dry skin · eyeshadow · foundation · highlight · Makeup · mascara · oily skin · Uncategorized

How to Look Flawless in Photos

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Having been photographed for 14 years for dance recitals, a dance costume catalog as well as other photo shoots, and now being in my band Stosh, I have had to find the best way to perfect my makeup and make it look flawless in photos while I’m dancing and sweating under bright lights and let me tell ya — sweating while wearing makeup never will be in style.

I also had to make sure my makeup would stay looking as flawless as possible for extended periods of time. Dance recitals last about 2 hours, photo shoots can last 3 hours, and band gigs can last up to 4 hours. Needless to say, I have had a lot of trial and error creating flawless, long-lasting, picture perfect looks.

Keep reading if you want to know my tips and tricks on how you can look flawless in photos too.

STEP 1: Prep and Prime

NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer

Priming not only fills in those lovely large pores, but it also provides a foundation for your makeup to be applied smoother and last longer. Also, using a primer provides a barrier for your skin (similar to sunscreen providing a barrier to the suns rays). Check the ingredients and make sure to purchase a primer that does not contain silicone, as silicone will cause you to break out (and silicone only looks good when it’s added by a plastic surgeon).

My favorite primer for the best photos is NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer.

STEP 2: Flawless Foundation

Marc Jacobs Re(mark)able

There are two types of foundations you can choose depending on the desired look as well as your skin type; dewy or matte. Dewy foundation will give you a moist appearance where as matte foundation will give you a “velvety” finish.


If you are #blessed with dry skin (jealoussss), I recommend using a dewy foundation. My go to dewy foundation is Make Up For Ever Ultra HD. GORGEOUS in photos. Gives you the dewy, moist look and photographs beautifully.


  • moist looking skin
  • youthful-looking glow
  • great for cold climates
  • great for dry skin


  • light to medium coverage
  • must use matte products on rest of face
  • not good for acne-prone skin


Oily skin like me? Go for a matte foundation. My favorite matte foundation is Marc Jacobs Re(mark)able. It is super lightweight and gives you a pore-less finish.


  • light weight
  • good for acne-prone skin
  • withholds well in warm climates
  • full coverage


  • dries quickly
  • have to apply quickly
  • clings onto dry skin patches

Although I recommend picking a foundation based on your skin type, you could favor the opposite finish and that is A.O.K! Just make sure to use a primer that does the opposite of your foundation —- dewy foundation and a powder based primer/ oil-free primer OR matte foundation and an oil based primer.

STEP 3: Contour & Highlight

Processed with MOLDIVThis part can be tricky if you are a newbie, I even still struggle with it sometimes, but if you use the right brush to apply and contour & highlight in these key spots, you can’t go wrong. Cream contour and highlighters are the best because they blend so nicely on your face.

My favorite product for contouring and highlighting is the NYX Wonder Stick. It is a two in one product which makes it super easy to take on the go.

Processed with MOLDIV


Apply your contour (color that is about 2-3 shades darker than your natural color) in 3 parts of your face: around your hairline, jaw line, between the cheek bone and jaw bone, and down the sides of your nose.


Highlighter is meant to brighten up the parts of your face where shadow may be cast, especially when having your photo taken. Apply your highlighter (color that is 2-3 shades lighter than your natural color) in 5 parts of your face: between eyebrows, under eyes, chin, and down the bridge of the nose.

Then gently blend, dabbing and pressing the beauty blender over the products. I tend to blend my contour shade upward and my highlighter shade downward, creating crisp lines where the two meet.

If my contour doesn’t look dark enough, I will add some bronzer to the areas where I applied my cream contour using Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in color Radiant Bronze Light.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? The key is to start minimal. Try out different amounts of product and have fun with it!

STEP 4: Bake

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

Immediately after blending your contour and highlighter, using a triangle sponge, grab some setting powder. When taking photos with a flash, its beyond important to choose a setting powder that has yellow undertones and not white. This is because white setting powder will show up in pictures as blotchy white spots. I tend to useLaura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder because of the yellow undertone and how easy it is to get the product onto the triangle sponge. Apply VERY GENEROUSLY to under eye area in a triangle shape, just like your highlighter. The product should be “caked” on and super obvious to see. 

