Monday, March 26, 2012

Camera friendly makeup!


Makeup and Photography are integral parts of any picture. Whether its your day to day life, whether its a photoshoot or whether its all about getting married. Camera captures the reality that human eye overlooks and of course camera does not have a brain. Makeup being one of the underestimated elements of an Indian function I have seen people looking wither hyperpigmented or ghostly when it comes to be being photographed.

Inside a camera there run a lot of systems and involves a lot of science. Camera especially when assisted with a flash penetrates into the subcutaneous layers and catches every flaw your skin has making it look ugly in photographs even if the person looks beautiful to human eye. 'Posing' for a camera is important too and its crucial that one looks in the camera and poses (at least for one picture) as the one who sees the photograph would not get an idea of what is happening here.

I do not charge at any beauty blogger here, but I have seen blogs where people post the most ridiculously blurred pictures and atrocious poses in front of the camera and get an appreciation which is naive and fake. Some innocent pose that is captured on camera could be perceived as if someone is sneezing or coughing and they have been photographed and looks weird. For a perfect picture, I asked a renowned photographer Jaf and he candidly said 'Chin down, eyes up and a light above you which is 45 degrees inclined. Camera in front of your face, some makeup and you end up with a good shot.' For those who may not know photography, every pro photographer takes almost 400-500 pictures to finalize on the best ones so being amateurs we should at least get 50 pictures and decide which one is the best.

I am in talks with some brilliant photographers to give tips on posing in front of the camera which could be useful to bloggers (fashion and beauty) and soon shall be able to get some precious insights that could help me and probably my friends out there who are perfect or who need some help (and don't show).

So lets see how to do makeup for a photograph (whatever the occasion is).........

Btw have you noticed why foreign (non Indian) beauty bloggers end up with amazing pictures on their blog? Its not in the just the camera (you could use the dumbest point and shoot and still do an amazing job) but also in the lighting, posing and most importantly makeup. Very few bloggers (me included) use a fluorescent light source to capture images. The reason why I do so is that my camera would not capture any blur, the colors look vivid and the settings make the entire picture look amazing.

Here is a pose that I generally prefer to do while writing my blog.

I look half side ways in the camera so it hides my unwanted double chins and all. Since this photograph is taken in natural lights I use curtains to diffuse light and give a crisp picture. Btw if you shoot in direct sunlight you might end up with an over exposed picture or a blur as the camera gets too much of uncontrolled light. I have applied a bit of concealer, combed the brows, put some powder

So lets us see how to do makeup in a photograph. This kind of makeup is advised for any kind of photography.


Always exfoliate before you apply makeup to prevent flakes seen through. These are easily caught by the camera so be careful. Moisturize thoroughly and preferably apply a color correcting primer. This could be a blue (for sallow tones), pink (to brighten up) or green (to cover redness). Anything that works for you. I prefer the Smashbox Photofinish Primer light.


Dewy foundations may be in and one might look for semi matte textures for everyday usage but I prefer HD foundations for camera. That means anything that mentions 'for photography' eg. Photoready foundation from Revlon is in. Any foundation that blurs imperfections on the face is good enough. They might say that SPF based foundations give flashback but some of the SPF foundations look amazing like Chanel's Perfection Lumiere etc. Yet I advice sunscreen underneath before you apply foundation (during the day). I also use Loose Powder to fix any oily areas that can look hideous in camera especially with flash.
My favorite foundations are undoubtedly Clinique Superbalanced Makeup, MAC Prolongwear SPF 10 and Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. They all photograph really well on myself and on my clients. Its just that I prefer half a shade darker skin color to eliminate ghost effect and also a yellow under tone foundation to avoid ashyness.


Always a moisturizing cream concealer which smoothen lines and camouflages under eye circles is good enough. Never go for light reflecting concealers as they really look ghostly. A mixture of both would work though. The concealer colors I prefer are half a shade lighter for under eye (not very light) and exact color for the skin. I see a lot many people going grey on their concealer. If that bothers you opt for a peach or orange based corrector and then concealer should be applied over the corrector.
Also try to buff the concealer with MAC 217 brush to create a pixelated effect and smoothen the lines. This technique can be seen in my concealer video here.


Use any colors you like just be careful not to use too much of lighter blushes and too many highlighters. You can always layer different textures to create your desired look. What I advice is always to contour the face as facial features look flat on photos especially when you put foundation.
I always feel that after foundation, face looks like a flat plate. Its that contouring gives it dimension. Do not forget human eye and camera sees the face differently.
May it be peaches or pinks or plums or whichever colored blush, concentrate it on the natural areas where you flush or apply it on the cheek bone diagonally going towards the temples. Never apply too much or too little blush but remember to use a bit more when you are getting photographed especially if you have a deep tone or a pale skin.
Indian complexions should opt for golds instead of silvers so that the makeup does not look ashy. As it is golden tones flatter any complexion.


