Headshot Makeup Basics | Go Natural or Go Professional?

Professional headshots are a financial investment in your future. They are the currency of your professional reputation on business marketing materials and networking social media platforms like LinkedIn. There is just one question. Namely, is it worth investing in the services of a professional makeup artist before a headshot session?

Headshot Makeup Tips for Men

When it comes to headshot makeup, the rules differ considerably between men and women. Men in most cases should avoid using even so much as concealer. The only exception is if you wear makeup everyday. However, this is not to say that make grooming isn’t important. Men should always consider investing in a fresh haircut and professional beard trimming if they support facial hair. Like women, men should always make sure that their skin is hydrated and moisturized prior to a headshot session. When supporting a clean-shaven look, consider shaving again just before a headshot session, to avoid the creep of a 5 o’clock shadow.

Headshot Makeup Tips for Women

When it comes to women, makeup can be hugely important during a headshot photography session. Headshot makeup, though, should always look as natural as possible.

Don’t use eyeliner or dark lipstick shades which can result in a look more suitable for a night on the town than a job interview. Define eyes with mascara and lips with subtle shades of lipstick which accentuate natural lip lines. Do consider hiring a makeup artist, but (ideally) have them meet you at your headshot photography location. This way, you won’t have to worry about being ravaged by the weather after leaving home. Always use concealer, but never attempt to use heavy foundation to mask skin imperfections.

The most important pro headshot makeup tip is, of course, to always make sure your makeup matches the context of where the images will be used and your chosen outfit. More importantly, never worry about breakouts or bad skin days.

Embrace the Magic of Retouching

During a headshot photography session, a photographer will take hundreds of shots to capture your perfect pose and lighting. When you select an image to use, this will then be professionally retouched using Photoshop. This being the case, never worry about slight skin imperfections or even severe acne breakouts.

How to Hire a Hair and Makeup Artist

Every headshot photography business is different. Some might provide a hair and makeup artist, others won’t. Conversely, some studios might not be able to accommodate a hair and makeup artist setting up prior to a headshot session. For this reason, always contact studios in advance of booking a photography session, to ask what is and what might not be possible. Josh Line of Josh Line Photography says: “Whether you do your makeup yourself or hire someone, they should be able to do light and clean makeup for a headshot. Ask to see their work beforehand because headshot makeup is very different from other styles.”