It’s no secret that as an adult living in 2022, it’s virtually impossible to avoid being photographed. Whether you’re heading to a family wedding, off on a romantic getaway, or just popping into a Zoom happy hour with the girls, you’re almost guaranteed to wind up on the other side of the lens.
Rather than dreading the ding of a tagged notification on Instagram and racing to hit “remove” before, God forbid, your ex gets a glance, let’s work toward feeling more confident in the photos you’re in – planned or not.
With many of us still working from home or opting to do virtual appointments rather than in-person, I get that wearing a full face of makeup may not be practical for every day. As someone who grew up with a dream of gracing the cover of Vogue and has planned weekly photoshoots since the age of nine, when it comes to feeling my best in photos, I like to start with what’s below the makeup anyway. I’d argue that it’s more important than ever to build a healthy, glowing foundation so that you feel beautiful with or without a little glam.
For at-home selfies, group photos with friends, or for a special occasion (engagement, maternity, etc.), it’s no secret that we want to look our best. That’s why I’m sharing 10 practical and easy-to-follow beauty tips to look better in photos today.
1. Use Eye Drops To Whiten Your Eyes
Let’s start with the basics. One super simple hack to always look better in photos is by popping a few eye drops in to whiten your eyes. It’s common knowledge that brighter eyes make you look more awake, but did you know that whiter eyes are actually proven to be more attractive overall?
According to a study, when shown photos of normal eyes and bloodshot eyes, the “whiter versions of the eyes were rated as 25% happier, 42% healthier, and 17% more attractive than the bloodshot versions” by participants.
I bet you never thought that a $12 purchase stowed away in your medicine cabinet would make your dating profile more likely to get views.
2. Keep Up Your Pearly Whites
Another tip that you may instinctively know, but have let fall by the wayside is keeping your teeth bright and white. Make your smile stand out above the rest in photos by setting a reminder to whiten your teeth using strips or a pen once a week (twice if you're a regular black coffee or red wine drinker).
If you have forgotten to whiten your teeth recently and are in a pickle, add a swipe of red lipstick to give the illusion of whiter teeth.
3. Brush Your Eyebrows Upward
Not only is this beauty tip trendy, but brushing your brows upward gives the appearance of fuller, naturally wispy eyebrows which frame and compliment your face shape.
When filling in your eyebrows, you always want to use a spoolie to brush them up and separate the tiny hairs while helping create symmetry and a perfect arch. Use a clear eyebrow gel (this $8 one does the trick) to keep them in place all day long.
Even if I’m going totally makeup free for the day, I always make sure to brush my eyebrows upward with clear gel to make myself look more presentable.
4. Apply a Lip Plumping Gloss
Who needs to invest in lip filler when you’ve got a secret hack that costs you all of $10? Leave it to Amazon to have the best lip plumping gloss on the market.
While we automatically associate thinner lips with aging, a fuller pout gives you a sexier profile overall. Not to get too sciency on you, but once again, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to the connection between attractiveness and luscious lips: “Psychologically speaking, having plumper and full lips is a sign of blood flow on the face which is essential to the health and fertility of a woman to which men are attracted.”
After the Kylie Jenner challenge of using a shot glass to “plump” your pout (ultimately leading to major bruising and even some hospital visits), many people may be skeptical when it comes to “hacking” your way to fuller lips. However, I’m here to tell you that I’ve tried countless lip plumpers on the market, and I have officially landed on one that actually works without any drawbacks.
The gloss I love is perfectly shiny and clear for applying over top of your normal lip liner and lipstick combo and works its magic within 15-20 minutes without an overwhelming tingling sensation or sticky feeling.
5. Add Collagen to Your Diet
I know this one can be quite controversial, but as someone who has incorporated collagen into her diet every day for the past six years, I clearly believe in the power of this magical protein.
Although collagen is naturally produced in the body, its production declines with age. Adding a supplement into your diet can improve skin elasticity and smoothness, reduce visible wrinkles, and increase blood flow to the skin (a.k.a. all the things that will make you look better in photos and IRL).
There are many ways to add collagen into your daily routine, but my favorites include: drinking a warm mug of bone broth in the morning, adding unflavored collagen peptides into my smoothies for lunch, and/or stirring collagen creamer into my afternoon coffee.
