfect and there are no bugs or wind any moisture in the air at all. But in the event that you don’t live in a dream world, maybe just stay inside near a window. 

Be Careful of HD

a common misconception is that make up labeled HD is safe for photos. This is not always the case. HD is made for film, not flash photography. Lots of HD make up photographs beautifully, but Most HD makeup contains silica which can photograph white. So you just have to be careful of this, check the ingredients and go easy on the products. 


I know this seems like a lot, but when it comes to your wedding make up, you want it to be perfect. Here are some products I’d recommend!

Recommended products

Primers Hourglass Veil, Tarte Brightening primer, Revlon photo ready primer,

Foundations Georgio Armani Luminous silk, Make up forever HD foundation, Revlon photo ready

Concealers M.A.C prolong wearHourglass corrective concealer, Maybelline fit me concealer 

Eyeshadows Lorac pro palette, M.A.C cosmetics, L’Oreal Nudes

Liners Urban Decay 24/7 , Julep gel eyeliner, Boots No.7 stay perfect

brows Anastasia beverly hills brow wiz, Benefit cosmetics brow pencil, NYX Brow pencil 

Highlighting and contouring RCMA paletteAnastasia beverly hills palette, Kat von D palette (there is no drugstore products I can recomend for a wedding day. all the one’s I’ve tried look muddy on camera. I’m sorry!) Houglass Ambient lighting is my favorite bridal highlight. Highly recommended

blush Nars blush, Tarte 12 hr blush, Revlon photo ready cream blush,

lashes velour mink lashes, esqido lashes, Ardelle *always use duo adhesive, it’s definitely the best 

lips Nars Dolce Vita, M.A.C BraveMaybelline new york super stay










  • Stephanie May 11, 2015 at 10:45 am

    This is such a helpful post! I was JUST talking to a friend about this topic a few days ago! I’ll be sharing this with her! Thanks!

    • beauty90 May 11, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Awesome!! I’m so glad it helped:)
      Thanks so much for reading and for sharing my post. It means a lot!

  • missgiven June 13, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    I dont like bright red lipstick in wedding photos. Do you?

    • beauty90 June 14, 2015 at 10:34 am

      It’s not personally for me, but if that’s the look people like I’d do it for them. It’s a timeless look, so I don’t think it would be something that you regretted. 🙂

  • psychologistmimi June 17, 2015 at 12:00 am

    I so need a tutorial! lol

    • beauty90 June 17, 2015 at 8:00 am

      I’ll make a tutorial for doing make up for photographs if you want to see one 🙂

  • ghoshsanchita June 27, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Great post! Very helpful

    • beauty90 June 27, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Great 🙂 I’m so glad you like it.
      thanks for reading 🙂
      xox Lo

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  • kershiaperumal November 9, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Lovely post!

    • beauty90 November 9, 2015 at 11:18 am

      thank you!! 🙂

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