Any and every eyeshadow looks amazing on camera. Its just the one must precisely contour the eye crease. Also curl the lashes and apply 4-5 coats of mascara to make them look prominent. This is what is the best feature.
When flash is thrown on eyes everything is reflected back except dark colors. Darkest black mascara looks immensely flattering as it absorbs as lot of light and looks good on camera.
Applying a liner is optional and it does not affect the makeup looks. But a distorted liner is a no no. I also like to smoke out an eyeshadow on the lash line to create a blur and then trace a liner over it. It can look amazing and sophisticated.
Another feature that should be enhanced is the brows. Not to draw brows but fill them in with some brow powder and create a uniform color. After doing brows my eye tutorials got better and so would your makeup. Its better to use powders than brow pencils and then seal with a brow gel.


Matte lips may look the least flattering and penciled lips look very ageing. I prefer and suggest satin textured lipsticks or preferably glosses with high shine and less shimmer or glitter. Even a lip balm can look very flattering in the camera.


  • Refrain from using too much of shimmer or glitter especially in silver tones. It may end up looking like dandruff in the pictures. Sometimes they look like supernatural specks of ghostly light in the pictures and very bad. To use glitters they must be cosmetic rated and chosen from known brands.
  • Do not put too much of powder. This makes you have a very matte dry face over a moisturized shiny neck. Just apply powder sparingly on areas of face that are prone to shine and of course set the concealer in the under eye area.
  • Do not use too much of highlighter or shiny powders. Instead opt for cream products as they melt into the skin better. In case you want to use powder then dust if subtly with a fan brush.
  • Check yourself in a mirror before photographed. Sometimes especially outdoors you might have some dust on your nose that looks very muddy in pictures. Also avoid stray hair over your face as they can be quite unappealing and distracting.

Always give your best pose and look straight into the camera. Any picture can be unappealing if this is not done. Models dont look in the camera because they are told to pose differently, but we are real people. 
Stay away from weird expressions that may look nice on you in reality but not on camera. Expressions like a laugh could look like a sneeze so smile with just the upper teeth showing. Sometimes a little air blowing from the mouth creates a lovely pout and this expression is given by most of the super models and actresses like JLo.


I prefer a fluorescent lights and evenings to shoot pictures for tutorials. But you can have any light that looks nice. Natural sunlight is the best but its better if it is diffused as sunlight can be very strong and unflattering if shot directly. Photographers know well to play with lights and that what makes the pictures go so amazing.
I am going to buy some lovely lights from the furniture store. Those are called 'Circular lights'. They are good enough to shoot videos too.

This is all what I would love to add to anyone who wants to shoot a clean picture.Everyone has a taste of getting photographed and this is mine. Do share any pointers if you have them.

Till then,


Please do not copy any pictures or content of Beauty Traveller without prior permission. Thanks for reading my blog. I don't give 100% on the authenticity of the content here and it is subject to change without prior notice. Please read the disclaimer for any questions. This article is not targeted at anyone specific but if someone feels so after reading this article then its a ray of hope for them to improve upon.


  1. totally awesome post Neeraj... :) appreciate your going into lengths and explaining it with such precise detailing.. :) thank u :) though i do try to follow already whatever you ve listed here but there sure were a few points that I learnt here and will keep in mind the next time :)

    1. Thanks a lot! you are the few bloggers who puts an effort into photographing and some pics r so amazing..

      Thanks ! Hope u liked it!

    2. wow thanks so much Neeraj :) and yup i loved the article :)

    3. you take awesomeeee pics suma :D one of the best i must say :D ... love the way you take face shots and product pics XOXO D:

  2. Oh!! U did this so fast!! Kudos to u! I was waiting for dis kind of an article and m sure like me, alot of readers have alot t gain from reading this post... :)

    1. Thanks Zara. I had almost completed the article. Hope u find the tips useful!

  3. this is awesomeee article Neeraj and am surely going to make use of all the tips you shared ... :D kudos to you for sharing your secrets ... :D

    1. I must say I have the guts to share the secrets. Would hope someone blesses me or remembers me someday for this.

  4. absolutely wonderful article and I loved how you explained every little step... I'm so sharing this and bookmarking this- I've made a folder of your articles with your name :) Will surely put these pointers in mind with my piccys hereafter :)

    1. Thank u sooooooo much! Hope u end up with better pics. Btw I am trying some HD foundations from Kryolan and shall post the pics.

  5. Though i do not own a blog ,but I can use these tips for myself for events and occassions..great tips times we end up looking so dead in pictures ..haha..but I hope your tips gonna help a lottt..

    1. Thanks a lot Megha. U should use very little powder some dewy peachy blush to look healthy and youthful.

  6. waoo it was really informative and helpful post

  7. What a fantastic article Dr Neeraj..this is the first article which explains the photography aspect in such detail! I too prefer natural day light to click pics as I feel they come the best for me :) which fluorescent lights do you use? I find it imensely difficult to take pics in the evening :(

    1. Thank u so much Parita. I always wanted to share this. What's the point keeping secrets when you can pass on beauty to everyone u see!

  8. I'm sure this post will benefit novice like me immensely.A very good feature.. I'm loving it ^_^

    1. Thank u so much. Do tell me and share how it made a difference to u! Thanks

  9. Thanks for the post Neeraj, this indeed was helpful :-)

  10. thas quite a helpful post..Rash talked about it and i immediately rushed to check it out.

    1. Thanks a lot Anamika. I am sure this article would do wonders.


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