So you’re wondering whether to book a MUA for your upcoming business headshot session. Maybe your company has a headshot photographer booked in to update everybody’s corporate headshots, they’ve sent you the email to confirm the date, but they haven’t arranged a makeup artist to get you looking, and more importantly, feeling your best for the big day. What are you gonna do?
I’d just like to say, this is only for people who are looking for advice. There’s a style, a ‘look’ that I like to my headshots, that I genuinely think works best for corporate headshots. If you have your own style, or look, and don’t want to go away from that, that’s absolutely fine. I don’t want anybody feeling like they can’t be themselves or their headshot makeup won’t look good.
That being said, makeup can quickly take over a headshot photograph if it’s overdone. That’s why these tips are aimed at creating a more natural overall look. So let’s sort this out…
A few days before your shoot, moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! That’s right, even men who don’t usually moisturise. Ladies, if you’re reading this because your man is coming in for his headshot session and he doesn’t own his own, get a tub of cheap stuff from Chemist Warehouse or similar, that’ll do him . Also do drink plenty of filtered water, do this for at least two days, results will stun you. The whole reason for this is that hydrated skin looks great on camera.
Using your own MUA (Makeup Artist)
If you decide to use a makeup artist, that’s absolutely fine, but don’t just use any makeup artist. When researching, ask if they have experience in on camera makeup, specifically for photography. MUAs are paid to apply makeup, and they LOVE to apply makeup, lots of it. We specifically want to avoid a heavy base and too much eye makeup.
There’s a lot to consider with skin types when it comes to foundation. Please use a liquid foundation whenever possible for headshots. This isn’t a strict rule. I know some people use powder for a manner of different reasons. The main reason I suggest liquid foundation, is because, hydrated skin looks amazing on camera. Powder foundation sometimes tends to make the skin look dry, also it might appear caked on due to the residue it can leave behind. If you have freckles, please try not to hide them under makeup. Your freckles look super cool!
The main objective when applying makeup to your face is to even out skin tone. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we’ve all got imperfections, and I’ve got a great retoucher who uses Adobe PhotoShop to take care of them for us.
They come in all colours, shapes, and sizes. Some of us are blessed in the brow department, some of us are not. It is what it is. My advice with brows, fill them if they need to appear plumped up. Meaning lightly fill them in, don’t go overboard. If you’re one of the lucky few who are winning the natural brow game, I salute you. Don’t fill them in if they’re already thick, that’s just showing off!
With lips, there’s not a whole lot you can do. There is however a few things you shouldn’t do.
Let’s start with The Do’s;
Light gloss for women, light lip balm for men.
NO Lip liner it is unnecessary, it will stand out a mile taking away from the natural look we’re putting all of this effort in for.
One thing that I’ve noticed some people do, and I kinda understand why they do it, but it’s a not a great look, is applying the gloss past the edges of the lips. So as to make the lips appear bigger. The camera picks this up straight away, it’s hard to retouch without leaving obvious signs of retouching to a trained eye. Trust me on this, you’ll be rewarded with an awesome image, more importantly my retoucher won’t beat me up!
Last but certainly not least, is the Mirror of your Soul, as we call them in Australia. A lot of my clients comment about how good their eyes look in my headshots. That’s intentional. I try to make them pop, sparkle, shimmer, jump out of the screen. You get the drift. They’re important, so we don’t want to take away from their influence on the overall image by caking them in makeup. I always advise light eye makeup. A nice separation of the lashes, no fake lashes if at all possible. Fake lashes do tend to clump together after a while, and be longer than is humanly normal, but good ones can look natural. If you use eye shadow, I recommend nude colours that match your skin tone very closely.
Hope all the above help you understand my thought process on how to make amazing images!