What is the Best Way to Wear Makeup for Headshots?

Your professional headshot is just as important as your business card. It says a lot about who you are and what you represent. So you want to make sure it’s on point.

And while it may be tempting to get all dolled up, that’s the exact opposite of what you want to do. Especially when it comes to your makeup.

When first impressions count, makeup for headshots should be as professional as you are.

Still not sure how to prep to impress? Let’s look at the best way to wear makeup for your next headshots.

head shots

The Most Important Rule

You want a natural look.

Now is not the time to bring out the trendy colors and winged eyeliner. You have to remember this is a professional photograph. So you want to put your best face forward to make a great first impression.

A natural makeup look is all about putting the emphasis on you instead of the makeup. And it’s important to know natural doesn’t mean going light on the application. You don’t want a bare-face, but an effortless, not overly made up appearance.

Now, here are some tips and tricks to keep up your sleeve.


Start with well primed, well-moisturized skin. And it’s best to have any facials or waxing done a week before to avoid any red bumps or mishaps.

Don’t use too much powder. Having your skin be completely matte looks unnatural, flat, and boring. Give your face some dimension with a dewy glow on the cheekbones, brow bones, and the bridge of your nose.

If your T-zone starts to get shiny, keep some oil blotting sheets nearby for a quick touch up.

And ease back on any contouring or bronzing. Those techniques can look harsh and distracting in a photograph.


Natural shades in eyeshadow are the name of the game. Hues that softly emphasis your eyes, such as browns, pinks, peaches, and ivory are best to use. But make sure they don’t have too much glitter or shimmer to them.

Avoid sculpted eyebrows or harshly lined eyeliner. Instead, you want soft lines, almost as if they look blurred. It helps to give a soft-focused effect when photographed.

And darker colors look best on the eyelashes. Black mascara will make your eyes pop and look more awake.


Color on the lips brings life and visual interest to the face. But per the rule, keeping it in neutral colors looks best on camera. Shades in mauves or berry look soft and give the lips just enough color.

Or try going with a lipstick that is a shade darker than your natural lip color.

Avoid anything too bright like pinks and red. You want your eyes to be the first thing people notice in your picture, not your lips.

And lip gloss is perfect for making lips look a bit fuller. Apply a small amount. Too much will look dated and overdone.

But if you’re looking for some examples to draw inspiration from, take it from the experts. Sites like www.mikesansonephotography.com have several awesome headshots with great makeup looks to aim for.

Makeup for Headshots is All about Putting Your Best Face Forward

You’re awesome enough on your own. So let that shine in your photo! All you need is the right makeup for headshots to put the finishing touch on your professional look.

Want to make sure your hair looks good for the photo? Check out these tips for maintaining healthy hair using vitamins and coconut oil.

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