Makeup Ideas for Senior Pictures

You won’t be able to wear your usual makeup for senior pictures, but these makeup ideas can help. Make sure your photos look amazing on camera by learning what looks good.

Try a Subtle Smoky Eye Without Sparkle

Eyeshadows often contain mica or other sparkle-enhancing ingredients. In person, this is great, but in photos, it doesn’t work. Sparkles can catch light and distract from your appearance and eyes. Look for makeup that has a flat appearance instead. 

Using the same colors you would normally use, create a bold, smokey eye. Blend the shadow out from the outer corners of your eyes for a bold, yet natural appearance. Also, practice your technique before the day of your portraits.

Show Off Your Lips Without Shine

Your smile plays a huge role in your senior pictures. It can make the difference between a beautiful senior photo and one that feels boring or uninteresting. You can play up your lips instead of your eyes to get the most out of your smile. It’s okay to do this with your favorite lipstick, as long as it’s not too shiny. 

Your lips can glare in photos if they are sparkly or shiny. You can also convert your regular lipstick to a matte lipstick using a product such as Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer if you like the shade but it shines too much.

Make Your Brows the Star

Allow your eyebrows to take center stage if you prefer a simpler, sportier look. Strong, clean brows can make a natural look more polished. Prepare your brows for your portrait session by having them shaped at your local salon a week before. 

For perfect brows, use a brow definer and keep the rest of your makeup simple. You can use the definer to fill in sparse or overtweezed brows or to emphasize the arch if they are sparse. Regardless, practice before your appointment to make sure your brows are perfect.

Layer Concealers to Cover Your Breakouts

Life is stressful, and senior pictures can add to the stress. If you find you have a breakout at the time of your portrait session, remember that your photographer can improve things with retouching. 

However, if you want to cover up any imperfections yourself, you can do so by layering concealers. 

Start with a primer to fill in any scars or dips in your skin, and follow this with a little green concealer to help cancel out redness. Then apply foundation and regular concealer, and finish your makeup routine as usual. 

Again, you’ll want to stay away from sparkle here, since it will draw attention to skin imperfections and reflect light in your photos.

Keep It Light and Fresh

For a natural look that still feels polished, choose light, fresh shades of your favorite products. This works especially well if you want a light, high-key look to your pictures. Use your regular techniques for applying eye makeup, lipstick, and blush, but choose shades that are a bit more neutral and light in tone. 

If you wear foundation, keep that the same. Try out a few looks before the day of your portraits so you can make sure you’re happy with the results. As always, it’s important to steer clear of anything that reflects light.

Use Neutral Makeup With Bold Clothing

If you plan to wear something super bright for your senior portrait session, keep your makeup neutral. This doesn’t mean you have to skip makeup altogether, but stay away from bright colors or bold looks. 

You can do a subtle smoky eye or a little mascara, but pick eye shadow that goes with every color and doesn’t draw attention to itself. The same goes for lips. You can wear lipstick; just choose one in a shade that’s similar to the regular color of your lips. 

Otherwise, your makeup and your clothing will fight for attention in your photos.

Pay Special Attention to Your Eyes With Glasses

If you wear glasses, your eyes can get lost behind the frames in photos. You want your eyes to really show up in your senior pictures, so pay special attention to how you apply your eye makeup. After an eye makeup base, use a peach shadow or other neutral tone to add color to your lids. 

Follow up with a brighter highlighting shade. Then add liner, paying attention to wear your frames hit so you don’t allow the liner to intersect with the frames. Finally, add plenty of mascara to make your lashes show behind your frames. 

Let your mascara dry completely to keep from smearing your frames.

Makeup That Looks Like You

No matter which makeup idea you choose for your senior portraits, be sure you practice it ahead of time. In addition to getting the hang of the technique, you can make sure you’re using makeup that looks like you. 

After all, these are the photos your friends and family will have for years to come.

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