I want to preface this article by saying that makeup can be a very personal thing so if you would like to incorporate one of the things that I say to avoid below, contact me and we can talk about it. First off, I only recommend women, not guys, wear makeup for their sessions.  Lets run through some things to consider when doing your own makeup. The main thing I want you to focus on when doing your own makeup is to, keep it simple! We want your headshot to be an accurate representation of you! I understand you may want to use a lot of makeup in order to look better for your photo shoot but that is what Photoshop is for. Dramatic makeup with lots of colors also very easily date your headshot. We want these photos to be something you are using for a little bit of time but you don’t want to be stuck with a shot with makeup that isn’t going to be in “style” in another year. Natural makeup is always a safe bet.  I interviewed headshot photographer Mathieu Deslandes on this subject and he said, “While thinking of a natural look with makeup, don’t forget this pertains to eyelashes as well. Although false eyelashes are “in” these days, in a closeup photograph of your face they look unnatural and will date your headshot as soon as they go out of style.“

Like I said before, if your main goal when doing your makeup is to cover up some acne and blemishes, don’t worry about it! That stuff is super easy to fix in the retouching process.

There are some specific things I would like for you to avoid when doing your own makeup:

– off skin tone colors.

– Pencilled in eyebrows/eyebrow manipulation. (Especially when there is a harsh ending line)

– Heavy amounts of blush

– Heavy eyeliner that creates a harsh line. 

– Using a powdered foundation (usually visible in sharp digital images)

-unnatural color for lipstick. A little gloss works well on camera. Use something that will even out any uneven tones and hydrate them. 

If you are looking to try something different than the “natural” makeup I have described above, bring it all in. I would rather we started out on the natural side of things so we make sure to get that covered and then we can add more makeup as we go if need be. While we shoot we will be reviewing the photos as we shoot, this is a perfect time to review the makeup and see if we would like to adjust anything. If you usually wear your makeup in a way that doesn’t align with what I have outlined, that is not a problem at all! Give me a call and we can discuss things further.


Hair is another extremely personal thing and it is very important to the overall look of the photo. I ask my clients to come in “hair ready” as they would on a good hair day. I would say you should show up to the studio as you would for an important meeting/interview. If you ever wear a ponytail and your hair is long enough we may want to try it out. Make sure to bring something to tie it up with (if you forget I have a few in the studio).

During your headshot session, speak your mind, let the photographer know if there is something you don’t like about your makeup. You need to feel confident in the photos in order to get good use out of them.

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