The Makeup Products I Always Wear for Photos


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I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.






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After looking through my makeup collection, I realized that there are several products that all have one thing in common — I always reach for them when I know I am going to have my picture taken because I know they all perform beautifully when photographed. This roundup will be especially helpful for those of you who are going back to school and want to look your very best for yearbook pictures or student ID photos.

Although I don’t wear it on a daily basis, primer is a must when I know I will be in front of a camera. I really like the Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment for these occasions because it smooths out unwanted texture and prevents my t-zone from getting shiny while treating blemishes. I tend to add more layers of face makeup than I usually would when I am getting ready for photos, so this assuages my fear of breaking out as a result.

My skin is my primary concern when taking photos and my favorite product for achieving a flawless base is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation. It has medium to full coverage with a radiant yet long-lasting finish that never looks cakey, making it absolutely perfect for anyone with dry skin. This one does not contain any SPF, which is important to note for flash photography.

If you are like me and were not blessed with naturally defined cheekbones, then the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer is the best for creating your desired face shape. Cameras may add ten pounds, but the neutral undertones in this powder work so well for carving out my cheeks, slimming down my temples, and sharpening up my jaw line.

Ever since I first purchased it, the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in ‘Champagne Pop’ is the only highlighter I reach for because it provides a stunning glow that shows up so well in photos, especially ones with flash. I dust this peachy-champagne shade all over the highpoints of my face, which immediately makes me look more awake and put together.

Many people prefer all matte eye looks, but I just need a little shimmer in my life!! The L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow in ‘Amber Rush’, the most gorgeous metallic rose gold shade, is my all time favorite eyeshadow due to the intense color payoff, lasting power, and blendability. It makes my hazel eyes pop in photos and looks beautiful with almost all neutral shadows you would pair it with.

One beauty product that I purchased specifically for wearing in photos is the NARS ‘St-Paul-de-Vence’ Duo Eyeshadow , which features a practical neutral-toned matte medium beige and a more unique peachy-coral shade with a lovely sheen. This color combination is life changing for anyone with hooded eyelids because the beige carves out an ideal crease shape while the coral can be diffused just above the crease for a subtle pop of warmth.

Just because I don’t wear fake eyelashes doesn’t mean I don’t want that false lash effect. I have tried dozens of different mascaras, many of which I love, but the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara definitely performs above and beyond the rest; it makes them longer and bigger than I ever imagined my lashes could be, which is why you never have to ask which mascara I am wearing in a photo.

I don’t consider lip liner a necessity, but I do think it makes a significant difference for photos, especially when wearing nude lipstick over top. I like using the NYX Retractable Lip Liner in ‘Nude’ to trace and sometimes accentuate the natural shape of my lips, focusing on the cupid’s bow, which will prevent them from looking washed out and help the color stay in place longer.

If you know you are going to get your picture taken, it is important to wear a lip color that you know you feel comfortable in. I always reach for my signature Wet N Wild MegaLast Lip Color in ‘Bare It All’ because the medium tan with pink undertones is the perfect neutral shade for my skin tone. It is matte enough to last an impressive amount of time, but creamy enough not to feel drying or look unnatural.

Regardless of which products you are wearing or how much of them you applied, a product like the L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray is always essential. Not only does it guarantee that your makeup will last well after your photo op, but it also helps all of the different products sink into the skin better.

Thank you so much for spending the past few minutes with me. I would love to know what makeup you think looks best in photos!


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Hey, I'm Makena.

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.

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If you want to elevate your everyday makeup routine, you’ve come to the right place. I share approachable, aesthetic, and, most importantly, authentic content for beginners and professionals alike.