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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.

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Tags: Christmas , Lifestyle , photographs

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