Hair & Makeup
Makeup for Photography
One question that is often asked is, "Can I apply my own makeup or should I use a makeup artist?" The answer to that question is going to depend on your skills in applying makeup as well as your understanding of the differences between makeup for "normal" life, and makeup for the camera. There is a difference. If you don't already know what that difference is, we strongly recommend using a professional makeup artist (MUA).
If you've decided to use one of our makeup artists (or your own), here are a few tips that will assure you look dazzling in your photographs.
- Get a good night's sleep the night before your scheduled session (several nights is even better).
- Drink plenty of water in the days prior to you session to completely hydrate your skin.
- Prior to coming in for your makeup, wash and exfoliate your face and any other areas of your skin that will be visible. It's important to remove that micro layer of dry skin because doing so makes a smoother foundation for your makeup and it allows your natural skin tones to shine through without creating highlights (from dry skin) where there shouldn't be any.
- After washing and exfoliating, apply an oil-free moisturizer to bring out your rich natural skin tones.
- The sleep thing applies to you too. Get plenty of it before your scheduled appointment.
- If you are not someone who normally drinks a lot of water, start drinking a lot more at least three to four days before your scheduled session. Your makeup will look the best when your skin is well hydrated.
- Prior to applying any makeup at all, wash and exfoliate your face and any other areas of your skin that will be visible. It's important to remove that micro layer of dry skin because doing so makes a smoother foundation for your makeup and it allows your natural skin tones to shine through without creating a blotchy look on your skin. (Again we're talking about highlights created by dry skin reflection).
- After doing all of the above, apply an oil-free moisturizer to your skin before applying makeup of any kind.
- Another thing to consider when applying your makeup is the lighting. It is best to choose a location where you have natural light as opposed to artificial light. If that's not an option, obviously, go with what you have.
- Start with a concealer to hide any blemishes or dark circles under your eyes. Use a color that is about two shades lighter than your own skin tone. The key here is to blend, blend, blend. Even though you'll be covering the concealer with a foundation, if the transition is not blended well enough, it can show through.
- Next apply an oil-free foundation, but keep this in mind. Match the foundation color to the color of your neck and shoulders. Even if it's going to just be a "head shot", part of your neck will be in the picture and I think we've all seen photo's where a person's face is one color and their neck a shade or two off. Not a good look. If you match everything up with your neck and shoulders, and blend it in well, you'll have a great foundation upon which to apply the rest of your makeup.
- The next step is to apply a matte face powder. The matte finish helps keep a natural non-shiny look to the skin. Besides applying a good powder base, be sure to bring your face powder to the shoot in case you need touchups (and you most likely will) during your session.
- Do your eyes next. This will be the most important part of this process as people will focus on your eyes first before looking at other aspects of the photo, and then focus again on your eyes before looking away. Apply your base eye shadow color starting at the lash line. Then apply the next color in the crease area of your eye. Next apply a highlight color below the brow bone. Avoid frosty or shimmery shadow as it may reflect too much light creating unnaturally looking highlights. Use your finger, sponge or cotton ball to blend your eye shadow so one color transitions smoothly into the next. Then apply eye liner with extreme care and precision and finish up with mascara, being sure to separate the lashes as much as possible. If you want to add a bit more glamour to your look, consider the use of false eyelashes but be sure to practice putting them on before the day of your shoot. Make sure they fit your eye and are not too long. There is a fine line between enhancing your look and looking garish. Be sure not to cross it.
- Next apply your blush. This in itself is an art form. Not enough and it doesn't show, too much and you look clownish. If you're unsure of how much is too much, or where and how to apply it, do some online research. You can enhance the shape of your face with the right blush in the right place (or visa versa).
- The final step is applying your lipstick. This is the second most important part of your makeup, especially if you're doing a glamour/boudoir type photo. Avoid frosted lip colors unless it is a conscious choice made to achieve a certain look. Frosted lipstick will reflect too much light creating unnatural highlights and/or may appear as if there is no lipstick at all. The color you pick should be about one shade deeper than you normally wear and your lip liner should be the same color as your lipstick. Be very careful not to smudge or smear your lip liner and/or lipstick or you run the risk of looking, well... let's just say... odd.
If you have decided to apply your own makeup, here are a few tips to help you get the best result.
The following statement is an oversimplification and any MUA would cringe at hearing it. Be sure to read what follows to get a better understanding of the complexity of this process. Oversimplification statement here we go. "Apply your makeup a little heavier than you would if you were going out for the evening." Having said that, please read on.
Pay particular attention to the ingredients of your foundation for photographic purposes. Many foundations contain a sunscreen that will reflect light causing havoc with flash photography. Check the ingredient list for Titanium Dioxide. Titanium Dioxide is a sunscreen agent that naturally reflects light, thus offering protection from the sun's rays. Normally it is not visible to the naked eye but when illuminated with an artificial light source of any intensity, it reflects that light back into the camera lens. This gives the skin an unnatural pallor that is at the very least, unflattering. Do not use any foundation or makeup that contains Titanium Dioxide.
So, there you have it, or at least the tip of the iceberg. There's more to makeup than you might think and we really do recommend having an expert do your makeup whether it be one of ours, or someone you know or hire. The main thing is we want you to be relaxed and enjoy the entire process. Think about this, the images we create will last forever and if you spread the cost of an MUA over the many years you will enjoy your photographs, does it really make sense to add the stress of trying to get it just right?
We should add here that what you pay for the makeup artist goes entirely to her. We do no mark the cost up or take a cut of it. It is simply a service we offer because we know it will make your photographs look so much better and give you a little more pampering at the same time.