10 Make-Up Tips for Actor Headshots

10 Make-Up Tips for Actor Headshots

by Becca Harrison, posted 18 October 2015

Ten top makeup tips for getting the best impact from casting head shots.

So you’ve booked the photographer and are ready for those all important casting shots.

Ten top makeup tips for getting the best impact from casting head shots.
So you’ve booked the photographer and are ready for those all important casting shots. Hiring a professional makeup artist to help you look your best isn’t an option for everyone so here are my ten top tips to help you look (and feel!) your very best for the camera…..
1. There is a fine line between looking good and losing yourself behind a mask of makeup so keep the emphasis on a natural look that will enhance your features without detracting from the unique canvas that is your face – it is important to keep a sense of your inner energy/personality in the shots and this can be swamped by too much makeup.
2. Using a cream concealer, apply lightly to any areas that are looking uneven/discoloured. These include any blemishes, redness around the nostrils and shadows under and into the corner of the eye area. Stick to a concealer that matches your skin tone for the areas of redness/pigmentation and use a light reflective one for dark shadows under the eyes. My personal favourite light reflective concealer is Lancome’s Teint Miracle available in a number of shades to suit.
3. Go easy on foundation sticking to a base that will give you coverage without looking cakey. Apply with fingers or a synthetic foundation brush making sure that the product is well blended into the skin. Set with a loose powder which will also help to eliminate shine - keep this with you on the shoot for touch ups. Mac do great compacts called ‘Blot Powder’ in several shades.
4. Groom brows with a little hairspray on a mascara wand and brush into place. Definition can be added by applying a pencil or eye shadow of the same colour of your brows, using little strokes to keep it quite natural looking. You do not want your eyebrows to over power the rest of your face!
             5. Apply a bone coloured eye shadow to the entire eye area up to the eyebrow. This will help to open up your eye area. Then taking a mid tone, apply either to entire lid up to the crease or just into the outer crease area and outer corner of the eye lid for definition. Blend the shadows by taking a little loose sheer face powder onto a brush and dusting over the whole eye area.
6. Apply eyeliner to the base of the eyelid either in a line or dots which can be smudged together. Make sure the product is worked into the lash line as you want to define and emphasis your lashes – any skin coloured gaps will have the opposite effect!
7. Apply mascara to curled lashes (use eyelash curlers for about a minute on each eye) concentrating product at the base of the lashes and wiggling the lashes up and out to the outer corners to really open up your eyes. Wipe wand a little first to avoid clumps. Bare Minerals do some wonderful chemical free mascaras – ‘Flawless Definition’ defines beautifully and ‘Big Tease’ is perfect for more of a statement look.
8. Using a blusher that suits your skin tone, swirl the product onto the apples of the cheeks for a youthful look or dust from the temples down along the base of the cheek bones for a more contoured effect. Don’t go beyond that invisible line that goes from the base of your nostrils across your face. Always tap the brush on side of your hand to avoid the Aunt Sally look – much better to build blusher in stages than to put too much on in the first instance.
9. Define lips with a skin coloured lip liner just to even the shape. If your top lip is very thin, you can take the line a tiny bit higher than the actual line but really go gently here as it is super easy to look too ‘lippy’ in one swift application of lip liner. Again, you want a balanced look and not to overly draw attention to just one feature. I love Bobbi Brown’s selection of non drying lip liners.
10. Finish with a slick of either lip balm which has a little sheen to it or a natural gloss/lipstick that will lift your lips without overstating them. I love Eve Lom’s lip balm and Kiehls do some wonderful tinted lip products.
Becca Harrison has been a makeup artist for over eleven years working in television, fashion and editorial. She has worked alongside a number of artists, helping them to look and feel their best for the camera. These include Emma Watson, Natasha McElhone and Gina Bellman. See Becca’s website www.beccaharrison.com for more of her work and her YouTube makeup tutorials at (pop links on) for further tips on how to get the best from your makeup.

Hiring a professional makeup artist to help you look your best isn’t an option for everyone so here are my ten top tips to help you look (and feel!) your very best for the camera…..

1. There is a fine line between looking good and losing yourself behind a mask of makeup so keep the emphasis on a natural look that will enhance your features without detracting from the unique canvas that is your face – it is important to keep a sense of your inner energy/personality in the shots and this can be swamped by too much makeup.

2. Using a cream concealer, apply lightly to any areas that are looking uneven/discoloured. These include any blemishes, redness around the nostrils and shadows under and into the corner of the eye area. Stick to a concealer that matches your skin tone for the areas of redness/pigmentation and use a light reflective one for dark shadows under the eyes. My personal favourite light reflective concealer is Lancome’s Teint Miracle available in a number of shades to suit.

3. Go easy on foundation sticking to a base that will give you coverage without looking cakey. Apply with fingers or a synthetic foundation brush making sure that the product is well blended into the skin. Set with a loose powder which will also help to eliminate shine - keep this with you on the shoot for touch ups. Mac do great compacts called ‘Blot Powder’ in several shades.

4. Groom brows with a little hairspray on a mascara wand and brush into place. Definition can be added by applying a pencil or eye shadow of the same colour of your brows, using little strokes to keep it quite natural looking. You do not want your eyebrows to over power the rest of your face!

5. Apply a bone coloured eye shadow to the entire eye area up to the eyebrow. This will help to open up your eye area. Then taking a mid tone, apply either to entire lid up to the crease or just into the outer crease area and outer corner of the eye lid for definition. Blend the shadows by taking a little loose sheer face powder onto a brush and dusting over the whole eye area.

6. Apply eyeliner to the base of the eyelid either in a line or dots which can be smudged together. Make sure the product is worked into the lash line as you want to define and emphasis your lashes – any skin coloured gaps will have the opposite effect!

7. Apply mascara to curled lashes (use eyelash curlers for about a minute on each eye) concentrating product at the base of the lashes and wiggling the lashes up and out to the outer corners to really open up your eyes. Wipe wand a little first to avoid clumps. Bare Minerals do some wonderful chemical free mascaras – ‘Flawless Definition’ defines beautifully and ‘Big Tease’ is perfect for more of a statement look.

8. Using a blusher that suits your skin tone, swirl the product onto the apples of the cheeks for a youthful look or dust from the temples down along the base of the cheek bones for a more contoured effect. Don’t go beyond that invisible line that goes from the base of your nostrils across your face. Always tap the brush on side of your hand to avoid the Aunt Sally look – much better to build blusher in stages than to put too much on in the first instance.

9. Define lips with a skin coloured lip liner just to even the shape. If your top lip is very thin, you can take the line a tiny bit higher than the actual line but really go gently here as it is super easy to look too ‘lippy’ in one swift application of lip liner. Again, you want a balanced look and not to overly draw attention to just one feature. I love Bobbi Brown’s selection of non drying lip liners.

10. Finish with a slick of either lip balm which has a little sheen to it or a natural gloss/lipstick that will lift your lips without overstating them. I love Eve Lom’s lip balm and Kiehls do some wonderful tinted lip products.

Becca Harrison has been a makeup artist for over eleven years working in television, fashion and editorial. She has worked alongside a number of artists, helping them to look and feel their best for the camera. These include Emma Watson, Natasha McElhone and Gina Bellman. 

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