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10 Tips for Professional Boudoir Makeup

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What better way to deliver a dose of self-love than booking in for a boudoir photography shoot? These intimate photo sessions are all about feeling sexy, and your face plays a big part.

But if the day for your big session is fast approaching and you’re feeling unsure about how to do your boudoir makeup, there’s no need to stress.

The key to boudoir photography makeup is applying the right stuff in all the right places to read well on camera. If you’re an amateur looking for a professional finish, we’ve got some tips that ensure you’re serving 100% face.

#1: Shape Your Brows

Having your brows professionally shaped a week before your boudoir session will give them time to settle down. Plus, it allows you to play around with them and your makeup. PS. If you partake in other hair removal methods, we recommend doing this a week or two ahead as well – to avoid any adverse reactions.

#2: Prep Your Skin

Like an athlete training for a marathon, you need to prepare your skin for the camera. So, in the weeks leading up to your boudoir session, drink lots of water, stick to your skincare routine religiously, stay out of the sun, and avoid alcohol and other dehydrators.

Use an under eye face mask right before you apply your face primers and makeup to look like you got an extra 8 hours of sleep!

Boudoir Makeup Smokey Eye Nude Lips Gloss

#3: Choose a Makeup Look

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to makeup styles. Whether you like full-tilt glam, natural beauty, or a bold lip, it should feel right for you. Spend some time online, looking for boudoir makeup looks you love and then nail some basic techniques that let you emulate them.

#4: Say No to Shimmer

When choosing a foundation – or any other makeup product – avoid the urge to go with a full on shimmer. Although this looks gorgeous in real life, you need to think about how the camera and flash will pick up on it. Like with a headshot photo, your boudoir shots will work best when using a matte or satin foundation for medium to full coverage.

Boudoir Makeup Red Bra Matching Red Lip

#5: Colour in all the Right Places

Boudoir photography is all about sexy, so you want to add some colour to your complexion. Blush is a no-brainer, but you should also consider the impact a carefully placed bronzer can have in warming your skin tone. Rare Beauty’s Effortless Bronzer Stick comes in eight beautiful shades and is added to cheekbones, chins, and foreheads for a naturally sun-kissed look.

#6: Big Hair, Don’t Care

Just as important as boudoir photography makeup is the hair. No matter how big you do it, you’ll lose some volume by the time your photographer starts shooting. So, aim for a little more dramatic, voluminous, and high than you usually do, and it’ll probably be just right for your photos.

Boudoir Makeup Laying on Bed Defined Eyes Eyeliner

#7: To Lip or Not to Lip

Depending on the vibe of your boudoir session, you might decide not to do a bold lip. Usually, if you’ve gone super dramatic on the eyes, we recommend keeping the lips more on the nude side. This way, only one of them steals the show. However, if you decide to colour, non-bleeding, long-stay lip products are best. Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick gives you hours of wear, and it comes in glossy, matte, and shimmer shades to suit every face.

#8: Eyeshadow 101

Sultry is the name of the game for boudoir sessions, and what better way to achieve sultry than with the right eye makeup? A deeper liner on top with so me shadowed liner on the bottom and a gradient eyeshadow that goes from light to dark will play well on camera for a bit of va-va-voom. Otherwise, keep things natural with winged eyeliner and barely-there eyeshadow that’s close to your natural skin tone.

#9: Eyelash Envy

Make those eyelashes big and bold. Now is the time to go dramatic. All you need to complete your boudoir eye makeup is an eyelash curler, some good mascara, and if you want, some fake lashes! We love, love, love the Shiseido Eyelash Curler that gives a lift and curl in one simple move. Voila!

Curl the lashes before applying mascara for better holding power (and less chance of the curler getting stuck).

Boudoir Makeup Posing by Window Nude Makeup

#10: Call in the Experts

Still not feeling yourself? Unsure of your makeup abilities? All good. There are plenty of experts you can call on to apply your makeup professionally and help you relax a little. FYI: Many photographers have hair and makeup services on-site, and they have a fountain of boudoir hair and makeup ideas you can use.


What kind of makeup do you use for boudoir?

The most common types of makeup for boudoir sessions include foundation, concealer, mascara, blush or bronzer, eyeshadow, and lipstick. Those wanting a more defined look might also use contouring to shape their features.

How should I do my makeup for a boudoir shoot?

Applying makeup for a boudoir shoot is similar to other styles of professional photos – it should come across as natural but slightly more dramatic than your everyday look.

Should I wear foundation for boudoir shoot?

Yes, foundation is recommended as it provides a uniform colour to your complexion and can hide any flaws you don’t want to be seen. Make sure you choose the correct foundation to match your skin tone.