Just like how you need makeup for outdoor photography that requires techniques and products different from our daily looks, you have to take special note of how you are doing your makeup when it comes to taking professional photographs indoors, such as family portraits.
For starters, the camera never captures colour in quite as much vibrancy as is visible in real life, especially under flash photography. Certain angles and lighting may also make your face look different in photos, so you have to tweak your makeup to better emphasise your best features.
Not sure how to go about doing it? Read our guide for the best makeup tips to take note of when you are dolling up for an indoor photoshoot, as well as some of the best foundations in the market that will give you a smooth canvas, sans the flashbacks!
Makeup tips for the best indoor studio photographs
Do any necessary grooming the day before
Most of us don’t look photo-ready all the time, so it is understandable that you may want to pluck, tweeze, wax, or groom any areas of your face that need that attention before an important photoshoot. Although it is good to have, say, your eyebrows properly trimmed and shaped before taking those photographs, you run the risk of having the skin area look red and swollen, which can persist for more than a day.
It is best to do your proper grooming the day before so that you give your skin time to recover from redness or other irritations before the photoshoot. If you have sensitive skin that generally takes a longer time to recover, remember to buffer that in as well.
Avoid shimmer and glitter
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We know it’s tempting to go full-on glitter and sparkle because it looks so pretty, but it can create undesirable effects in your photos. Glitter is reflective and reacts to the camera flash to create a shiny spot. Now imagine many shiny spots on your face – you may end up looking like a disco ball instead!
Experts recommend giving your shimmery eyeshadows, shiny lip glosses, and blinding highlighters a miss. Instead, opt for more matte textures and finishes.
Opt for muted colours, but be sure to apply more layers
The general rule is to avoid colours that are too loud or bright, and it applies to all your colour makeup, be it lipstick, eyeshadows, or blushes.
Although the camera does tend to make your makeup look lighter than usual, applying bolder shades on specific features may just take attention away from the rest of your face. Unless your intention is to draw attention to only your lips, experts advise that you use a more MLBB (my lips but better) shade for your lipstick so that you look more natural in your photos.
In order to compensate for the possible lack of colour on camera, you should apply more layers of the same shade instead, so that the colour looks fuller and more obvious.
Steer clear of cat eyes
While cat eyes look great for adding personality (and of course, lengthening our eye shape) on a daily basis, makeup artists have actually advised that we steer clear of them and other long extended eyeliner lines when it comes to makeup for indoor photoshoots. The reason is that drawing long cat eyes will focus the photo on only your eyes instead of your entire face, and can also make your eyes look much smaller than you want.
The trick is to slightly extend the liner beyond the corner of your eye, and if you really want naturally larger and rounder eyes, you can consider flicking the eyeliner downwards instead for the popular ‘puppy eyeliner’ look.
Set your makeup with transcluent powder
The bright lighting in an indoor photography session can make your face look really shiny. While a little shine won’t hurt, it can be a huge problem if you have very oily skin, because the harsh lighting emphasises the greasy glow on your skin.
To make sure that sebum production is under control and excess shine is taken away, it is advised that you use a translucent powder to set your makeup.
However, not all powders are necessarily good for setting with: if a powder lists silica in the ingredients there’s a very strong chance you’ll get flashback (white patches on the face) – especially if you bake with it! HD powders use silica because it’s silky smooth and makes your skin look poreless in the mirror, but certainly not in photos.
If you are not sure whether your translucent powder contains silica, you can always do a quick flash test before heading out to make sure.
Check thoroughly for imperfections
These days, professional cameras are made to capture photos in greater detail, but that also means your little imperfections become glaringly obvious in photographs as well.
After you have applied your makeup, take a step back and assess your makeup from all aspects and angles – make sure your foundation is blended in well so that you don’t get random patches of colour, there is no lipstick on your teeth, and there are no random black specks around your eyes from your eyeliner or mascara.
Best foundations to use for indoor studio photoshoots
Unfortunately, while your foundation can look absolutely flawless in the mirror, strong indoor lighting and intense camera flash can make you look like a ghost instead.
The dreaded white glow in flashbacks is caused by specific SPF ingredients and by silica, which is the main ingredient in HD powders.
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Want to avoid suffering from a flashback fail like Miley Cyrus? Here are the best foundations to use, as recommended by professional makeup artists and beauty junkies:
Revlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation
Instead of using a thick foundation that could become cakey, opt for one that gives you a natural-looking finish.
This foundation from Revlon is popular among beauty gurus as it works to enhance your skin instead of covering it up, with a medium coverage and lightweight texture so that it looks and feels exactly like your skin, but better.
If you have sensitive skin and are worried about getting breakouts, you don’t have to worry either: skin irritants such as harsh fragrances and oils have been left out, so that you are only left with skin-loving ingredients that hydrate your skin with every application!
NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation
Depending on your skin condition, you may prefer using foundations with different amounts of coverage on different days.
To make things easier, NYX’s buildable foundation allows you to have full control over the coverage you need, be it a barely-there, sheer finish or a full and flawless coverage. You can adjust the coverage by simply adding more or fewer drops of foundation – it’s that easy!
The creamy matte formula is also well-loved by fans for its staying power and comfortable texture on skin, so that you can do an indoor photoshoot for long hours without needing to touch up at all.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
With over 40 shades and multiple undertones to choose from, you can be sure that you won’t end up applying a shade too light or too dark with Estée Lauder’s best-selling foundation.
This 24-hour-wear makeup comes with buildable medium-to-full coverage for a natural matte finish, which is perfect for a flawless canvas on camera. It is also oil-free and oil-controlling, waterproof and transfer-resistant, so it stays put even if you are sweating buckets under the strong indoor lighting.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF 10 Foundation retails at SGD70 in all Estee Lauder counters and boutiques, Sephora stores and website.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation
This foundation was created specially for use in the film and TV industry: it claims to look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye, so everyone will just think that you have naturally flawless skin.
The Ultra HD Foundation from Make UP For Ever provides medium coverage, and is made with a light-diffusing formula to make skin look perfect while feeling moisturised. The fluid texture makes this ideal for all skin types, and its incredible shade range perfect for most skin colours to use as well.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation retails at SGD72 in all Sephora stores and website.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless Foundation
Most foundations with high SPF can cause flashback, but not this one from Marc Jacobs Beauty!
It is the first-to-market, flashback-free SPF 25 foundation that can protect you from the sun while making sure that you look stunning on camera, which is very useful as you are not totally protected from UV damage even if you are indoors.
The Shameless Foundation also promises up to 24-hour longwear, so you can be sure that your makeup stays on from dawn to dusk, no matter how long your photoshoot may take.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless Foundation retails at SGD74 in all Sephora stores and website.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
If you are craving a bit of glow on your skin but don’t want to look greasy, opt for the iconic Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. This lightweight foundation glides on skin evenly to give you a lit-from-within glow and blur any imperfections you don’t want to see in your photographs.
This foundation is suitable for all skin types, so even those with oily, acne-prone skin can use it to create a perfect canvas that really lasts.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundations retails at SGD90 in Giorgio Armani Beauty’s boutique, as well as on iShopChangi.
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