Every once in a while we need to take passport photos, photos for a driver's license, for a visa or maybe a student /work ID. Yesterday I had to go take some photos for my driving license as it will expire soon and I must renew it. Even if I am most of the time quite photogenic I have to admit that I always get a bit nervous when I have to pose for passport photos or any other type of ID, just because I hate the bright unflattering flash from the photographer.
There are some easy steps you can take to look your best in your photos and I am ready to share it with you. First of all, you need to invest a little bit more time in your grooming and be sure your hair is all clean and not greasy and all sleek. Take a hair cut if is necessary, go to a hairdresser, shape your eyebrows, have a fresh hair color or whatever it makes you look neat and presentable. In other words : take the time to do your hair properly, but don’t look “overly done” because you are not posing for Vogue! By the way, don't forget that both ears must be visible so you might need to tuck your hair behind your ears, face must be clear and visible. Another important thing to do before you head to the photograph is to make your eyes look clear and bright by using redness reducing eye drops.
Regarding face and makeup, I am going to start with something that you should NOT DO :
highlighting and/or anything shimmery! Really had to say this as clear as possible, as we all know how we love "strobing " and dewy and all glam, glittery looks, but we don't take photos for Instagram, not this time.
If you want to apply makeup, keep it natural and simple. That will make you look more professional and also photogenic.
Use a mat foundation to even out your skin tone and cover blemishes. Grab a mirror and head outside to see how your foundation looks in natural sunlight. I used Clinique Stay Matte on top of a primer, this foundation has a great coverage and you don't need to use any other concealing products over it. I chose a foundation without SPF to avoid the ghost-look(white cast look), given by the bright camera flash. To make sure your skin is not shiny and also to soften up your skin and face, use some powder.
I prefer to use a loose powder over a pressed compact because it looks more natural, and less cakey. I used Clinique Blended Face Powder in 02 Transparency, to set and perfect my makeup.
Use a big fluffy brush and lightly dust the powder across your forehead, nose and chin, or a velour sponge and gently press the powder in to your skin.
Define your features naturally, using neutral colors, stay away from shadows and liners that have shimmer, as any kind of sparkle doesn’t photograph well. You can go with bare eyelids and a coat of mascara but you can also apply matte neutral shadows like beige or a light pale rose, for example I used 2 colors from my Naked 3 palette: Strange in my inner corner and under my eyebrow and Limit on my entire mobile lid, very softly applied, just to open my eyes and to make them more bright. No false lashes, no liners, just one coat of mascara for a bit of length and volume.
Oh, almost forgot about eyebrows!!!! You need eyebrows in this photo, so take your time and shape them nicely but don't carve them! Brush them up and fill in the gaps with a pencil or powder.Use light, short strokes to mimic your natural eyebrow hairs. If your eyebrows are a little bit unruly, focus on trimming the really long hairs, brush it up and fix it with a brow gel. For my eyebrows I only used a bit of shadow from Gosh Brow Kit in 01 light (3 shadows +1 wax ) and I brush them up.
Avoid looking washed out by finishing your look with a matte bronzer. LIGHTLY apply bronzer to where the sun would normally hit your face – your cheeks, nose and above your eyebrows but stick to one that compliments your natural skin tone.
Add a flush to the cheek. A matte bronzer for shading or a dusty rosy blush on the cheeks will work wonders, don't forget to nicely blend it on your skin and to apply it LIGHTLY.
To shade/contour my face features I used a bit of Lancome Teint Miracle in Beige Noisette, is actually a compact foundation (2 shades darker than my skin tone ) and I always use it dry as a contour powder because it blends and melts perfect in my skin without leaving behind any harsh or visible lines. For extra warmth and a bit of healthy color on my cheeks : Expertwear Blush from Maybelline in 42 Rose Wood -extremely natural, something that does not appear to be on top of your face but part of your face, not shimmery but silky and warm.
For your lips, best thing is to stay away from lip gloss and also from vibrant or dark lip colors. Lip gloss in combination with that annoying camera flash will end up in something you don't want to live with it, for the next 10 years.
Use a tinted lip balm or a lipstick in a color that’s only slightly different from your natural lip color. My best lipstick choice was Eva nude lipstick from L 'Oreal Collection Privee.
I am very happy with how my passport photo end up, I think I look fresh, natural ,young, my face has the same color as my neck and most of all I look like me, very important when you pose for this type of official photos, is to keep looking like you, but a bit more photogenic :)
At the end, I only want to say that you can take your time looking at your photo and don’t be shy to ask the photographer to take another shot if you don’t like the first one and ask to see your picture before it’s printed to make sure you like it.
Maybe for some of you will sounds silly to put any effort or preparation for taking these kind of pictures, but think about it, you don't want to be stuck with a horrible photo for 10 years, or do you ?
Don't forget to share this article, sharing is caring and would mean a lot to me and also you might help one of your friends or a family member to have a great passport photo :)
Thank you for your visit, I hope this article was helpful for you!