How To: Apply Camera-Ready Makeup

by Nicci Levy,
Ladies Who Launch member, Los Angeles

A photographer from a local magazine is coming to your home office to shoot photos of you at work. Or maybe you have to appear on a morning news program to talk about your successful new business. Or perhaps you’ll be videotaped when you speak at an upcoming conference. Whatever great press opportunity is coming down the pike, follow these camera-ready makeup tips to ensure radiant skin, sparkling eyes, and lips that don’t look like an Oreo cookie.

1. Start with clean, moisturized skin. The camera highlights any patches of dry or super oily skin. Give your skin a few seconds to absorb the moisturizer before applying your primer.

2. Apply a foundation primer. This will even out the texture of your skin and help fill in fine lines, acne scars, or pores. Allow the foundation to sit on top of these skin imperfections rather than sink into them. Give the primer about 25 seconds to set before applying foundation.

3. Use a non-SPF liquid or creme foundation. SPF can sometimes give a white cast to the skin on camera. Some suggestions for “camera-happy” foundations: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Prescriptives Flawless Skin, and Chanel Teint Innocence.

4. Be sure to take extra time blending foundation around the hairline and jawline. This will prevent an unattractive line of demarcation that the camera will easily spot. (During your regular beauty routine, always blend foundation well.)

5. Avoid using shimmery bronzers and blush. Generally, most shimmery powders don’t translate well on camera. Use a matte bronzer that is only slightly darker than your skin tone. You want to avoid looking orange.

6. Use an eye shadow base or primer to keep your eye shadow and eyeliner from smudging. Typically where there are cameras, there are also heavy lights. I recommend MAC Paints in a non-shimmery, neutral color like Bare Canvas.

7. Avoid pearlescent eye shadows. Matte eye shadows translate much better on camera. You can use a little bit of shimmer, but use it sparingly: Putting a small amount of a champagne-colored eye shadow in the inner corner of each eye will give a beautiful glimmer and make your eyes look brighter and wider!

8. Keep the eye color shades fairly natural. You want the focus to be on your eyes, not the color of your eye shadow. Bobbi Brown makes matte eye shadows in great neutral shades like beige, soft brown, soft pink, and peachy colors to “pop” the eyes.

9. Use a bit more cheek color than you normally would, and choose a fleshy tone. The goal is to enhance and brighten your face and balance out the eyes and lips. Colors to look for: soft pinks and peachy tones.

10. Lips should be lined with a lip liner that is the same color or a touch lighter than the lipstick. Lip definition is what you’re after, not a dark line around a light center (affectionately called “Oreo Cookie lips”). Choose a lip color that will enhance but not overwhelm your look. Pale or nude-colored lips are a no-no for in front of the camera, so pick something soft, bright, and medium in terms of shade and depth.

Nicci Levy is a member of the Los Angeles Incubator and does private beauty consulting as well as makeup applications and makeup parties.

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