Flawless Photoshoot Tips

Before I took up photography, I was assisting at photoshoots as a makeup artist and hair stylist. That experience gave me a greater understanding of what works and more importantly, what doesn't, when applying makeup for the camera. If you're doing your own makeup for your photoshoot, these simple tips will empower you to look your best in front of the camera. Even if you feel confident doing your own makeup, please still consider these simple rules to ensure your look is suitable for studio lighting. 

Faking it . . . don't you dare!

This first step applies to everyone whether you're doing your own makeup or having it professionally applied.

An example of how fake tan looks in a photograph

Ok, so you think you look better with a tan, but I assure you, even if you don’t see the streaks and unevenness with your naked eye, the camera certainly will. You'll photograph a lot more tanned than you think. Spray tans look orange in colour images. It sits in the pores and emphasises dry patches too.

Please trust me on this! On that same note, no tinted lotions or bronzers on your body. Even after this warning, I still have clients arriving wearing false tan. When this happens, I have to admit, I have a little heart sink moment! 

It's all in the Prep

Ensure your skin is properly prepped before applying your makeup. Cleanse thoroughly and use a gentle exfoliator or enzyme peel to remove any dry flaky skin. Apply a light moisturiser (without UV protection).

The Eyes Have It

If you're going for eye shadow, especially for a smoky look, do your eye makeup first. Use a little moisturiser on a cotton bud or a pad to quickly remove any spillages.


Primer serves as a base for your makeup, creating a smooth and even surface on your skin. They help foundation, concealer, and other makeup products glide on more easily and evenly, allowing for a more flawless finish. If you have oily skin, look for one that controls oil. For dryer skin types, certain primers contain ingredients that can hydrate and nourish.


Foundations with a matte or satin finish tend to work better on camera compared to those with a dewy finish, as they can help reduce the appearance of shine and oily spots. Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly, as any mismatch can become more apparent in photographs. Don't be tempted to apply too much. Apply in thin layers and blend well. Skin that's covered in thick, mask-like foundation doesn't photograph well.

All that Glitters

This has to be my most important tip! Avoid heavy shimmer. Minimise the use of products with a shimmering finish, as they reflect light excessively and create unwanted glare on camera. The reflection from the shimmer, removes detail from the skin. Once that's lost there's no way to remedy it!


Avoid heavy contouring. Use subtle contouring techniques to add dimension to your face, as camera lighting can sometimes flatten features. Blend very carefully to create a natural look.


Define your brows: Fill in your eyebrows to frame your face and enhance your overall look. Choose a shade that matches your natural eyebrow colour.


Set your foundation and concealer with an ultrafine translucent powder to minimise shine and help your makeup stay in place. Powder lightly over the T-Zone area only.


Before applying your chosen lip colour, use a lip liner that matches the shade of your lipstick. Outline your lips carefully to define their shape and prevent any feathering or bleeding of the lip colour. You can also fill in your lips with your pencil which will ensure the colour lasts. Fill in your lips with your chosen lip colour for a long-lasting and well-defined finish that will stand out in your photos.

Remember to practice these techniques before your photoshoot to ensure that you're comfortable and confident in achieving your desired camera-ready makeup look.