6. Try an Eyelash Growth Serum
While we’re on the topic of controversial beauty products, let’s tackle eyelash growth serums. I know that many women claim these products don’t work for them, but I think an important thing to note is that you *have to* use them every day for months in order to see results. Consistency is the key ingredient in this beauty hack.
Is it an overnight magic trick? No. But it is a good investment to make in your overall appearance if you value long lashes. After my fair share of questionable run-ins with lash extensions and falsies, I can tell you that one of the best beauty decisions I have made in the past 10 years was investing in a lash serum.
During my pregnancy last year, I had a difficult time finding a safe product to use, so from the day I was running around my house waving a pee stick in the air, I went without it and I can definitively tell you that I saw a major difference. Thankfully, I discovered a clean brand that got cleared by my Ob/Gyn to use while breastfeeding, and my lashes have since returned to their full glory.
Long eyelashes instantly open your eyes up and make them appear bigger and brighter. With consistently full lashes from a growth serum, you won’t have to fuss with falsies or extensions, and you can ensure that no matter what situation you’re caught in, you can rely on your stunning eyelashes in photos.
7. Apply a Coat of Self-Tanner
Tell me you miss summer without telling me you miss summer. I am beyond over this frigid winter weather making me look like a ghost and stealing the moisture from my skin.
There’s a reason why people on a tropical beach vacation look happier and more attractive, and it’s not just because they’re drinking pina coladas while we’re sitting at work. Having a solid tan instantly gives you a healthy glow, makes your body appear slimmer, and enhances the brightness of your teeth and eyes.
Now, obvi you don’t want to look like a Cheeto in the dead of winter, but with the right sunless tanner, you can gain the benefits of a natural looking tan with a simple rub down.
IMO, the best on the market right now are: Tan Again Golden Mousse, St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse, Isle of Paradise Glow Clear Color-Correcting Self-Tanning Mousse, and Bondi Sands Pure Self Tan Foaming Water.
8. Shave Your Face
Ladies, shaving your face is no longer just for the men. There’s no shame in wanting smoother, softer skin to lay your makeup on and make it last longer. Plus, shaving your face removes debris, excess oil, and dead skin cells leading to the appearance of brighter skin.
And just so you know, it does not make your hair grow back thicker or darker, that’s a myth!
When you get rid of your facial hair or “peach fuzz,” you’re not only exfoliating your face, but you’re maximizing the potential for your skincare products to penetrate the skin deeper, leading to the best possible outcome.
While dermaplaning could cost a pretty penny at a salon or spa, face shaving (a safe, at-home alternative) every couple weeks costs as little as $4 with the raved-about Tinkle Razors from Amazon.
9. Do an At-Home Steam Facial
Once again, if you have the money to splurge on a spa treatment, by all means go ahead. But, there’s really no need for an expensive weekly facial when you’ve got 15 minutes at home to pamper yourself.
Pencil in an at-home steam facial for yourself once a week to reap the benefits including firmer, younger looking skin, easier blackhead removal, better product penetration, hydration, and fighting pimples.
As a new mom, I like to enjoy my at-home facial once my baby goes to sleep for the night and I can sit in my bathroom uninterrupted. Maybe this makes me extra, but I like to turn off the lights, burn a candle, and listen to the latest Adele playlist while my steamer goes to work.
Hot tip: If you don’t have a facial steamer, you can simply boil a pot of water and lean over it (from a safe distance) to reap the same benefits.
10. Ice Roll To Reduce Puffiness
Last, but certainly not least: ice rolling. In my eyes, Lauryn Bosstick made this ritual known worldwide with her before and after photos on Instagram and iconic Skinny Confidential ice roller. (Although this practice has been around since Empress Catherine the Great.)
In a matter of 5-10 minutes, an ice roller can totally transform your face by reducing swelling and redness, toning and enhancing your natural bone structure, and minimizing the appearance of pores.
Every time I use my ice roller, I feel like my jawline is totally “snatched,” as the kids say. It instantly makes me look more awake and less puffy, especially if I’ve had a cocktail or salty food the night before.
Personally, I know that when I regularly follow the above 10 beauty hacks, I feel more confident in every scenario, but especially for photos. Whether you have a wedding coming up or simply want to take a new selfie for your dating profile, adding these easy tips into your routine can enhance your natural beauty and make you feel like you’re prioritizing self-care in this new year.
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