1. Apply your eye makeup first so stray eyeshadow doesn't mess up your foundation.
"Doing your eye makeup before you apply your foundation allows your skin to look it's freshest, since you can wipe away any eye shadow or mascara residue that falls onto your cheeks without a trace," says Georgie Eisdell, who makes up the faces of Dianna Agron, Carey Mulligan, Amanda Seyfried, just to name a few. "Just remember that less is best, so start with a softly-shaded shadow and then build on that to be sure you don't apply too much. Overdoing your makeup can instantly make you look older in real life and especially in photos."
2. Line the upper inner rim of your eye.
"If you really want a defined eye, trace the upper inner rim of your eye with a waterproof eye liner to make your lashes look that much fuller, and to help define the shape of your eye," adds Eisdell.
3. Add lots and lots of mascara.
"After you've applied your shadow and liner of choice, swipe on a few coats of mascara," states Eisdell. "Wearing lots of it opens up the eye and brings focus to it; if you don't have on any mascara in a picture, you'll disappear." A surefire way to apply it, says Eisdell, is to "blink down onto the brush head, so it gets really close to the lash line, and then wiggle it to the ends of your lashes. This technique really coats them from root to tip."
4. Try a slightly sheer foundation.
"In pictures, it's important that your skin looks flawless, but you also want it to look like your skin, not totally covered up," says Eisdell. "So, if you have freckles and you want them to show, but you have redness elsewhere that you want to camoflauge, for example, go for a formula that is sheer, yet offers coverage." Two she suggests are Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 and Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Treatment Foundation.
4. Put foundation on your ears.
"If you're someone whose ears get hot and red often, it's important to address them with foundation so they don't standout in a picture and look totally separate from your face," Eisdell warns. "Simply prep your ears with the same base that you spread onto to your complexion, that way your entire application is seamless and you look flawless."
5. Skip highlighting the inner "V" corners of your eyes.
Eisdell recommends avoiding champagne-colored highlighter or shadow on the inner corner of your eyes. "It's a full-on look that often doesn't read well on camera. Instead, use concealer over that area, and over any dark circles you may have, to brighten up your eyes."
6. Contour your face with a blush brush to add angles.
"Contouring is all about calling attention to your good features and shadowing the ones you don't want to highlight," says Eisdell. "Using a blush brush, which applies the matte bronzer more directly to your skin, sweep the formula along your hairline, over your temples, under your cheekbones, and on the underside of your jawline to give your face a more angular appearance." Try the Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Tapered Blush Brush and Cargo Bronzer.
7. Add blush for subtle dimension — especially if you're not a fan of bronzer.
"Blush can also be used to create contour and shape the face," notes Eisdell. "Even if the photo is black and white, with blush on your cheekbones, you'll still have the look of definition. Just choose a shade that is a little darker and unexpected — not your average soft rosy pink — so that it pops on camera." To apply it properly, she says to "dust your blush brush over the cheek color, tap off any excess if it's a powder, smile, and then gently sweep the blush over the apples of your cheeks out toward the top of your ear, stopping before your hairline." Eisdell suggests Tom Ford Cheek Colour in Flush, a powder that suits any skin tone, because it doesn't have any brown, orange, or red undertones, which is what makes it universally flattering.
8. Fill in your brows.
"A strong eyebrow gives structure to your eyes and face," says Eisdell. "Just by filling in your brows — with a pencil, powder, or brow mascara so they look fuller and longer — can open up your eyes so much more, leaving you with added definition." Try Maybelline New York Define-a-Brow Pencil, Anastasia Brow Powder Duo, or Nars Colored Brow Gel.
9. Moisten your lips for a youthful glow.
"In any picture, you always want to make sure your lips are hydrated, so they don't look flaky on camera," she says. "So whether you use a tinted lip balm, moisturizing lipstick, or a gloss, always strive for that luscious look. If you're going for a more matte lip look, dab a bit of lip balm over your lips, just so they don't look dry." Moist lips look more youthful.
