In today’s social media-obsessed world, it’s safe to say that knowing how to be photogenic is of utmost importance. What’s the point of having an Instagram account if you don’t look good in pictures, right?
Getting caught looking horrible in photos can be a tad traumatizing—and it’s enough to make us wonder exactly how all those models manage to look so damn good all of the time. Taking a great pic is a fine art—it’s a lot harder than it looks to make sure your in-the-flesh beauty translates on camera.
The good news? Learning how to take the perfect selfie or photo and actually love the way you look in it is a skill you can totally master. Here are a few of our favorite tips.
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—promise.
3. Make sure your makeup is a perfect match, says mark celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles, who has 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. “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. The 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 hairstylist Serge Normant, who has worked with Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, and Sarah Jessica Parker throughout his years in the biz.
9. A photo can highlight flyaways, so make sure your style is sleek. “A good pomade or dry oil will help, but use lightly,” says Normant. “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 of drops of Visine will help your eyes look brighter and more awake.
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.
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