Now we sit and let it “bake”. The reason it is called “baking” is because having this powder on so heavily, the skin underneath literally acts as an oven by trapping the heat under the product and creating a baked, flawless, natural airbrushed finish.

STEP 5: Enormous Eyes

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV
Urban Decay Naked Palette – Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, and Gunmetal


In order to make your eyes look great in photos, make sure to use darker shadows. When having your photo taken, flashes wash out your face thus making you appear whiter than you naturally are. Therefore, using a dark shadow will show up better in your photos.

Start with an eye shadow primer. I use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging. By applying a primer, your eyeshadow will stay looking flawless longer and you will not get any built up product in the crease of your eyes.

Choose 4 eyeshadow colors. I used the Urban Decay Naked Palette.

One color should be a matte super light cream or pink. This color will cover your eye from the lashes up to your eyebrow bone. I used Virgin.

MAC Prep + Prime Fix +

The next color should be a glitter eyeshadow. This will go on the inner side of your eyelid. Using MAC Prep + Prime Fix +, generously spray onto an eyeshadow brush and then apply the shadow onto the lid by gently pressing the wet brush full of glitter shadow on the inner part of your eyelid. Using glitter eyeshadow on the inner part of your eye makes your eyes appear brighter and bigger (and looks gorgeous, duh). I used Half Baked.

The next two colors are your main colors – these should be about 2 to 3 shades apart from one another. The lighter shade will blend from the glitter shadow to the outer part of your eyelid. I used Buck. The darker shade is going to go right into the outer crease of your eyelid. I used Darkhorse. Blend until the colors seamlessly come together.

Then, using the darker shade, blend below lower lash-line from the middle to the outer edge to create a more dramatic look.


Using the NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker, apply RIGHT above the top lashes as close as possible to the lash-line. Only apply where the lashes start and end, gradually making the line thicker on outer lid.


Using TOO FACED Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, apply to upper and lower lashes. Because this mascara is waterproof, there is no way this baby is coming off! I even have trouble wiping it off with a makeup wipe. Starting at the upper lash-line, wiggle the mascara wand through. Let dry. Repeat.

Apply mascara to bottom lashes using the tip of the wand starting at the lash-line and moving down to the tips of the lashes.


Flashes in photos washout your eyebrows, making them appear scarce and patchy. BLAH! But I have just what you need to combat balding brows. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer is the only product I ever use on my eyebrows. Fill in, making the inner brow lighter and gradually darker as you trace to the outer brow.

Your eyes are now ready for bright lights!

STEP 5: Gently Brush off the setting powder

You are now baked to perfection!

STEP 6: Blushing Babe

NARS Blush

Because I use a matte foundation (darn oily skin), I use blush that has a shimmer in it to give my skin some shine. My go-to blush is NARS Blush in color Orgasm. Apply on cheek bones.

STEP 8: Show Stopping Shine

Processed with MOLDIV

Matte foundation is great for oily skin, but the downside is that the finish is velvety verses dewy. In order to create the shine, I use Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Sunlight around my outer eye area and under the outer side of my brow bone. Also, add a little product above the cupids bow of your upper lip to make lips appear larger.

STEP 7: Luscious Lips


To keep your lips from looking great for hours without reapplying, start by filling lips in with a lip liner. I use No7 Precision Lips Pencil. Once you have your lips prepped, apply lipstick. My favorite long-lasting lipsticks are Urban Decay Vice Lipstick. I used the color 1993. Because this is a matte lipstick, and my foundation is matte, I added shine by glossing over 1993 withRevlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in Smokey Topaz.

STEP 9: Set + Play

NYX Makeup Setting Spray- Dewy

No long lasting makeup look is complete without a setting spray. My recent go-to has been NYX Makeup Setting Spray- Dewy

STEP 10: Photo Ready

Grab your camera or IPhoneX and snap away!

xxoo Taylor

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