AskCara Beauty Basics HAC Makeup Tips & Tricks

Tips for Photo Makeup

Photography makeup is surprisingly different from day to day makeup.
What are those differences??
I thought you might ask…so I made a list for you!

1. Go about 30% more intense with your blush, shadow, mascara (I wrote that with a K the first time haha) & liner.
Outdoor and studio lighting has a tendency to zap the depth out of your makeup, if you look in the mirror and it looks like a touch too much, you are probably right on track. You want your features to be defined so you can show them off!

2. USE HD foundation & products without SPF
SFP is what causes that ghost-like flashback you see in some photos, so avoid that in your primer and foundation

I have really noticed how washed out I look in photos if I’m not wearing a heavier coverage foundation than usual, my photo fav is Makup Forever HD

Lines look twice as harsh in a photo so make sure you blend anything you don’t want to stand out.

4. HAC.
Highlight And Contour, baby. Perfect lighting following you around?
Yes, please.
With your own built in lighting you can even look decent in the DMV lights!
Before & After I learned how to HAC:

{click here for more on that}

5. Easy on the SHIMMER!
Shimmer tends to look awfully reflective in a photo. Try to use mostly matte eye shadows (the shimmery ones won’t show their pigment in the lens as well) And for illuminated skin use products without shimmer like:
Maybelline New York Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer
Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation

6. Some color on your lips.
I know a lot of you are NUDE ONLY ladies, and I love a nude lip too! But you have to remember to either do a 3d nude lip (like this one) or to use a little bit of color, otherwise (especially in the black and whites) you’ll be lipless!

I am a believer it pumping up those lashes for a photo, it will add so much to a profile photo or a looking down pose. Although, I love lash extensions I understand that they are pricey ( I probably couldn’t afford them myself if not for trading) I really love strip lashes too, and they only cost like 4 bucks. Well worth it for some photos. You need the right ones and the right techniques though or it can be much more difficult than it should be! Here is my lash video and these lashes are my favorite.

8. Set with powder.
You want to set with a translucent powder (my almost free recipe). Sweat and oil are magnified by the camera + you need your makeup to stay put. It’s a must. Hot TIP: if you have the cash this setting spray by Urban Decay is worth it’s weight in gold! I can tell a huge difference when I don’t use it.

Products I used on Rachel:

Eyes: Mac Shadow in Concrete (in the crease and to soften the liner), MAC Nylon to highlight & Voluminous Black Eyeliner 
 Lips: Lined with CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eye Pencil in Mink  & glossed with the Balm Plump Your Pucker Tinted Lip Gloss in Water My Melon

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  • Reply
    Angie S
    November 7, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I have to tell ya…your recommendation on Maybelline Dream Lumi has made the BIGGEST impact! I returned to work after maternity leave and I cannot believe the compliments I’ve received on my makeup. I tell everyone about your site and YouTube videos whenever I get a compliment!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Oh GOOD! so glad you love it as much as I do, and congrats on the baby:) Thanks Angie!

      • Reply
        September 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        I had the Maybelline Dream Lumi sitting in my make-up drawer for sometime because I didn’t know how to use it correctly. Cara, you helped me out tremendously…You are an Angel…I now know how to use this product and love how it looks.

  • Reply
    November 7, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Love this post. I can’t tell you how many of my “official government” pictures that I hate looking at. Didn’t know about the 30% more make-up.

    Love your blog and especially the tutorial.

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      That you! It’s the worst when the photo is bad and it just stares at you from your wallet all the time! haha I have had some BAD ones!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

    OMG, your sister’s makeup is STUNNING! It’s exactly what I want to do for my destination wedding. Please do a tutorial on this look, or at least tell us what products you used! Before my wedding. In 2 weeks. Hahah.

