“What kind of makeup should I wear for my headshots?”

Makeup for headshots
Makeup for headshots

Let me preface this by saying: 1. you hired me because you like the pictures I put out there, so you might want to listen up; 2. it’s your picture and you can wear whatever the heck you want; 3. we are probably going to land somewhere in between, so just remember the two items above.

If you identify as male:

Maybe you don’t need it. Makeup is visible, you’re not expected to wear it, and it will be distracting if you do. I can whiten your teeth, remove zits, correct your colors, shape your face, soften your wrinkles, and keep your natural skin texture. People will think “maybe he was born with it”. And you don’t need to remove makeup before going to bed!

But my makeup artist says men absolutely can use a good makeup. And I trust her. She says she can even out the skin and shape the face, and she does that.

It gets back to your expression in front of the camera, if you’re comfortable with makeup then go ahead and use that. Your most subtle expressions will be captured by the camera, so whatever helps you, go for it!

If you don’t identify as male:

You should wear makeup. It makes you look polished and well dressed. But it should be natural, elegant, and not distracting. People should think “maybe she was born with it”.
Your makeup should be like Miranda Priestly’s in The Devil Wears Prada. So subtle, so natural, and so upscale; her strength comes from her character, not from her eyeliner.

Miranda’s Makeup

The crux of the matter is: use what you’re comfortable with. Anything that makes you less connected with the camera should be avoided, because your expression is key for a successful shot. If you’re fine with makeup, and it can actually make you more confident, then go ahead and use it., but make sure it’s a makeup that is appropriate for the job.

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