by Tony Taafe

So you're wondering whether to book a MUA for your upcoming business headshot session. Maybe your company has a headshot photographer booked in to update everybody's corporate headshots, they've sent you the email to confirm the date, but they haven't arranged a makeup artist to get you looking, and more importantly, feeling your best for the big day. What are you gonna do? 

I'd just like to say, this is only for people who are looking for advice. There's a style, a 'look' that I like to my headshots, that I genuinely think works best for corporate headshots. If you have your own style, or look, and don't want to go away from that, that's absolutely fine. I don't want anybody feeling like they can't be themselves or their headshot makeup won't look good. 

That being said, makeup can quickly take over a headshot photograph if it's overdone. That's why these tips are aimed at creating a more natural overall look. So let's get into it...

1, Pre-Shoot Regimen 

A few days before your shoot, I always advise getting into a pre shoot regimen, the first, second, and third part of this regimen, is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! That's right, even you men who don't usually moisturize. Ladies, if you're reading this because your man is coming in for his headshot session and he doesn't own his own, it's time to hide the expensive creams! Leave a tub of CVS stuff lying around the place, that'll do him fine. The fourth part of the regimen is drink plenty of water. The whole reason for this regimen is that hydrated skin looks great on camera. 

2, Using your own MUA (Makeup Artist).

If you decide to use a makeup artist that isn't associated with the photographer, that's absolutely fine, but don't just use any makeup artist. When researching, ask if they have experience in on-camera makeup, specifically for photography. MUAs are paid to apply makeup, and they LOVE to apply makeup, lots of it. A MUA with no on-camera experience will most likely put too much makeup on you. Not because they're bad at their job, but MUAs with on camera experience will know that we need it lighter than usual so it doesn't look piled on in your images.  We specifically want to avoid a heavy base and too much eye makeup.

3, Skin. 

Now I know there's a lot to consider with skin types when it comes to foundation.  I always suggest using a liquid foundation whenever possible for headshots. This isn't a strict rule. I know some people use powder for a manner of different reasons. The main reason I suggest liquid foundation, is because as with Tip 1, hydrated skin looks amazing on camera. I find that powder foundation sometimes tends to make the skin look dry, also it can appear caked on a little easier due to the residue it can sometimes leave behind. Also, if you have freckles, please try not to hide them under makeup. Your freckles look cool!

The main objective when applying makeup to your face is to even out skin tone. It doesn't have to be perfect, we've all got imperfections, and I've got a great retoucher who takes care of them for us.

4, Brows.

They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some of us are blessed in the brow department, some of us are not. It is what it is. My advice with brows, juice them up if they need juicing up. Meaning lightly fill them in, don't go overboard.  If you're one of the lucky few who are winning the natural brow game, I salute you. Don't fill them in if they're already thick, that's just greedy.  ;)  

5, Lips

With lips, there's not a whole lot you can do. There is however a few things you shouldn't do. 

Let's start with The Do's; Light gloss for women, light lip balm for men.

The don'ts; Lip liner is unnecessary, it will stand out a mile and take away from the natural look we're putting all of this effort in for. One thing that I've noticed some people do, and I kinda understand why they do it, but it's a not a great look, is applying the gloss past the edges of the lips. So as to make the lips appear bigger. The camera picks this up straight away, and my retoucher doesn't thank me when I tell him he has to remove it afterwards. My retoucher is reeaally good. Please don't make him angry at me.

6, Eyes

Last but certainly not least, is the peepers, as we call them in England.  A lot of my clients comment about how good their eyes look in my headshots.  That's intentional.  I try to make them pop, sparkle, shimmer, jump out of the screen. You get the drift. They're important. And so we don't want to take away from their influence on the overall image by caking them in makeup. I always advise light eye makeup. A nice separation of the lashes, no fake lashes if at all possible. Fake lashes do tend to clump together after a while, and be longer than is humanly normal, but good ones can look natural.   If you use eye shadow, I recommend nude colors that match your skin tone very closely. 

Thanks for reading the post, guys. I really appreciate your time. 

If you'd like to find out more about me or my headshot sessions, click here

It'd be great to chat and see how I can help you up your headshot game!



Scottsdale Headshots
Tony taafe