Saturday, October 15, 2011

DIY -- Makeup for Photography (Wedding/Prom)

Hello, beauties! Today I'm going to do a post that I've gotten several requests for. Generally speaking, it all comes down to makeup tips for photography.. but it also falls into the realms of wedding and prom makeup, so I thought it would be good to do an all-encompassing post.

20 years of dancing experience, not to mention my time as a dance photographer along with my interest in all things makeup related and the research I did on wedding makeup before Chris and I got married have definitely helped prepare me for writing this post. So here's what I've learned:
  • USE MATTES. I'm not a big fan of matte anything, but when you're being photographed.. they're seriously your best friend. What looks like a nice shimmer in your blush or bronzer can easily translate to shiny and oily looking skin in pictures. Take this picture of me and Chris for example:

Shimmery bronzer dusted down the center of my face and shimmery blush on the apples of my cheeks make my face look like an oil slick when they reflect the light of the flash... Oops!
  • WEAR MORE MAKEUP THAN YOU NORMALLY DO. You might feel self-conscious, and I'm not saying turn yourself into a drag queen but wear more of everything than you would on an everyday basis. Think about it.. it's a special event and you're getting dressed up.. so it's a perfect reason to be a little heavy-handed with your makeup application. Again, look at the picture above. It looks like I'm not wearing anything on my lips or eye shadow, and I assure you I am.
  • BLEND, BLEND, BLEND YOUR UNDER EYE CONCEALER. Especially if you use a color-correcting one. Even if you think you've blended it out.. blend the edges some more! There's nothing worse than stressing out over your wedding, using a yellow concealer to combat your dark circles, and then getting your pictures back only to realize that you look like a toddler scribbled under your eyes with a highlighter. I may be exaggerating for comedic effect, but really.. blending is crucial!
  • USE A NUDE LIP LINER INSTEAD OF A DARK ONE. It's better to apply a nude lip liner and a dark lipstick than a dark lip liner if you're going to be photographed for the simple reason that lipstick fades. Even IF you do check it religiously, as soon as you eat, drink or kiss.. you run the risk of having your lipstick fading and the dark lip liner showing through. I don't care what anyone says, it was an awful look in the 90s and it's still awful today!
Sorry, Kandee.. Chola makeup or not, tri-color lips and visible lip liner are a makeup no-no!
  • BRING YOUR FOUNDATION AND POWDER DOWN ONTO YOUR NECK. This should really be done every day, but especially when you're going to get photographed! You don't need to actually add extra product onto your neck.. I always just pull my foundation and powder down over my jawline and under my chin to blend them in. Remember, you want to look flawless, not necessarily "made up."
  • AVOID TRANSLUCENT POWDER. Translucent powder has the unfortunate effect of looking ghostly white when it meets camera flashes. Drew Barrymore had to learn this the hard way:

Again, another extreme example.. but it's SO effective at getting the point across! 
  • APPLY YOUR MAKEUP IN NATURAL LIGHT. I know sometimes it's not always convenient to set up your makeup by a window, but for special events when you're going to be photographed a lot.. it really does give you the best sense of how your makeup is getting applied. Also remember: a lot of wedding and prom photography takes place OUTSIDE. :)
  • PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. There's nothing wrong with practicing your makeup days before a big event. I'm especially fond of doing this if I want to wear different colors or styles (winged out eyeliner, etc) that I don't do on an everyday basis. It allows me to get more proficient at the application saving me precious time on the big day, gives me added confidence and allows me a chance to take pictures of my finished makeup ahead of time to see what needs to be fixed: Is  my foundation blended in enough? Did I use too much powder on my face? 
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And that's it! Super easy tips and tricks to remember for your big day! I hope this has been helpful, especially since it's homecoming time for a lot of high school students! I miss school dances. I wish I could go back to my high school and crash homecoming, haha! ..Okay, maybe not. But they were always a lot of fun. :D


  1. You're absolutely right Mandy. Loving this post

  2. Great post hunny! Maybe I'll do my own wedding makeup...

  3. Great advice Mandy! I cannot believe that Drew picture...OMG! lol

  4. Great tips!!! This was super helpful. I actually just learned about the transulcent powder myself today, I got a new hair cut and wanted to take a picture and was like eww why is my face all white? Haha

  5. Thanks! Yea, I've had the same thing happen to me, too! :D

  6. Thanks, girl! OMG, I KNOW.. right?! The first time I ever saw that I was like O_O