Admit it, you take selfies. And when you’re dressed up, you take even more. Heck, even when you’re naked there’s probably a flash going off (in this case, learn what not to do from Santa’s nude leak). With that in mind, think of the holidays as key selfie season. But do you know how to look your best when you’re taking a self portrait? We asked celebrity hair and makeup artist Andrea Claire (also a selfie master) for her tips and tricks for looking your best in all of your holiday photos.
Avoid selfie makeup trends
First, despite the trend’s growing popularity, Claire says to stay away from “Instagram eyebrows.” “Instagram eyebrows are the worst! I see these horrific images and wonder, ‘how on earth do they have so many likes?'” she says. She adds that a gradated brow (from light at the thickest part of the brow, to darkest at the end) is neither pretty nor edgy, so don’t bother trying it for your photos. Plus, it’ll look weird in real life at your NYE party. (Remember: You have to leave your home after you take your selfie–what happens on Instagram doesn’t stay on Instagram.)
Speaking of selfie trends, Claire warns about going overboard with contouring. “Subtle contouring is fine, but I would say that most women I see on the streets who do this need more practice. You shouldn’t see the contouring—contouring and highlighting should be seamless and just melt into your skin,” says Claire. She recommends Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar palette for those who just have to contour.
Makeup best bets
“Makeup is all about lighting. What works in reality doesn’t always translate to images,” says Claire. Having said that, Claire says that there are some makeup looks that are universal and should work under any light. Here are her favourites:
“Georgio Armani! It suits every complexion and aids in smooth application of your foundation, whether liquid or powder.”
“Liquid or creams are best, as they reflect light, giving your skin a diffused, even tone with a healthy glow. DaLish Cosmetics has beautiful silky coverage that is not cakey at all.”
“For those who MUST, powder only your t-zone. Try Laura Mercier.
“Everyone must own Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow. ‘Birthday Suit’ is my fave. It has a lovely subtle champagne shimmer that suits everyone from light to medium/dark skin. These cream shadows give a depth to the eye. They’re what I call beauty no-brainers.”
But, she warns not to overdo it with eye makeup. “Too much eye makeup can be hard to master for a selfie. If you want to have dramatic makeup, then complement the look with a dramatic sun flare or a moody nightstand light. Otherwise, simple daylight may look scary. Try with and without flash so you see how the makeup reacts to light, and decide which you like better,” she says.
Think about lighting and angles
Find the best possible light source, whatever it may be. And make sure it’s on your face, not shining away. “A light source can be street lights, candles, a blast from the sun, a flash from a camera—but all of these light sources affect your makeup differently,” says Claire. “Don’t lose sleep over your selfie of the day. There’s always tomorrow’s selfie.”
Claire also suggests top tilting your camera slightly. It’s an angle that flatters everyone. “Never let someone shorter than you take your pic as the angle will be wrong – no one looks good shot from below. Hello double chin!” she says.
Have some fun
Claire has some important reminders for us amateur photographers and makeup artists: “Don’t take selfies seriously. It’s all for fun, so you should have fun with them. And secondly, when we are shooting fashion and beauty on a professional photoshoot it can take literally hundreds of shots before we get that magical one.”