12 ways to look more awake in photos
How to look brighter and more awake in photos
Looking tired in photographs is a common gripe. Ever look in the mirror and think you're looking good, and then snap a selfie and wonder where all those bags and shadows came from? The camera can emphasize and exaggerate "flaws" like dull skin, undereye circles and puffiness that aren't as noticeable in person. Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to look fresh, bright and well-rested, starting with your morning routine.
1. Splash cold water on your face. After cleansing, rinse your face in cool water to close pores and tighten skin. As a bonus, if you haven't had your coffee yet, this will give you a little jolt!
2. Put a gel eye mask (or spoon if you don't own a mask) in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and place over your eyes for a few minutes. This feels so relaxing and de-puffs tired eyes.
3. Apply moisturizer or face primer with a makeup brush instead of your fingers. Brushing on your favorite primer in soft, sweeping strokes not only feels luxurious, it also makes the product melt into your skin for more even coverage. This will help get rid of any dry patches or dullness that can show up on camera.
4. Diffuse dark circles with a good concealer meant for dark undereye circles and imperfections, like bareMinerals Bareskin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer. If you're using a thick concealer, blend with a very damp beautyblender or sponge to sheer out the product so it doesn't get cakey. If you're fair, use a pink-based shade; if you're darker or have severe circles, you can use a deeper orange or red. Next, take a brightening concealer like Touche Eclat or Stroke of Light and dot it in a upside-down triangle shape. Concentrate the product at the inner part of your eye; this is where most people tend to have the most discoloration and dark shadows.
5. Grab a cobalt or navy blue kohl pencil and dot your waterline. The blue makes the whites of your eyes appear even whiter.
6. If you want to wear eyeshadow, try a light, satiny shade on your lid, like MAC Dazzlelight. You can pop a little blush, bronzer or a soft brown/taupe shade in your crease, keeping the color on the outer portion of your lid and not taking it too high on the crease. Skip the dark, smoky colors as they can look too harsh, and don’t bring deeper shades towards the inner corner because this will drag the eye downwards.
7. Line your eyes as close to the lashline as you can and flick upwards at the outer corner. Focus the product up and out in a cat-eye shape to lift the eye. This is particularly helpful if you have hooded or downturned eyes.
8. Curl your lashes with a metal curler, being careful not to clamp too hard and damage your lashes. Fake a full fringe by coating the top side of your lashes and underneath as you normally would apply mascara. Hold the wand horizontally to your eye and sweep in up and down motions like a fan to get both sides of your top lashes. This makes them look fuller and thicker than usual, which will translate well on camera and bring more contrast and definition to your eyes.
9. Allow your mascara to dry, and lift lashes at the outer corners with a heated curler for extra lift. The heat + mascara locks in the curl for a lasting effect. (Never use a metal curler after applying mascara; your lashes will break off!)
10. Pop a creamy white eyeshadow in your inner corners to highlight. You can bring the color up in a sideways v for a strong highlight that opens up your eyes.
11. Opt for a lip color in a warm shade like pink, rose or coral and a glossy finish to fake fuller lips. Avoid nude, plum and pale lilac shades - anything with a cool tone and frosty finish can make you look dead.
12. Highlight the high points of the face where light naturally hits (tops of cheekbones, bridge of nose, center of forehead). Use a matte highlighter to avoid looking too sparkly. I like using a foundation that's a shade or two lighter than my skin so it looks seamless and natural. Brighten your brow bone by picking up concealer or a light eyeshadow/highlighter on a skinny angled brush and draw from one end of the brow to the other. Build it up underneath the arch for a subtle eye lift.