Posted January 16, 2012 by Hilary Kennedy in Beauty

How To Look Good in Photos


of women feel like they don’t measure up compared to the images of ‘beauty’ portrayed in the media. To that I say, Duh!  Everything is airbrushed and photoshopped to death these days, and we never truly know what is real and what is a figment of Adobe’s imagination.  Case in point: these Jessica Alba and Kim K photos that are “before” and “after”.  Pretty interesting, eh?

Celebrities Before and After Photoshop

Celebrities Before and After Photoshop

Though most professional photos taken employ these (mostly helpful) tactics, it’s still wise to be prepared to look your best without digital help.  Here are a few no-brainer tips, as well as a few secrets of the stars.

Tip #1:  Get plenty of sleep the night before you have your photo taken. 

No one likes dark circles under their eyes, or big, puffy bags under them, either.  Besides getting to bed and sleeping for a full seven or eight hours, try to sleep on your back instead of your face.  Pillow case lines on your cheeks are not a good look.

Tip #2: Avoid alcohol, sugar, and salt.

These deliciously decadent items can derail your face faster than Lohan’s drug use.  They can puff you up in places that you don’t want them to, adding what will appear to be a few pounds to your face.  Want a fatter face? I thought so. Just say “No” the day or two before.

Tip #3: If you violated Tip #2, use Preparation H Creme under your eyes.  Seriously.

This old pageant trick works like magic.  Put a little Preparation H under your eyes to shrink the blood vessels that are causing that unsightly swelling.  Mind you, UNDER your eyes, not in them.

Tip #4: Stick with solid colors for picture day.

Though patterns and prints are more fun and flirty, solid colors will show up better, keep the attention on your features, and remain classic longer than any other style.  Pick colors that look best on you: primary colors are always a good choice.  Royal blue is a favorite of photographers because it looks good on every skin tone, gives the appearance of confidence, and warms up your face.  You can’t go wrong with royal blue if you don’t have a color that is “your” color.

Blythe blouse in silk
Cashmere cable boatneck sweater

Tip#5: A little teeth whitening never hurt anyone.

Not everyone has teeth that can withstand those bleaching creams, whitening strips, or laser treatments.  If you fall into that category, brush with a little hydrogen peroxide to remove surface stains on your pearly whites.  Brush with it only-no swallowing this stuff, okay?

Tip #6: Don’t leave your face a blank canvas.

Ladies, wear a natural palette of cosmetics and a lipstick that isn’t too nude.  If you are a lady who doesn’t like to wear make-up, at the very least use a tinted moisturizer.  Bronzer is also your best friend to warm up pale skin and give the appearance of a thinner face with a healthy glow.  Add a sweeping of non-glittery bronzer to your temples, bridge of your nose, cheeks, and jawline.  Men, you can sport a tinted moisturizer as well, or a translucent face powder to cut down on shine. It will make you look 100% better, I promise. We won’t tell your buddies.

Tip #7: Practice a soft, natural smile with your camera phone.

One thing I learned from shooting with helpful photographers is to keep a relaxed face.  Half the time I don’t even realize I’m scrunching my face up in deep thought or stressful thinking, but we all do it.  Unclench your jaw. Breathe deep.  Relax your eyebrows, forehead, and cheeks.  Make your mouth soft and”gummy”.  Blow a stream of air out of your mouth slowly, as if you are blowing into a straw.  Now, slowly smile…not until your cheeks hurt, but just until you feel a soft, kind smile come across your face.  Practice this a few times, and snap a few photos with your camera phone.  Look through the photos you’ve snapped and pick the one that best represents you, and remember that pose for later when the big show starts.

Tip #8:  Think of your best-kept secret.

One of the best things I was ever told was to look into the lens of a camera and think of a secret that no one else knows about.  This air of mystery and mischievousness somehow translates into the lens and makes you more attractive.  Try it.

Tip #9: Wear deoderant and anti-perspirant.

It gets pretty doggone hot under those lights or out in the sun.  “Nuff said.

Now, get out there and take some gorgeous new snaps that can be uploaded to your Facebook profile just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Hilary Kennedy

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Hilary Kennedy is a contributing author for YouPlusStyle, focusing primarily on Style, Arts and Entertainment, and Dating and Relationships. Hilary also stars in many videos for YouPlusMedia.