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Makeup Guide for Engagment Photographs

Makeup Guide for a Great Seattle Engagement Session

Having a fun and successful engagement photography session in Seattle doesn't require extensive makeup or a day at the saloon. You can do your own makeup, and many of our engaged couples choose to go this route. But we thought it would be helpful to make a quick list of some makeup best practices.

Even if you prefer a natural look, the camera has a tendency to exaggerate flaws and create artificial ones. Who needs that? These camera-friendly makeup tips focus on makeup application that enhances rather than detracts from your looks.

Makeup tips for the camera include an array of corrective and dramatic effects as well as enhancing one's natural appearance. The key is to consider that images are two-dimensional, so shadows and highlighted areas may need to be emphasized, de-emphasized or even simulated, for the best overall effect.

Skin, The Canvas: Toned and moisturized skin is essential before you apply makeup. Some suggestions are to give yourself a facial or scrub treatment. Doing this helps minimize uneven or artificial-looking makeup application and promotes a healthy, glowing look.

Minimize Shadows: Photographs are two dimensional. The camera ages the subject by enhancing dark, fine lines and wrinkles. To correct for this, gently apply a shade of concealer makeup to darker areas, preferably one that is a few shades lighter, such as around the eyes, crevices and expression lines. Next, use an upward stroke, apply a light layer of foundation makeup over the face. Make sure to include the lip areas. Blend the makeup at the edges. Except for corrective work, use foundation makeup colors closely matching your natural skin color.

Bronze or Blush: Unless you typically wear bronze or blush, we typically don't recommend using either of them. Only wear them if this is part of your daily makeup routine.

To apply powder bronze or blush: If you do use blush or bronze, we recommend the following guidelines.

  • Shake off excess from the brush and apply gently to cheekbones and above the outer corners of eyes to the temple.
  • For a makeup application guide, make a wide peace sign with a hand. Rotate 90 degrees towards your nose. Palms out, place the point of the "V" at your hairline and align with the corner of your eye and the bottom finger resting on the cheekbone.
  • Focus color at or one finger below this area on the cheek, and at or above this area around the eyes.
  • Apply a second thin layer on checks and blend lightly at edges as needed.

Bronzer makeup can also be applied to the sides of the nose to minimize width. And, a darker shade of blush applied under the cheekbones produces more definition.

Eyes and Lines: Unless you like the look or have the eyes for it, avoid harsh lines or the raccoon look, it makes the eyes look smaller and deeper set. A suggestion would be to try a smoky colored eyeliner pencil, and smudge a bit if necessary. With liquid eyeliner, an option is to dot the eyeliner next to the eyelash base rather than create a solid line. For a different look, limit liquid eyeliner application to the top eyelid and/or the outer corners of the eyes. Smoky eye shadow applied above the eyelids and blended with the outer corners of the eyes also creates a desirable effect; a highlighted brow area enhances this effect.

To soften lines, lightly wipe the lid and brow area once or twice with a powder makeup brush dipped in light pink blush.

Lips: Most lips can benefit from definition, even when lipstick is not generally used. For a natural but polished look, try a shade or two darker than your lip color, apply lip pencil, smudged lips a bit and use a little gloss or lipstick.

Apply a lighter lip color or gloss only to the center of lips to enhance a pouty look.

Powder: When Not to Shine – Apply a light dusting of translucent powder over your face to avoid shine and set makeup. Concentrate on the T-zone as necessary, and apply sparingly to lined or dry areas.

Eyebrows: Before applying makeup ensure that the eyebrows are properly shaped as they affect facial expression. For a guide, align a pencil vertically along the edge of nostril and inner corner of the eye. Do the same for the outer corner of the eye. This makes a good start and endpoint for the eyebrow. If the eyebrow arch needs help, align the pencil with the edge of the nostril and the outer edge of the iris to determine the highest point of the arch. Tweeze stray brows outside these areas and use an eyebrow pencil for even more definition. However, it is best to avoid significant tweezing just prior to applying makeup.

Red Eyes: To brighten the whites of the eyes and minimize redness line the inner lower eyelid with a light blue eye pencil.