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Makeup for Photographs

To look your best in photographs, relax, smile and follow some simple makeup tips.


  • Make sure your foundation is yellow-toned (this applies for all ethnic backgrounds).
    If you are African-American, it's a good idea to have light, medium and dark shades of foundation to allow for different gradations of color on different parts of your face.
  • Use the right color blush so as not to look washed out. Layer natural color first, and make it "pop" with a brighter color on top.
  • Define your eyes with shadow, but avoid dark colors on the lid - they make the eyes recede. Add mascara, but don't overdo it.
  • Choose deeper or brighter colors for strong lighting. Soft lighting, or daylight, requires less intense colors.
  • Apply makeup that works with your style. Don't put on a lot of it for more effect, but instead use more color and a bit more definition.
  • Avoid dark liner, extremely glossy lips, shimmery or bright shadows, and foundation and powder that's too pale.
  • Use good definition - e.g., careful lining of the lips and eyes - for black-and-white photographs.


  • Snap away in summer. This is a great time to be photographed for holiday cards, since people usually look healthy and rested.
  • Choose a photo that looks like yourself.
    Try to relax when being photographed. Tilt your head and move your face for a variety of shots.
  • Lift your chin when being photographed to lessen dark circles and keep the nose from looking big.

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