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11 Makeup Tips That Make You Look AMAZING in Photographs

Be prepared for any photo opps in your future.

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Prep and prime your skin

First, moisturize! This will make sure your skin is prepped and fresh. Then apply a primer. A good primer can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and will ensure that your makeup lasts throughout your event.

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Skip the SPF

Don’t apply sunscreen or products with SPF if you’re planning on taking flash photography. SPF can cause a white “flashback,” which can make you appear washed out in photos.

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Match your foundation

This one seems obvious, but make sure to choose a foundation that matches both your face and neck. If your neck is slightly darker than your face, go with a foundation that matches the darker tone. These shade differences may not be obvious in person, but can show up in flash photography.

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Don’t forget to conceal

Flash photography can emphasize dark circles, so don’t forget to apply it under your eyes. Though you may typically use a concealer that is two to three shades lighter than your skin, if you know you’ll be on camera stick with a product that is only one to two shades lighter than your skin tone. You want to find the right balance between brightening your under-eye area, while making sure you don’t look washed out in flash photography. If you’re worried your concealer might be too light, mix in a little foundation with your concealer.

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Ali Blumenthal for Reader's Digest

Contour and highlight

Though you may not contour your face every day, taking this extra step can emphasize your features and make you stand out in photographs. Dust a powder bronzer or contour shade below your check bones and around your forehead. Then, blend it into the rest of your makeup to frame your face. Beauty blogger Huda Kattan swears by this trick. “Contouring adds life to your face,” she says. “It makes your face appear three dimensional, slimmer, and makes your forehead look smaller.” Finish off the look by taking a shimmery highlight shade and dust it onto the high points of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose.

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iStock/Lise Gagne

Set with translucent powder

The last thing you want is your makeup melting off your face in the middle of an event. Set areas around your T-zone that can get oily with a loose setting powder. Typically, these areas are your forehead, under-eye area, and around your nose and mouth. Use a translucent powder, which will set your makeup without giving you that unfortunate caked-on look and won’t make you look washed out.

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Blend together matte products

Choose blush, bronzer, foundation, and powder that have no shimmer. When these specific products have shimmer, your face can look oily in flash photography. Plus, matte products are easier to blend together, which is key for achieving flawless skin. Kattan recommends dusting a translucent powder over your blush and bronzer to diffuse the color and make you look “lit from within and naturally blushing.”

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iStock/Chris Bernard

Add a little extra

Celebrity Beauty guru Michelle Phan notes that flash photography can remove up to 20 percent of color and intensity from your makeup. So, add a little extra blush and bronzer to make your makeup stand out in photos. Esteemed beauty vlogger Lauren Curtis adds, “you should make sure your lashes are extra black, extra thick, and extra long,” as lashes can disappear in photography. Add a few more coats of mascara than you normally would, or if you prefer, use some false lashes to emphasize your eyes.

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iStock/Gaelle COHEN

Fill in your eyebrows

“When I fill in my eyebrows, I tend to look more youthful,” says Michelle Phan, who recommends always filling in your eyebrows before getting your photo taken.

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Stay away from nude lipsticks

If you still want a natural look, try lip colors that are more pink than nude, as pink tones will make your lips pop in photography. To avoid dry and cracked lips showing up in photographs, make sure you use lip balm before you apply any products.

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Snap a selfie

Before you leave the house, snap a selfie using flash. This will help you see how your makeup is going to look on camera before your event.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest