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How to Take Flawless Selfies, According to Celebrity Makeup Artists

How to Take Flawless Selfies, According to Celebrity Makeup Artists
Nail that selfie!

A makeup artist's Instagram account doubles as their online portfolio. It is how they make themselves more accessible, and it helps their potential clients decide if they're the best one for the job. So take your cue from these experts on how to up your IG game! Channel your inner photography nerd and document your selfies like a pro. Below are some tips to do just that!


1. Invest in proper lighting equipment.

Like photographers, makeup artists should be willing to spend a pretty penny for good lighting equipment. Because no matter how well you do someone's makeup (or yours), posting a badly-lit photo can discredit your skills.

For a pro-level set-up, Ylona Garcia's go-to Anthea Bueno loves The Makeup Light. "It's neither stark white nor too warm, and I like using it since it's compact," says the makeup artist.

Gery Penaso, who glams up Pia Wurtzbach, uses a small ring light for his photos. He shares, "I want my lights to be cool, rather than warm. Cool light tends to be more similar to daylight than warm lights, which can make the photo look too yellow and saturated."

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Glamcor Classic Elite Light Kit, P13500, Suesh

But if it's a flexible one you need, Yassi Pressman's makeup artist Mikka Marcaida recommends the Glamcor. "Different work situations require different lighting, so always do your research," she says. "Aside from that, just experiment [with different lights]. Feel free to change what you use until you find what works for you."

2. Go for a clean, plain background.

The less distractions there are in your photo, the better. "This brings all the focus to the makeup and hair," Mikka explains. A wall with a solid color is the best option for makeup selfies, so scout your location for one if you have time to spare. It saves you from having to blur the background, too!


That said, your backdrop doesn't necessarily have to be white. As long as it doesn't clash with the look and is clean enough, go for it!

3. Find your (or your client's) best angle.

Makeup selfies don't always have to be full frontal, so take multiple photos in different angles whenever possible. After all, your photo should both highlight the subject's best features and show off your makeup skills! Don't be afraid to direct your subject to get the best shot either, especially if they aren't celebrities.

"For my clients who are not used of being in front of the camera, I would normally help them with their poses," says Gery. "If they have cute nails, I'll add it in our beauty shot. A wind-blown effect also works if you went for a no-makeup look. You just have to be creative."


4. Do minimal editing.

Post-processing your photos doesn't mean that you're faking it. As long as you don't apply a heavy filter that blurs the skin out too much and discolors the photo, small tweaks are no issue. Focus on making the photo more vibrant, clean, and sharp.

The built-in editing software on Instagram works well for small adjustments, but apps like Snapseed and VSCO Cam will give you more options and control.

5. Decide which camera suits your needs.

Gery and Mikka say that a good-quality phone camera works for them, provided that you take note of the previous tips. The iPhone 7 and Huawei P10 are worth checking out. Mirrorless cameras are also becoming more popular among makeup artists recently. Anthea uses her Leica D-Lux Typ 109 to achieve the sharp and saturated look of her pictures.


6. Use a reflector.

Tricky lighting? Nothing a good reflector can't solve. According to Mikka, she bounces off harsh lighting with a reflector so her subject doesn't become overexposed. They also come in handy if you want to direct a natural light source to the face!

7. Maximize natural light.

"It's the best light source; it's free and it registers well on camera," says Gery. So even if you packed a makeup light with you, opt to go natural when possible. Remember: makeup that looks good under natural light is a definite crowd pleaser.


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