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Makeup for Headshots: Do You Wear It?

No matter what, clients getting both their looks and how they feel across in headshots is always the number one priority. Makeup is one element of being on camera that can make a big difference in how someone is presented. My biggest suggestion is to be yourself whenever it comes to preparing for a photoshoot. However, there are some general tips and tricks regarding makeup use you can follow to ensure you’re most comfortable and confident.

Do You Wear Makeup for Headshots? Tips for On Camera

When deciding which makeup to wear for your headshot photoshoot, what the camera thinks is an important consideration. Even if you usually wear full face makeup regularly, you may want to make some adjustments when you’re preparing for headshots.

For headshots, you want to wear natural looking makeup that is evenly applied. No matter how heavy or light you are planning to wear your makeup, looking natural and avoiding uneven application is most important.


With photography, matching your true skin tone is crucial. This is most accurately done by examining the skin tone on your neck and matching a foundation as closely as possible to it. Liquid, oil free, matte finish foundation is best for the camera. When applying the foundation, be sure to spread in an even layer on your entire face and down your neck into your chest.


To start, ensure you pluck your eyebrows a couple days in advance. On the day of the photoshoot when applying your makeup, fill in your eyebrows, if necessary, in a way that highlights the natural glow of your eyes. There is no need to use heavy eye makeup or eye shadow at all, but if that best represents you, then you should do it! Simply remember that in natural or bright studio light, your eyebrows and eye makeup may appear lighter, so make them a shade darker than usual. Mascara and/or false lashes are appropriate, but still keep in mind that a darker color will be desired in order to make your features pop out the most in the lighting.


Similar to the eyes, the color of your lips should be a shade darker than you would usually wear it. If you rarely wear lipstick, a tinted lip gloss at the perimeter of your lips can help make them look slightly fuller. You still want to be your most authentic self.


Using more setting or finishing powder than on a daily basis helps your skin not appear as glossy—which is ideal since smooth, matte skin is best for headshots. When using blush, apply it sparingly and in progressively smaller circles. This allows the edges of the blush to be gradual and look more natural. Being your true, natural self is always the goal when taking headshots.

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