Guest Blog – Cari Knapp – Professional Makeup

Chris here, just letting you know today I have an awesome guest blog from Cari Knapp that she wrote for my senior website Astoria Senior Photography on makeup. Iā€™m posting it here as well because it offers many great makeup tips to consider when getting photographed. Enjoy.

Hey friends! What is up? Today I have a super exciting post for you. I have teamed up with Chris Kryzanek of Astoria Senior Photography to show you guys how to achieve perfect makeup for professional photos! I have gathered up all of my tips I have learned so you too can have that flawless face in your photos!
For starters, let's acknowledge the elephant in the room: "I don't wear make up, why would I wear them for professional photos?

Harsh light - no makeup
Harsh light - no makeup

This is why. Professional lighting is harsher. This lighting shows everything - things the naked eye can't see. As you can tell in these photos, one is without any makeup, with no editing of the photo vs no makeup with edited/retouched skin. The two bottom photos are the same, one with editing and one without. As you can tell in these photos makeup makes a HUGE difference. Now that that's cleared up, let's get into this post. Shall we? šŸ˜‰

Harsh light - no makeup - un-retouched and retouched
Harsh light - no makeup - un-retouched and retouched
Harsh light - makeup - un-retouched and retouched
Harsh light - makeup - un-retouched and retouched

Tip 1: Starts with skin care: It's kind of self explanatory, but for your makeup to look flawless, it starts with good skin. I recommend getting on a skin care regimen that you can stick with and be consistent with every day to avoid blemishes, dry skin and dull skin. Your makeup only looks as good as your skin, so take care of it. Trust me. (I learned this the hard way)

Tip 2: Use A Hydrating Mask the Night Before: When it comes to professional photography it's important that your skin is properly moisturized. I recommend using a hydrating mask the night before your shoot. Camera lighting shows everything the natural eye can't see so make sure your face doesn't look like the Sahara Desert. A hydrating mask will balance out the pigment in your skin, brighten it, and make it look healthy plump and hydrated. It will be your skin's best friend, trust me. Ladies who have oily skin, I know this might scare you, but I have oily skin and using a hydrating mask has actually balanced out the oil in my skin.

Tip 3: Use A Full Coverage Foundation. Ladies trust me when I say this. I don't care if you want the "natural look." Full coverage is the only way you will get that flawless face in your photos. Using a full coverage matte foundation will keep any oil on your face at bay, which is VERY important when using flash photography. Flash photography will show ANY shine on your face, which can kind of make you look like an oily mess. No one wants that.

Tip 4: Use Powder to Set Your Makeup. Now, full coverage foundation is only the first step. You want to make sure you use a TRANSLUCENT setting powder. preferably one without SPF to avoid looking ghostly with a lovely white film over your face that only shows up in flash photography.

Prom makeup mistake
Prom makeup mistake

A GREAT powder I recommend is Laura Mercier Translucent powder. Now this is a little expensive, so if you're in need of a good dupe, I've heard Revlon Photo Ready Powder is okay. *Hint Hint* Go to Sephora and ask for a sample of the Laura Mercier and save it till your photos. It's worth the splurge, but if you are only doing it for photos, just get a sample, it's the free way to go.

Tip 5: Don't Forget To Contour. Okay I know it seems like everything is a must (pshh it kind of is) but contouring will SERIOUSLY transform your face in photos. Remember, the camera adds 10 lbs and it will be very noticeable in the face. So, to make sure you don't look like humpty dumpty use a cool-tone taupe eye shadow or a contour shade to "enhance" your already beautiful bone structure. Than add bronzer to put some life and warmth back into your casper face šŸ™‚ You don't want to look back on your pictures realizing your face looked like Mrs. potato head. Trust me, I learned this the hard way hah!

Tip 6: Use Matte Eyeshadows. Science lesson folks! Shimmer shadows or skin reflect light, while matte absorbs light. That being said, when you add shimmer to your eyes in flash photography, it's going to flash back at you, all you are going to see is shimmer, which, yes, is gorgeous for instagram photos. Professional photography is a different game than glorified selfies. You want to look like yourself, and the focus of the photo be you, not that beaming highlight or new glitter eye shadow you've been dying to try out.

Tip 7: Use Lip Scrub to Avoid Crusty Lips. This one is kind of a no brainer. Like we talked about earlier, flash photography will show everything - that includes your super-chapped crusty lips. You won't be able to hide it under all that chapstick; everyone will know, hah! I recommend using a nice sugar scrub. I use Lush Cosmetics lip scrub, and they are my absolute favorite. Another tip: the night before your photos, rub coconut oil all over your lips and sleep overnight like that allowing all that coconutty goodness to soak into your lips so when you wake up they are properly nourished and moisturized.

Tip 8: Matte Lipstick Will Be Your BFF. This goes along with the matte eye shadows; any shimmer will reflect the light and be the first thing people's eyes gravitate towards. Using a neutral matte lipstick will look beautiful but will also focus on all the other gorgeous details on your face. Side note* Matte lipsticks also show no mercy and will emphasize everything on your lips. That's why I made it a point to use a lip scrub.

Tip 9: Only Highlight High Points On Face. Now, personally I can't live without highlight. Its almost a problem. But there comes a time and place for THAT GLOW DOE or just a subtle shimmer that helps emphasize the certian features on your face (cheekbones, nose, cupid's bow, browbone, and above the brow). For photos I suggest leaning more towards the glow from within look. Now obviously if you're a highlighter whore, you can find a happy medium. I get it, the glow is life, just try to not blind your photographer. šŸ˜‰

Tip 10: Invest In Makeup Setting Spray. Setting spray is seriously underestimated. It was just this last year I finally tried it out and it was a game changer. Setting spray helps all the products you put on your face melt into your skin, creating an armor to prevent the dreaded cake face and helps to make it bullet proof so it will stay put all day. I know from experience if I use setting spray my makeup is good to go all day, but when I forget to use it my face is melting off 4 hours into my day, and everyone knows how much of this crap I put on my face. Ha, it makes a difference. Well there you have it folks! My tips and tricks to achieve perfect make up for professional photos! I hope you all enjoyed this post and learned something new! As always I had a blast writing this post and I will see you in my next one! Let me know what your tips and tricks are for photos or if I forgot anything. I would love to hear what you guys have to say! Until next time, stay BeYOUTiful! muah!

Cari Knapp is the face behind Blonde & Beyoutiful. You can find more about her at or follow her on instagram at

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