When Kim Kardashian’s passport picture hit the internet it left me wondering whether it was even real. It looked more like a supermodel headshot from a casting call than a passport picture. But this is when reality hit me: there’s nothing stopping any of us from looking hot in our passport pictures.
To come up with a foolproof plan for even the most cosmetically-challenged woman to follow, I called on my past experience as a make-up artist for Lancome, Dior and Clarins. I’ve been to countless training schools and I’ve really learned first hand what kind of makeup looks best in photographs.
1. Take the time to do your hair properly, but don’t look “overly done”. If you usually wear your hair straight don’t spend hours creating bombshell curls…. just blow-dry it properly and clean up your ends by using a hair straightener. Finish off a small amount of oil to tame flyaways and give your hair some shine!
2. Make your eyes look clear and bright by using redness reducing eye drops. The drops tend to run down your cheeks when you use them, so be sure to use them before you start doing your makeup.
3. Use a foundation to even out your skin tone and cover blemishes. If you don’t have many imperfections you can get way using a beauty balm or tinted moisturizer instead. Using the right shade is crucial when you’re trying to create a natural look. Grab a mirror and head outside to see how your foundation looks in natural sunlight. If your foundation passes this test, you’re good to go!
4. Avoid a shiny face by using a loose powder after your foundation. A loose powder works better than a pressed compact because it looks more natural, and less cakey! Use a big fluffy brush and lightly dust the powder across your forehead, nose and chin.
5. Define your eyes naturally, using neutral colors. Apply matte eyeshadow in beige, followed by brown eyeliner and brown mascara. Using brown instead of black makes your appearance look softer, and more natural. Avoid shadows and liners that have shimmer, as the sparkle doesn’t photograph well. Finish by lightly filling in your eyebrows to frame your face.
6. For lips, use a tinted lip balm in a color that’s slightly redder than your natural lip color. Avoid lip glosses because they look too shiny in pictures, and stay away from unnaturally bright or dark lipsticks.
7. To avoid looking washed out, finish your look with bronzer. The trick here is to give yourself a natural glow, not an unnatural orange tint! Lightly apply bronzer to where the sun would normally hit your face – your cheeks, nose and above your eyebrows. Make sure you’re using an appropriate color for your skin tone. It can be tempting to buy a darker color because you want to achieve a deeper tan, but stick to one that compliments your natural skin tone.
8. Wear a plain black shirt for a clean look. Avoid wearing a white shirt as some photos get denied because the white shirt blends into the white background.
9. Tuck your hair behind your ears to get all of your hair off your face (another requirement for most passport photos).
10. Just because you’re not allowed to smile in your pictures doesn’t mean you should look angry! Try to keep a relaxed face and “smile with your eyes”.
11. Ask to see your picture before it’s printed to make sure you like it. Take your time looking at it and don’t be shy to ask them to take another shot if you don’t like the first one.