It seems more photos are snapped during the holiday season than any other time of year. Parties and family gatherings are ideal photo ops—and these pics will likely not only be posted on social media, but be handed down to posterity, so you want to look your best! Prepare for “photo season” with these tips to look your glowing, beautiful best, as well as a few tips to trick the camera that even professional models use.
1. Make eyes pop
Start with a cream containing natural ingredients like green coffee, vitamin C, and DMAE to diminish puffiness and dark circles. Or soak a clean washcloth in witch hazel, refrigerate for 30 minutes, then lie down with the cloth across your eyes for 20 minutes. Make eyes look brighter with gentle drops that remove red and whiten eyes. Then, to make your peepers really pop, shape brows and fill them in with a pencil that’s the same shade as or slightly lighter than your hair. Skip eyeliner—it can make eyes look smaller—and concentrate on mascara; use several light coats to avoid spiky lashes.
Products: derma e Firming DMAE Moisturizer +Gabriel Cosmetics Zuzu Luxe Mascara.
2. Mouth off
For a whiter smile, start using a natural pre-brush whitening rinse and natural whitening toothpaste, ideally a couple of weeks before the holiday hubbub begins. For the most flattering shots of lips and teeth, outline lips with a lip pencil in your natural lip color, slightly extending the border of your lower lip. Then fill lips in with lip pencil before applying top color. Avoid pale colors and super-glossy lips; earth tones, peaches, and berry colors look best.
Products: Botanique by Himalaya Whitening Complete Care Toothpaste +Gabriel cosmetics Lipliner in Berry
3. Smooth skin
Although it’s a challenge throughout the holiday season, try to drink lots of water and limit carbs, sugar, and alcohol to promote clear, glowing skin. Plump up lines and wrinkles with topical hyaluronic acid (the main ingredient in injectable fillers). A few hours before your party or holiday dinner, use a tightening or exfoliating mask, then follow with a firming moisturizer. For makeup, start with a light, sheer natural foundation free of parabens and perfumes; heavy foundations look cake-y and artificial under the camera’s scrutiny. For a healthy glow, and to make teeth and eyes look brighter, finish with a light brush of mineral-based bronzing powder.
Products: Reviva Labs Professional Strength Hyaluronic Acid Serum+ Mineral Fusion Bronzer in Sparkle
4. Show off your locks
If you’ve got brassy highlights or roots that show, try a natural hair color or henna wash, ideally a day or two before a planned event. An anti-frizz serum or gel can keep stray locks in place, or use a spritz of a lightweight holding spray. Be careful not to lacquer locks; soft, movable hair looks better in photos. Massage in a bit of leave-in conditioner or styling pomade, or a dab of coconut oil to add instant shine and luster. And keep a small hairbrush, coated elastic bands and a handful of bobby pins in your purse to instantly hide an awkward hair day with a quick up-do (and instant facelift).
Products: GiovanniFrizz Be Gone +Nubian HeritageEVOO & Moringa Styling SprayProducts:
5. Check your limbs
You may be showing some skin at holiday gatherings—and if yours has been under wraps since summer, it could use some help. Start with a whole-body exfoliating scrub to slough off dead, dry skin, then follow with a rich moisturizer from head to toe. Consider a natural sunless bronzer to create a warm, sunny glow; choose a shade only slightly darker than your natural skin tone. Be sure toenails are picture-perfect too; soften cuticles and apply a coat of sheer natural polish to make digits look great in open-toed evening shoes.
Products: Pro Tan Two Minute Tan +Aromafloria Salt Glow Body Scrub
Holiday Family Photo Pic Tricks
- See the Light. You don’t always get to select your lighting—but if you have a choice, go for soft, rosy light; think sunrise or sunset. Direct sunlight or a flash can also be flattering, especially since both tend to minimize lines and shadows. Avoid overhead lighting, especially fluorescent lights, which cast shadows on the face and impart an unflattering tone. Steer your photographer toward natural light, like a window or an open porch if possible. And if possible, go for a shoot where there’s a lot of surrounding white—like the beach, or a snow-covered lawn—to minimize lines and imperfections.
- Be a Poser. A few clever twists, turns and angles can instantly slim your tummy and lengthen your legs in almost any photos. First, face the camera, then turn your torso partly away from the camera, so one shoulder is forward; place one foot in front of the other. This slims the waist and creates an illusion of length in the torso and legs. To make face look more slender, slightly thrust chin forward, then drop chin very subtly; it feels awkward, but eliminates any possibility of a double chin. And avoid taking head shots full-on; turn your face slightly away from the camera, which camouflages asymmetrical features and slims cheeks. And ask someone tall to take your pic—you’ll look thinner if the photo is taken from slightly above you.
- Avoid Red Eye. If you’re taking photos in a dim setting, look at a lamp or other light right before the flash goes off, to make pupils contract and avoid the crazed red-eye look.