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Tutorial this week Promise! Right in time for your wedding CONGRATS! And…I know, she is WAY too pretty:)

  • Reply
    November 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I’m a local photog always looking for tips for my clients before photo shoots. I’m totally sending them here. Thanks for the great post!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      That would be amazing ! Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2012 at 11:22 am

    YOu’re gorgeous! I could never get my ID picture to look half as good as yours! lol Love your blog, just started following you… Thanks for the tips!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks Roshelle! haha Oh man, I wish I could have found my older ID’s they were MUCH worse!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for the great post! These tips will come in handy for the Holidays and family Christmas cards! Thanks again – you are amazing!!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks Nicole, happy holiday photos to you:)

  • Reply
    November 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Love the post, just getting ready for pictures here! I am local and would love to know who did the hair color in this photo, it is beautiful. Would you mind sharing?

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Thank you!! ANd of course not, we love telling people about Nicole Friedel at Lunatic Fringe, she is a miracle worker!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    The link for the urban decay setting spray doesn’t work :(! Is it the all nighter?? Ps love your new blog girl!!!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks Lauren! And thanks so much for letting me know I fixed it and YES I love the all-nighter. If you are especially oily go with the Matte version

  • Reply
    November 8, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Hi Cara!
    I found your site from pinterest and i’m obsessed! I’m loving the starter kit too :). I’m kinda new to makeup and I was wondering if you had any tips on what colors never work together and the colors that usually work together? Thanks!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Thank you soooo much! I love your site, my teenage daughter and I both are hooked! I found you on pinterest and showed my daughter and we talk about your stuff all the time 🙂 Keep up the beautiful work…

  • Reply
    November 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

    You have such great ideas. I love makeup, I have tried just about everything to make my mine look as beautiful as yours. I can never get anything to look good on me though, I guess I just don’t have the hands for makeup. I wish I could just hire you to do my makeup everyday. HA!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I come across this at a perfect time, as I have family photos this weekend!

    I have a question about the translucent powder…how do you apply it and where do you apply it? I will definitely need this as I get oily throughout the day but I don’t want to look like a ghost, or like I caked on powder lol

    Thanks in advance for the advice! I LOVE your blog!

  • Reply
    Stacie Frazier
    December 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

    This post actually makes me excited for the next time I have to get a DMV photo taken!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Absolutely love your sister’s makeup in this. I keep returning to this picture! Was there a tutorial posted for this look and I missed it???? Thanks <3

  • Reply
    Alex Pearcy
    December 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    You have the same birthday as me! I freaked out and got all happy when I saw that, just had to point that out, I recently took my sophomore year photos and they turned out amazing, because I read this! Thank you!:)

  • Reply
    January 3, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Hi Cara! I love your blog! I’m so excited to finally be learning how to put my makeup on like an adult and all lady-like in my 30’s! And I have you to thank!! I am getting married this year and I love this post! I can’t wait to try if for my engagement photos! I do have a question for ya though… What translucent powder to you recommend? Thanks so much! XOXO

  • Reply
    January 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Hi cara looove your blog did u ever did a video on rachels makeup if so can you post the link please i really want to know how you did it …can you tell me what foundation you use on her and what blush its amazing pretty look and sorry also the bronzer u use on rachel if any

  • Reply
    January 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Cara, ABSOLUTELY love your blog!! I have family pictures on Saturday and want to do this same look you did on your sister. I have the Pro Pallet and wondered if any of those Mac colors are similar to any colors in the pallet. I can’t afford to go buy the Mac shadows right now. Let me know what you recommend. Thanks for all you do!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I have a few questions regarding the fake eyelashes…. When do they come off? Do they pull out your own eyelashes when you take them off

  • Reply
    April 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I’m trying to figure out how to do the perfect shadow for my eye shape. According to information i’ve found I have a “Droopy hooded eye” which sounds horrible…. My honeymoon is coming up and I was wondering if you had a tutorial on a good summer “beach look” for this eye shape? When I try to do a light smokey eye it never comes out right…

  • Reply
    April 19, 2013 at 3:32 am

    this is awesome!! i was just handed a photoshoot for TOMORROW!!! LOL i’m used to stage make-up, not photo, and i’ll admit, i was a bit panicked… especially since i have to do 5 women that i’ve never met. LOL between this and your video on HACing, i’m feeling much more confident now. 🙂 thanks so much! i’ll be picking up the maybelline blush and some highlighing concealer today! thank-you soooooo much!!! 😀

