13 Makeup Photography Tips & Ideas For Beginners 💄📸

Updated on June 20, 2023 in Photography by

13 Makeup Photography Tips & Ideas For Beginners 💄📸

For every modeling shoot, the essential part is to make sure that the makeup on your model looks stunning, whether the model is there to represent a product or simply going for individual shots.

Makeup artists use a lot of makeup brands and invest a lot of time in making a look perfect for the shoot. However, it may be in vain if the makeup photography isn’t proper. Your model might look unintentionally too glossy, too overdone, or may appear with too much or too little makeup.

Photography makeup is fantastic art that can make anyone look as they desire. Be it someone they are not or a refined version of oneself. Beauty photography involves a lot of tactics and tricks to ensure that the model looks precisely as wanted (or even better).

Many photographers also use model photo editing techniques to enhance the image’s overall look.

With the help of some practical makeup photography tips, you can make your pictures more professional and captivating.

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13 Makeup Photography Tips & Ideas

1. Use Natural lighting

Use Natural lighting in your makeup photography

Natural lighting is considered the best for makeup photography to accentuate every makeup part. Studio lighting and flashes mostly ruin the look as they sometimes change the makeup color used on the face, and your model might look overexposed to the light if it’s not done correctly.

Natural light is the best solution to such mishaps. Always try to shoot in the open spaces where the light is most available. If you’re shooting indoors, it is better to shoot in front of the largest window. You can use a diffuser or a shower curtain to diffuse the light.

Ensure that the sun is not directly hitting the face for too long, as it may cause the skin to look sweaty and oily and ruin your beauty photography. Using a diffuser will add glow to your model’s face, even the skin tone, and make the eyes look brighter.

2. Keep the Shades Darker

keep the shades darker Makeup Photography

What we see in real life looks very different when captured by the camera. With lighting, lenses, and angles, the makeup you can see live may fade away in your images.

Hence, I prefer that you keep the colors of your makeup bold or its shades twice darker than the original. This will ensure that your model still looks like wearing makeup despite all the lighting and editing.

It is required because when you click the images, your camera lens tends to create a little desaturated version of your actual subject.

3. Use the Foundation

Use foundation during your Makeup Photography

This is one of the best makeup photography tips. Apart from taking images, your subject should be wearing makeup so damn correct that it doesn’t take much effort for you to make it work.

The base of every makeup is the foundation. The heavy foundation may appear cakey on the skin if your foundation is heavy. Your foundation should be so light that it easily blends after the application.

Also, you must be using the shade that best compliments your model’s skin tone. Everyone’s complexion is different. Hence, the same shade won’t work for everyone. Make sure you are not covering every freckle, birthmark, and pores of your model’s face, as too much perfection will look fake and unappealing.

Use the foundation and concealer of a good brand and hire a professional makeup artist if necessary to naturally enhance the quality of your beautiful photography.

4. Try using Fake Lashes

example of using lashes in Makeup Photography

Eyes in an image can highly influence the overall look as they tend to catch the viewers’ gaze in the first place. Eye makeup should be clean and the kind that looks enchanting.

Using fake eyelashes can overly add charm to the whole look. It automatically makes the eyes look more significant and impactful, making your makeup photography look alluring and luscious. If you’re not finding the lashes that suit the model’s look, you can use some photo editing techniques to create the look you prefer.

Here, I recommend hiring a professional Image Editing Service as these experts know better how to edit images without compromising the originality.

They have the skills to edit every detail and corner of the idea easily missed by an amateur, making the image look unattractive and unprofessional.

5. Don’t mess with the natural texture

Keep in mind the texture during Makeup Photography

Long gone are the days when the models were coated with layers of makeup to hide every little scar and spot that was visible. If you try to do that now, your model will end up looking like a moving mannequin.

To make your makeup photography look authentic and natural, try not to hide the skin’s freckles, spots, and texture. Emphasize them. This makes your model look like a human (who he/she is).

The viewers today want makeup photography that is heavenly yet relatable to viewers’ own beings. This not only improves the value of your photos but also conveys how a person can look so beautiful with all of its natural texture and scars.

