This time of year can be a minefield of potentially awkward family
photos, unflattering party pics and more snaps that just want to
make you hit “untag.” Even if you love the way you look in person,
it takes practice to make sure your in-the-flesh beauty translates
on camera. The good news? Being photogenic is a skill you can
totally master. Here are a few of our favorite tips that will help you
bring out your inner Gisele.
1. If you tend to blink in photos, close your eyes just before the
picture is taken and open them slowly before the camera clicks.
No more half-closed eyes!
2. To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck and push your face
forward a bit. Think of sticking out your forehead and tipping your
chin slightly down. It might feel awkward, but it will look great —
3. Make sure your makeup is a perfect match, says mark Celebrity
Makeup Artist Fiona Stiles , who’s prepped everyone from Halle
Berry to Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks for the red carpet.
“When a foundation is too pale for your skin tone, it becomes very
obvious when a flash hits the skin.” She advises, “Match your skin
to your chest and add a thin layer to your neck if your neck is paler
(as is the case for most people).”
4. Curled lashes and mascara are musts, Stiles insists (she
swears by mark Scanda-Lash Mascara ). “Both open up your eyes,
and the eyes are the focal point of a picture. You want to draw
people into a picture, so you want to maximize the impact of the
eyes. They more open they are, the more the light hits them and
that’s what makes them twinkle!”
5. Take a look at your favorite pictures of yourself and try to spot a
pattern. Do you like the way you look from a certain angle? When
you smile a specific way? Try to replicate your best poses next
time you have your photo taken.
6. Try this old school red carpet trick: Put your tongue behind your
teeth when you smile to avoid a goofy, too-wide grin.
7. Fill in your brows. Not only do your eyebrows convey character
and emotion, they often mean all the difference between looking
wide awake and washed out on camera. You may even consider
using a slightly darker brow pencil if you know you’ll be
photographed, since features tend to look lighter in pictures.
8. Make sure your hair is shiny. “Spray-on shine is great for a last
minute add-on shine,” says hair stylist Serge Normant , who’s
worked with Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon , Julianne Moore
and Sarah Jessica Parker throughout his years in the biz. He
recommends misting hair with his Serge Normant Meta Sheer Dry
Oil Finishing Spray ($24, shopsergenormant.com ) for maximum
Essentials for putting your best face forward.
9. A photo can highlight flyaways, so make sure your style is
sleek. “A good pomade or dry oil will help, but use lightly,”
Normant advises. “If you are afraid to use too much, spray on your
hands and then lightly try to control fizz.”
10. Look toward a light right before someone snaps your photo.
Doing so will shrink your pupils and help you avoid red eye.
11. Surprise photo op? Try this five-second prep: Blot your face
with a tissue or single-ply cocktail napkin, then pinch your cheeks
to create a rosy glow (yep, it’s old school, but it works).
12. A couple drops of Visine will help your eyes look brighter and
13. Blush is a must! Without some color on your cheeks, your face
can look two dimensional in photos. Use a medium pink shade on
the apples of your cheeks to help shape your face.
14. Think about angles. Facing the camera straight on is rarely
flattering; instead, turn your head to a three-quarter position to
give your features depth.
15. Try the “red carpet” pose: put your hand on your hip, angle
your body to the side and turn your head towards the camera. It’s
a cliché, but it really does work to help you look slimmer.
Taylor Swift demonstrates the classic red carpet pose.
16. Avoid serious sparkle on your face. “Anything too shimmery
on the skin can just be too much in a photo,” Stiles says. “A soft
glow is nice, but if you have oily skin it can really exaggerate
shimmer and make you look very shiny. If you are a shimmer
addict and just can’t help yourself, keep the face matte or semi-
matte (a velvety finish). Add a little highlighter to just the tips of
the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose with a powder
highlighter that has a very soft sheen.”
17. On the other hand, a bit of sparkle below the neck can give
your skin a pretty sheen. Dust your collarbone and shoulders with
a shimmering powder such as Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder
in Moonlight, which has the perfect finish for
playing up assets.
18. Stand in front of a white wall. A light-colored backdrop will
help brighten your face. Using a white background also helps a
camera’s automatic settings find the right color balance, so your
skin tone doesn’t end up looking too pink or yellow.
19. Wear bright lipstick. “Dark lipstick can have a minimizing
effect on lips,” says Stiles. “Steer clear of a dark matte lip color. It
can look aging and unflattering. Stick with brighter colors.”
20. Be in more pictures! People who think they’re unphotogenic
tend to pose for fewer photos overall, but photography is a game
of averages. Even Kate Moss doesn’t nail it on the first frame. The
more shots you let your photographer take, the more likely you’ll
be happy with one or two of them.
21. A photo shot from just above you is way more flattering than
one shot from below. If you’re taller than the person holding the
camera, grab a seat.
22. Avoid standing directly under a light, which can cast weird
shadows on your face. Instead, stand facing a natural light source,
such as a window, or in a spot where soft light hits your face from
23. Grab a prop — preferably not a red Solo cup. Holding onto an
object such as a flower or decoration can help you relax your
posture and add personality to a picture.
24. To make your eyes sparkle, look at a light source. A lamp or
brightly lit Christmas tree will create a flattering gleam in your
25. Forget saying “cheese,” and instead think of something funny.
Better yet, joke with the photographer. A natural smile trumps a
fake one every time.