Latest Stories

Tricks of the Trade

How to make sure you look good in photos


I hate taking family photos during Christmas. I always look terrible in them! What can I do so that I could look better in photos? Is there any makeup I should look out for?

As much as you may want to escape having your photo taken this holiday season, it may be next to impossible, as we Filipinos love taking pictures (hello, Facebook/ Instagram).

Unless you decide to hide out in your house for the next few weeks, you should expect to attend many barkada get-togethers and class reunions, and those will surely involve plenty of cameras.

I like that you’re seeking out ways to look better in photos, instead of completely shutting out the idea. There is a way to do it, and it involves more than editing or deleting the photos. Makeup definitely can help, as well as a few tricks I learned over the years from modeling. With a little practice, you’ll be able to show off that confident smile and, in turn, look great in photos.

Choose your foundation. A good one will even out your complexion and cover blemishes and acne scars—in short, make your skin look flawless in photos. Finding one that matches your skin tone is very important, so make sure you try a couple of shades at the makeup counter.

To get the right tone, line up similar shades against each other along your jaw line. The one that disappears into your skin is the correct match.

Try: Covergirl Clean Sensitive Skin Liquid (P525) if you need a formula that’s fragrance and oil-free (this means less irritation for your skin); Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème (P975) to get a smooth, no-makeup look that won’t flake or cake; and if you need an anti-aging and foundation in one, go for Max Factor Ageless Elixir 2-in-1 Foundation + Serum (P895).

Apply blush. Blusher adds color to your face, giving you a healthy flush. This lends you a look that’s fresh and happy, as long as you don’t overdo it.

I suggest you stick to more natural shades of peach and pink so they easily blend with your skin. If you prefer not to wear makeup that day, you can use a crème blush. You can easily blend this using your fingers to create a natural glow.

Try: Majolica Majorca Cream de Cheek (P495) if you want a blusher that’s long-lasting minus the stickiness; or Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush (P545) to get a natural color that fits all skin tones.

Wear a bright lip color. Sometimes all you need is a touch of color to look great in photos. A bright lip color almost always works, as it can instantly adjust your skin tone, making it brighter or more radiant.

Try: Max Factor Colour Effect Flipstick (P625), which allows you to choose between a rich, creamy lippie or a light and shimmering one. You can wear one, or use both to get the lip color that looks great in photos.

Don’t forget your eyebrows. Eyebrows don’t just have to be groomed; sometimes they need to go a little lighter in order to soften your features and complexion. No, you don’t need to dye your brows in order to make them lighter; these days you can apply an eyebrow mascara or tint, and this washes away with the rest of your makeup.

Try: Majolica Majorca Brow and Lash Colorist (P595) to lighten the color of your brows in an instant. This one can also be used for your lashes, so it’s double purpose.

Get whiter teeth. If getting your teeth whitened over the holidays is out of the question for lack of time, what you need is an instant fix. I recently found a toothpaste that gives you whiter teeth in an instant.

Closeup White Now uses a breakthrough teeth-whitening technology that uses Blue Covarine to make your teeth appear whiter after just one brushing. This smart toothpaste basically uses color science to make it work instantly—blue tones erase yellow, therefore you get teeth that looks whiter.

Smile with your eyes. This is probably the oldest trick in the book when it comes to looking great in photos. More important than all the makeup and poses is being able to smile with your eyes. This is easy. Just think of happy thoughts when you get your photo taken.

Keep in mind: Happy thoughts plus happy smiling eyes equals a great-looking you in photos.

Find your angle. You can’t just be full-on straight when you’re posing for the camera, or else you’ll appear bigger than everyone else. Notice how most people are now finding their angle, or projecting the side of their face that looks more flattering on photos. Yes, our faces are not symmetrical, which means one side will look smaller or thinner than the other.

In order to do this, take photos of yourself in different angles (don’t worry, once you’ve found it you can erase the rest so no one sees them). Choose your best angle, and use it in that group shot. Remember, your body should be angled too in order to look slimmer. Usually, a ¾ angle works; you can also try putting your hand on your waist if you’re feeling more confident.

E-mail the author at ask.kellymisa@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter at @kellymisa; visit kellymisa.tumblr.com.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Christmas , Lifestyle , photographs

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  6. She has become the sex slave of her best friend
  7. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Most criticized books list includes Hunger Games, Perks
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • US weighing military exercises in Eastern Europe
  • Rains loom in Surigao as LPA nears
  • Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week
  • 2 suspected victims of summary execution found dead in N. Cotabato
  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry in Korea
  • Sports

  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus