As a Denver headshot and personal brand photographer, one of the questions I get asked quite often is, How should I apply makeup for my photo session?

If you’re planning a personal brand session (or any photo session) and have the time and budget, I always recommend hiring a professional makeup artist on the day of your photos.

I have a list of the best Denver and Colorado makeup artists that I’m happy to share upon request. These amazing ladies can give you everything from a soft, natural business-casual look to a more polished video-ready look that looks great under bright lights.

Virtual Makeup Application Lessons

If you’re planning to do your own makeup, for your photoshoot or even for everyday application, you owe it to yourself to contact Liana Kathryn Makeup.

Liana offers in-person and virtual makeup lessons where she will work with the products you already have and cater her makeup tips to your individual face shape, skin type, and level of experience in makeup application!

I hired Liana for a personalized makeup training session and there are no words to describe how much it upped my makeup game! Thanks to Liana, I actually enjoy putting on my makeup every morning, because now I know what I’m doing!

Fun and Affordable Online Makeup Course for headshots

Or, if you’d like a super affordable online makeup class specifically for how to apply camera-ready makeup in 15-minutes or less (complete with product tips), Lindsey and Camille at BA Makeup Company have you covered! I love that their online makeup course is called No Filter Necessary, and you can get all the details by clicking here.

I’ve taken this course too and can tell you it’s a fun way to level up your makeup game! This course was designed with the end goal of looking great on camera — whether that’s your headshot session, personal brand photo session, or even your Zoom meetings! On top of that, Lindsey and Camille are adorable and their course is super fun!

Quick and Easy Camera-Ready Makeup Tips

If you’re not that into makeup and don’t have time for pro tips right now, here are a couple of my quick and easy tips for making sure your makeup is camera-ready on headshot day:

  • Start with great skin! Drink lots of water the two days before your session, and get two nights of great sleep if you can. Exfoliate the day before your session, and don’t forget to apply moisturizer (but not sunscreen) before applying makeup.
  • Use a camera-ready primer to help smooth pores, even out skin texture, and create a beautiful canvas for makeup application.
  • Apply a foundation that matches your skin. Avoid foundations with built-in sunscreen, which reflect light and create the appearance of shiny skin. (An in-person consultation with Liana Kathryn Makeup is the best way to find the best color match for your skin.)
  • Matte makeup is best for photos. Think matte foundation, matte contouring powders, matte blush, and matte eyeshadow.
  • A matte bronzer, blush, and highlighting powder can add contour and color. Be sure to blend well! Intimidated by contouring? No worries! The No Filter Necessary makeup course shows you how — quick, easy, fun, and done!
  • A soft, neutral eyeshadow palette (well blended) looks great in photos! Choose a matte or satin finishes rather than shimmer. If you use eyeliner, keep if soft (brown or gray), top lash line only, and avoid a thick black outline, which can make eyes look smaller.
  • A little extra mascara looks great in photos, avoiding clumpiness by combing through after you apply. False lashes applied naturally can be fun, but if you’re not used to them, they can feel heavy. If you plan to wear them, practice ahead of time for sure!
  • Finally, set your picture-perfect makeup by pressing on loose powder (don’t rub) or by using a makeup setting spray. I don’t normally recommend specific products because they’re so personal, but I do love MAC Cosmetics’ Prep + Prime Fix+ — it’s one of my all-time favorite makeup products.
  • Don’t forget to bring your lipstick and powder in case you need a quick touchup before your session.

If you have any questions or tips I should add to this article, feel free to get in touch! I’m looking forward to seeing your beautifully applied makeup at your next personal brand photo session!

Your Session

December 10, 2020

Camera-ready makeup for your photo session

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