Booking Professional Hair and Makeup for Your Headshots

A lot of people are opting to have professional hair and makeup done for their headshots. It’s a great investment in your career since most potential employers and clients want to get a look at you prior to meeting you for the first time. I personally check to see if any of my clients seeking hair and makeup for headshots have a LinkedIn page before our initial meeting to familiarize myself with their face and hair and get an idea of what their comfort level is so we don’t go overboard. That being said, makeup for headshots do differ slightly from your everyday makeup and your professional artist might use these tricks to boost your headshots to the next level!

Matte Matte Matte

Photo courtesy of India Jackson Photography

Photo courtesy of India Jackson Photography

Don’t get me wrong - I bleed glitter, but it has no place in a professional headshot. Under studio lighting, that bit of shimmer is going to read as sweat. Skip the shimmer highlight and instead opt for satin or matte formulas for the skin and eyes. Lips should be a cream finish with little to no gloss.

Natural is Best

In order to get the most out of your headshots, you’ll want to keep your makeup classic and timeless. No bright colors, winged liner, or anything else that could potentially “date” the photo. Neutral colors that simply enhance your bone structure and minimize imperfections are going to look best and make your headshots more effective.  

Heavy in Person = Perfect in Photos

Photo courtesy of India Jackson Photography

Photo courtesy of India Jackson Photography

Your face is three-dimensional and, unfortunately, cameras only pick up two dimensions. You’re going to lose a lot of that natural definition in your face once the lights are on you and a photo is snapped. Line your eyes, add a second coat of mascara, define your brows, pay extra attention to concealing those under eye circles, and add extra color to your cheeks and lips. You don’t have to walk around the rest of the day feeling made up, but you do not want to look washed out either. 

Do Not Deviate Too Far From Your Every-Day Look

This photo is going to represent you. If you don’t usually wear red lipstick, this is not the setting to try something new just because you've booked a professional photo shoot. The same can be said in the other direction. If there's a feature that you usually play up or a signature look you do, be sure to share that with your artist so they know to include that in your final look. 

Have some fun!

Very rarely do I hear from people that they like having their photos taken. It doesn't have to be all bad though. If you feel confident and are able to relax, the outcome will be a lot better than if you're focusing on your insecurities. Pick something you like about your physical appearance and put all of your energy into that when it's your turn to work with the photographer. Your confidence will come across and you'll be much happier with the final product.


Amanda Merrell