10. Dab your face with masking tape.
Eisdell recommends patting masking tape on your face, before powdering it, to pick up any residue that fell under your eyes as your makeup settled. "The stickiness is enough to grab flecks of eyeshadow and mascara, but isn't strong enough to remove your foundation or concealer." Then, dust translucent powder over the face. "Doing so soaks up the oil on your face that will otherwise interact with the flash and create hot spots," explains Eisdell, who recommends La Mer The Powder. "I usually apply it to my clients' T-zones, using a small powder brush."
11. Brush your hair with a boar bristle brush to kep frizz at bay.
"Always tame your flyaways before taking a picture, because you don't want your end result to look frizzy," says J. Ryan Roberts, a commercial beauty and fashion photographer in NYC. "I'm always working with hairstylists that help me get the models we're shooting to look their best, and while not everyone can have a pro on hand, a trick as simple as running a boar bristle brush through your hair before someone snaps a picture of you can instantly bring some body back into it and help calm frizz." Try Sonia Kashuk Hair Brush, a mix of boar and nylon bristles that will help boost shine and volume.
12. Smile — but don't smile too big.
"Be aware of how big you smile, because when you smile really big, your eyes tend to crinkle up and character lines (a.k.a wrinkles) begin to form," says Roberts. He suggests practicing your smile in the mirror. "Get a feel for a smile you like and then flash that exact grin when someone takes your picture."
13. Take pictures at dawn or dust, but never midday.
"Be aware of the time of day you're taking pictures," says Roberts. "If you're shooting early in the morning, the light will be a cool blue hue and will be at a much lower point, so it won't cast any unsightly shadows on your face. From noon to four or five, the sun is right over you, so your forehead will be brightly lit and shadows will be cast onto your eyes from your brows, so try to avoid taking pictures during that time if you can. If you do have to shoot midday outside, set the camera on flash, so that the shadow pockets will be filled by the flash. From five until sunset, the light is a warmer, golden tone and is also more in front of your face, so you won't have to worry about shadows then either."
14. Take advantage of a cloudy day.
"A cloudy day brings about nice, soft light that will leave less emphasis on character lines (crow's feet, subtle wrinkles) that you might focus on in a bad way," Roberts explains. "The clouds, and even a shaded spot, act as a diffusion, making the photo look softer."
15. Use a white wall as your backdrop.
"This is another way to bring brightness to your face: standing in front of a white wall," Roberts says. "You always want to be facing the light source, otherwise there will be shadows on your face, and a white wall will always give you a more crisp shot."
16. Work your angles.
"In beauty photography, an angle can make you look completely different," Roberts says. "To find your best one, go through past photos and find a pose you really like, and then replicate that angle."
17. Always elevate your camera and tilt it down to get the best angle.
"You always want to make sure your light source is slightly elevated, so that you see less of what is below your chin," explains Roberts. "So anytime you're taking a picture of yourself — or of someone else — raise your camera up around forehead level and and tilt the camera downward to get the best angle. Taking a picture of someone from down low will only empasize their neck and chin." Not cute.
18. When taking a selfie, hand the camera to the tallest person — who has the longest arms.
When taking a "groupie," handing the camera to the person with the longest arms will allow everyone to get in the frame, plus they can hold it upward while tilting it downward with ease, so everyone is at their best angle.
19. Create your own soft focus.
"When you're using the flash on your camera, obviously you won't have the equipment a professional would, so if you want that soft-diffused finish everyone loves, take a piece of wax paper, cut it into a two foot by two foot square, and then hold it out so it's in front of the flash but not visible in the frame," explains Roberts. "The flash has to shoot through it and since wax paper isn't clear, it will give the photo that dreamy, filtered effect."
There, now your Instagram photos will now be better than any of your girlfriends'.
Photo Credit: Getty Images