Asian Model Dark Hair Headshot Makeup

How to Master Headshot Makeup for a Professional Look

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Having professional headshots taken can be a daunting experience. But like anything else, it goes a little smoother when you’re looking and feeling your best.

Good headshots will last for years, and they’re the difference between landing that big job and not. So, serving face is a must.

The key to perfecting professional headshots makeup is to create a natural, camera friendly look. But this doesn’t mean going light on the makeup. Instead, choose the right lips, eyes, and face to make it look like you’re effortlessly gorgeous.

Thankfully, this article is here to help you do just that. With some simple products and photo-friendly makeup tips, you’ll nail your headshot and book that gig. No Photoshop required.

Curly Hair Headshot Makeup

The Lips

While the urge to go vibrant is there, it’s best to tone things down for your lips in headshot makeup. Usually, lips look a little duller in photos, so you should go one shade up to make sure they pop.

For extended stay and no-bleed lips, we love NARS. Their classic Lipstick comes in 52 shades, in satin, matte, and sheer, and gives you a rich colour that still feels lightweight. Mwah.

Avoid dark shades in reds and burgundies for your makeup in headshot photos. These colours don’t always read well on camera, especially if you want a subtle look.

The Face and Cheeks

The best makeup for photography is a natural look – with a bit of zhuzh. Start with a foundation that’s been perfectly matched to your skin tone, as the harsh lighting will make it instantly apparent if it’s not. We recommend a liquid or powder in matte and avoiding anything sheer or glowy. Glow + studio lighting = no-no.

As the bright lights of a studio can be unforgiving, applying more concealer than usual is the way to go. After applying a thin layer, blend it out with a damp beauty blender. Apply a couple layers until the under-eye area looks extra seamless.

Cheeks don’t require much effort, but we recommend a cream blush for its dewy, soft effect. Going one shade up from your normal colour will help in photos, so don’t be afraid to go a bit bolder with this one. Fenty Beauty’s Cheek’s Out Freestyle Crème Blush can be applied to lips and cheeks with a deliciously light, creamy texture that looks amazing in photos.

And just before they start shooting, powder up. A little bit of translucent, oil absorbing powder can help your face stay matte, so there’s no chance of shine or light bounce back in the final product.

Dark Hair Bob Cut Headshot Makeup_2

The Eyes

As the main star of any headshot, you want your eyes to be on point. So, consider these tips for eyes that will steal the show:

  • Have your eyebrows neatly manicured, and see a brow artist a few days before your shoot to let things settle down.
  • Avoid heavy false eyelashes. But if you would like to, only wear natural ones or individuals so it doesn’t weigh down the eyes or cast a harsh shadow.
  • Choose neutral eyeshadow shades that suits your skin tone and eyes—no crazy colours. Morphe’s 9T Neutral Territory Artistry Palette is a classic with blendable hues that suit every face.
  • Eyeliner should be kept to the top lid only. Otherwise, it can close the eyes in photos.
  • Black mascara is best for highlighting and framing your eyes in photos.

Corporate Pose Headshot Makeup

Tips for MUA-Approved Headshot Makeup

Still not ready for your close-up? Check out these quick tips for the best makeup for professional photos that will guarantee you that gig.

  • Apply your makeup in natural light Get as much sunlight as possible while you’re doing your headshot makeup. You’ll see all the minor imperfections you might have otherwise missed (but the camera definitely won’t).
  • Avoid sunscreen. It’s great for your skin but can be terrible for photos if it’s not light or flash bounce back approved. Avoid primers, moisturisers, and foundations that contain any form of sun protection, as it can create a flashback that will ruin your shot.
  • Practice, practice, practice. You’re tackling the job of a professional at home. Kudos! But before the big day, you need some practice. Play around with products and looks, then snap away to get a better idea of how it looks on camera.
  • Don’t overdo it. There’s nothing worse than somebody looking majorly different in person than in their headshot. So, keep it simple and let your natural features come through – this is what your audience wants to see.
  • Pink Sweater Curly Hair Headshot Makeup

    Lights, Camera, Action.

    You only get one chance to snap the best headshots, so a flawless face is the best place to start. Spend some time practising with our makeup techniques and products so you can be picture-perfect-ready on the day.

    What Kind of Makeup do You Use for Headshots?

    We recommend oil-free makeup products, as well as matte or satin foundations for headshot photography. This provides adequate coverage without the shine that appears when some oil-based foundations are used for photos.

    Do You Need to Wear Makeup for Headshots?

    Yes, wearing makeup for headshots is recommended, as it can help create a more professional image, smooth the skin, and make your eyes pop through the photos. A simple, natural makeup look is ideal for keeping your facial features visible.

    Can You Wear Lipstick in Headshots?

    You can wear lipstick in headshots, but keeping it to a natural shade that enhances your skin tone is best. If in doubt, choose a colour that’s only one shade darker than your lip colour for a less dramatic look.