Also Read: Beauty Product Photography Tips & Ideas You Need In 2023

6. Don’t forget the rest of the part that’ll show in the image

Makeup Photography

Though makeup photography mainly focuses on the face, it is essential to focus on the neck, ears, and shoulders. For example, if your model wears golden bleach for the face, it’ll look funny if the neck and ears aren’t covered in the same shade.

The neck, ears, and shoulders are equally essential to care for. Make sure you put all the base skin products over these parts to make them look even. Covering just the face and not the other parts can ruin your beauty photography.

7. Use the compact powder

Makeup Photography

The constant changing of possessions and changing outfits can make your model sweat. It may not appear evident in person but is highlighted in the images. To avoid this, a single puff of compact powder would cause a great deal.

Make sure that the compact powder you are using is either translucent or matches the complexion of the look. Also, do not use too much of it as it may give you a cakey look.

Use Model Photo Editing techniques to correct unwanted things in your makeup photography shoot.

8. Use a reflector

during Makeup Photography use reflectors to your advantage

Reflectors come in different shapes and colors and are lovely for beauty photography. Choose a small round reflector that is either translucent white (for soft white light) or silver (for direct, sharp white sunlight). This will help you get rid of any visible blemishes and dark circles.

Use the reflector from the opposite angle from which the light is falling on the face of the model. You may consider using an immense concealer, but that can make your model’s eyes look puffy and still give an ‘overly makeup’ look.

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9. Avoid shimmery and glittery

Avoid shimmery and glittery

We know that Cosmetics play a preeminent role in Portrait Photography. Though glittery makeup products look captivating, they are suitable for parties but not for your camera lens. As explained before, your camera sees differently than your eyes.

With lighting and flashes around your model, these tiny shimmers in your compact and blush can reflect back the light. This bounce-back of light can hurt your makeup photography.

A matte or still, a little glossy look would complement your model’s face more than any glittery lipsticks, eye shadows, and all. You can also read top

10. Retouch and freshen up the look

 Retouch and freshen up the look

The makeup tends to fade throughout the long photoshoots, even when using waterproof, long-lasting makeup products. Hence, you must keep retouching your model’s makeup at desirable intervals.

This will keep your model looking fresh throughout the photoshoot. This will not keep your model comfortable and confident during her shoot, but it’ll also make your makeup photography bold and beautiful.

This excellent photography makeup trick doesn’t require hard money or immense effort.

11. Keep Your Camera Close

Keep Your Camera Close

Makeup photography is focused on the face of the model – majorly. So, there’s no point in standing too far from your model. This won’t only capture the unnecessary part of your model but will also demand cropping and extensive editing.

If you are clicking images to flaunt any particular product or part of the face, it is highly suggested to take close-ups.

For example, MAC cosmetics displays closeups of lips to flatter their lipstick shades and bold closeups of their eyes to show off their mascara, eye shadows, and eyeliners.

12. Keep the makeup look put together

Keep the makeup look put together

There’s nothing worse than a scattered, messy look that can deteriorate your makeup photography. Every element you capture in your frame should look polished and sophisticated for your makeup photography skills to stand out.

What I mean by a ‘well-groomed’ look here is that you need to make sure that your models’ hairs are not looking too dry or stuck and frizzy. Use hairspray and hair serums to keep the hair healthy-looking.

Make sure that the eyebrows’ hair isn’t scattering. Keep them in shape. Use an eyebrow pencil or highlighter to enhance the look of the eyes and the whole face.

Ensure that there are no unintentional threads of hair falling on the face. All such natural features are essential, from hairs to eyebrows to soft and plump skin. A put-together look will bring neatness and professionalism to your makeup photography.

13. Use Product Image Editing

Use Product Image Editing

Many photographers neglect the need for image editing or otherwise edit the images unprofessionally. Image editing is a crucial part of bringing everything together in one place. It helps you eliminate every imperfection and amplify every little detail.

To beautify your final images to make them worthy of the competition in the industry. Makeup photography usually stays closely in touch with every industry with glamour.

Therefore, you must hire professional image editing service providers to bring the most out of your images. These professionals know better about skin retouching, de-wrinkling, and much more to make makeup photography images lustrous and captivating.


Makeup photography is a beautiful way to express your perception of the colors and beauty of your models’ features. You can easily stand out from the makeup photos you see on the web by making sure you’re using the right makeup products and the model photo editing techniques.

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