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Really, i love your blog.. You narrating everything very interestingly and it’s very informative too.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2013 at 5:42 am

    I got a good tip once. Just before u get your pic taken, put some powder or blot the sides of your nose. Makes you look clean and polished. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Cara~you are just amazing!! I love your blog and I have learned so much. The Geek Chic post and your “Mommy Makeup” post have been my favs. So helpful!!! I finally found the Mink liner to try because for YEARS ive been trying to perfect the nude lip without having the disappearing one. With a little practice, WOW!!! It really works well!! Again, thank you for being awesome!! Keep it up!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Ok, I know it’s been almost a year since you posted this, but I just had to comment because as I was admiring your HAC in the driver’s license pic I realized we were born on the same day! I am also from Utah, a brunette with green eyes, and I happen to be a makeup artist too. Funny coincidences! Anyway, I love your blog and am excited to utilize these tips for my family’s Christmas card photo shoot coming up in a couple weeks!

  • Reply
    November 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I also HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Urban Decay setting spray. If you are on a tiny budget, you can get a travel size one at Ulta for MUCH less by the register usually. I am a girl who is pale, blonde, and blue eyed, and my face absorbs makeup. Literally, I can go most of a day when I spray it on, and if I don’t, I could have to reapply hourly to get the same effect.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Your sister is model beautiful! Does she do any modeling? If not she should! She’s missing at least one of her callings if she’s not. 🙂 You did an unbelievable stunning job, Cara! As usual. 🙂 What would we do without you? I shudder to think. 🙂

  • Reply
    Morgan Hart
    April 15, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Love, love, love this! I’m very much a Tinted Moisturizer, simple makeup kind of girl on a daily basis, but having recently started a blog where I need to take pictures of myself these are some great tips for making myself up a little bit more when pictures need to be taken.

    Morgan //

  • Reply
    Jonelle Dansie
    July 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Okay, Love…question for you! I’ve been doing my dangdest to get the formula down, but need a few pointers from a pro: I’m the rhythm guitarist for The Jon Dansie Band (proud to say we’re the #1 blues band in Utah!) and…the only girl. Needless to say, I’m front and center and always under tons of lights, video cameras (one of our venues shows the band on HUGE big screens all over the place!!) as well as still photography. It’s hot. I’m super sweaty. Aaaand, I’m crazy self-conscious about my round face and the angle of me vs crowd. Anyway, I just ordered a HAC Pack from you, but was wondering-how do I combat all of the external things and still look, well, GOOD? I tend to look shiny and washed out…and not very “girl with guitar glamorous”.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    What is the blush that was used for this!

  • Reply
    November 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    grear post! and tips!! 😀

  • Reply
    Marilynn Standridge
    December 31, 2014 at 8:16 am

    hi, my daughter will be doing a portfolio to try to get into modeling, and since I can’t afford a makeup artist to take care of my sweet girl, I will have to do it on my own. Can you help me? She has deep brown eyes and dark hair and an olive completion. She is beautiful, I wish I can show you a picture. I want to show a depth of age in her photos. She is now 16, but I want to show a younger teen (if I can), a sweet sixteen look and an older look – to show a variety of age. I wish I can show you a picture of her. I want her to look amazing and somehow tell a story in her photos. The hair is a different story – I don’t know what I plan to do about that one yet. I can learn how to do makeup, but hair, I don’t think so.

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    May 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Hi, what hair color did you use here? I’ts very nice!

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    June 27, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I wish I had read this sooner! I’m very experienced with makeup, and I always get compliments. However, I recently had photos taken and I was so unhappy with the results. I wish I’d worn more blush and lipstick (I like the nudes, too!), false lashes, and I definitely could have used some good HACing. Well, now I know for next time. Anyway, I love your posts! Even for someone with experience in hair and makeup, I find them very helpful.

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    I wish I had read this sooner! I’m very experienced with makeup, and I always get compliments. However, I recently had photos taken and I was so unhappy with the results. I wish I’d worn more blush and lipstick (I like the nudes, too!), false lashes, and I definitely could have used some good HACing. Well, now I know for next time. Anyway, I love your posts! Even for someone with experience in hair and makeup, I find them very helpful.

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