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Makeup Tips from a Pro Part 2 – Photoshoot Makeup Application for Men and Women

Modeling / Photoshoots / Recommendations / Slide Gallery / Uncategorized / November 8, 2010

Part two of my Makeup tips is on the topic of the techniques used to apply makeup (men and women) for a photoshoots.


Amateur models or men off the street it might freak out thinking about being an expert of their own makeup application or even just wearing it, but think again. Newscasters, actors, musicians, professional models and anyone who has experience in the public eye being photographed/filmed understand that studio lighting and high definition video are not necessarily our friend if you have blotchy, acne scarred, and/or aging skin.  Who doesn’t want to look their best when getting their photo taken?  If the makeup is obvious on a man (unless it was intended to look like Little Richard) then it wasn’t done right.

The focus on a man is usually to brighten under the eyes, eliminate shine, and even out skin tone.

  • Find a matte high quality compact powder that matches your skin tone, concealer, and chapstick.
  • Some drugstore lines such as Loreal or Maybelline are good enough for your purpose. Both lines have well developed color selections in order to find a good match.
  • First, use the concealer (one shade lighter than your skin) to touch up under your eyes, inside corner and outside corner of eyes, around your nasal fold, and at the corners of the mouth.  Then put some coverage on any dark spots of acne as well.
  • Using the compact powder, tap the applicating sponge or puff over the face and concealer, being careful not to take the concealer off.
  • Apply the chapstick to your lips to avoid that chapped dry look.

You get bonus points if you regularly exfoliate as well.  It clears the pores, gets rid of dry skin, and makes the makeup application much smoother.  I like St. Ives Apricot Scrub applied to a clean washcloth and then utilized in a circular manner over the face.

Having a little bit of makeup to even out skin tone and correct blemishes makes the whole post production process quicker for the editors.  Some editors fix skin tone, etc and others do not. In the situation that the editor is not the type to focus on these things, you may come out looking a bit rougher in pics than intended.


Building onto what was discussed for men, we add to this the items from Makeup Tips from a Pro Part 1.  Please refer to the first blog posting on detailed explanation of each item mentioned in use here.

For women, we start with the a clean palette of freshly washed and exfoliated skin, light oil free moisturizer applied over the skin as a primer to the makeup.

Next, using the liquid foundation I blend a light and dark shade together to match the skintone (its easier to have two different shades and mix together upon need since most of us experience seasonal skin shades). Using a sponge or clean fingers, apply and blend over the entire face, lips., neck, and very lightly into the chest.

At this point you have a clean, even canvas to paint on.  For photo/video, even if the look required is “natural”, a touch of makeup will give the shot an inperceptable “pizzazz” and glow to take the look from good to great.

Next, I start with the application of false eyelashes.  Using a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover, trace around the upper lashline to remove any foundation.  Once the surface is dry, remove an eyelash from the case and trim the edge, as required, so that it fits the eyelash line.  Apply the eyelash glue (I like Duo surgical glue, sold at MAC makeup stores) and apply a thin straight line about 1.5″ on the palm of my hand and dip the eyelash edge into the line.  This technique ensures that you don’t get the glue clumps if had applied the glue directly to the lash.  Then, using both hands, grasp the lash by the outer lashes and apply to the closed eyelid, holding still for 60 seconds.  I instruct the model to remain still with their eyes closed and repeat the process for the next eye.  To lock down the lash, I use the back of a thin makeup brush, dipped in the remaining glue, and add a little more glue to the ends of the false eyelash that is attached to the lid.  Once the glue is clear, the person can open their eyes.

Now I look at contouring the face by using my MAC highlight/shadow compact and angled brush.  Natural shadows on the face appear around the hairline, under the jaw, just under the cheekbones, and on the sides of the nose.  Highlights are in the middle of the forehead, 1″ below the eyes on the front apple of cheeks, right under the eyebrows, along the bridge of the nose, and on the chin.  Check out this video that shows a nice demonstration of this:

Next, go in with brow powder and small, flat brush and fill in the eyebrows to add color density.  I like to use a dark brown for brunettes, medium brown for blondes.  Some people like to use powders, it’s whatever you are comfortable with.  This is a great eyebrow styling video to help you groom those suckers, she goes in with a slightly different technique but achieves the same effect:

Next, use an eyeshadow primer, like Smashbox, over the lids so that you avoid the gross oil crease in your lids if you intend to wear eyeshadow.

At this point, I consider the next steps the artisian piece where you are creating the exact color/look for you:  eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, lipstick.

For dark eyed girls, I like to recommend the smokey eye look as it really makes the eyes pop and appear bigger in photos.  The trick with smokey eye is to incorporate brown shadow to warm up the black shadow (avoid looking grey):

Here’s an eyeshadow look that will work for all girls, this is the JLO Jennifer Lopez using a purple shadow.

Blush: Apply either a bronze or pink toned blush to the apples of the cheeks, making the color cohesive with your overall color scheme.

Lipstick:  Line the entire lips with a lipliner, fill with a  lipcolor, add some highlight powder in the middle of your pucker to bring out the fullness in your lips, and cover the entire mouth with MAC Lipglass.  If the shape of your lips could be improved upon, by all means do so with your lipliner!   Here’s a grea video for women with thin lips.

If you enjoyed this article, please share on your social network, thank you!

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Natalie Minh

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on November 8, 2010

Great topic! My dad thought I was crazy when I bought him makeup for his television appearances. Now he’s a pro! I’m forwarding him this

    on November 8, 2010

    Glad to be of help! From experience, I can understand how it can be a little struggle to convince men to come into the “makeup world” but as your father figured out, it’s not so bad 🙂

    Thanks for your support!

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