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DIY Hair and Makeup for Model Photoshoots

Hair & Makeup Tips

Part of preparing for your session is thinking about how you want your hair, makeup, and nails to look.  You have two options – set up an appointment with a professional, or do it yourself.

There are many benefits to letting the professionals help with your pictures:

  • Professional makeup artists have experience in makeup application for photography
  • Different makeup will appear in camera
  • They have high quality products in every shade imaginable
  • Understanding to know how to contour and choose colors that highlight your best features
  • They’ll have you feeling CONFIDENT, BEAUTIFUL, and ready to start your session!

If you can’t afford both hair & makeup, I definitely recommend the makeup application. If neither is in your budget, below are some tips for doing makeup yourself! Contact us to find out more about the professionals we hire.


  • Apply eye and lip makeup SLIGHTLY darker than normal. Cameras don’t pick up the contrast & definition our eyes see in person.
  • Avoid makeup with SPF & mineral makeup. While great for everyday use, they create an unflattering shine.
  • Don’t go overboard with layers of heavy makeup because it’s hard to photograph cakey makeup.
  • Set foundation with translucent powder that reduces shine. Shine is hard to touch up in Photoshop.
  • You might not normally wear lipstick, but I recommend it for your session, even if it’s a shade close to your natural lip color.
  • Mascara is a must. Clean not clumpy. At least 1 coat, 2 if you normally wear mascara.
  • Pastel eye shadows will look washed out so go for a medium or dark, rich tone. Browns and golds are pretty safe!
  • Avoid heavy black eyeliner, which makes your eyes look smaller. Go with gray or brown and blend well if you’re wearing eyeliner.
  • Stay away from sparkles and shimmers because matte makeup will photograph better!

Nails - DO YOUR NAILS!!!

  • Natural nails look great for portraits – just make sure they’re neatly trimmed, filed, buffed, and clean!
  • If you want painted nails, choose a light and neutral color that goes with all of your outfits.
  • Chipped nails look terrible, so wait until the night before your session if you’re painting them!
  • If you’re wearing sandals or going barefoot for any photos, don’t forget your toes too!