Makeup and Hair for Headshots


If you are considering a professional makeup artist for headshots here are a few things to keep in mind. There are a few advantages to hiring a professional. First, it is very important to look as close to your normal self as possible in your headshot. This can be difficult to achieve without looking “underdone” in a photograph. Lights tend to wash out the skin and makeup in a photograph. A makeup artist will know the right amount of makeup to apply so you look natural in your photo but not “over or underdone”. Photography also tends to pick up on flaws such as uneven skin tones and accentuate less desirable features. A makeup artist will know the proper techniques in which to minimize these areas and accentuate your best features.

You should consider investing in a makeup artist similar to investing in a professional photographer specializing in headshots. Especially for actors and performers, you need a headshot that looks professional to a casting director.

A professional makeup artist is not required but recommended for the best results. If you choose to do your own makeup I recommend practicing several applications beforehand. Here are some tips.

Tools you should bring to your shoot: Makeup brushes, Blush, Makeup wedges, Lipstick/liner, Makeup wipes, Powder, Moisturizer, Qtips, Concealer, ChapStick, Foundation, False lashes, Mascara, Eyeshadow.


First and foremost for healthy, hydrated looking skin apply a moisturizer prior to foundation. Your foundation should match your skin color as closely as possible. If your neck and face do not match this will show up in the photograph. If your lips are dry or chapped apply ChapStick. Second, choose natural light colors for eyeshadow. Apply heavier as if you were going out for an evening. Third, apply eyeliner to entire lash line. Forth, fill in brows with appropriate color. Fifth, choose a blush that is close to your natural healthy glow and apply to cheek bones. Sixth, choose a lip color that is a few shades deeper than your natural and apply over a lip liner of the same color. Top with a clear gloss. Lastly and most importantly use lots of powder. This will get rid of any oiliness and create a great matte finish most desirable in photographs. You will need to keep your makeup will you throughout the shoot to touch up as you go.


Makeup for men can be very tricky to apply without looking like he is wearing makeup. It is beneficial to have a makeup artist on site to help achieve this look. Here are some tips if you choose to go it alone. If your skin is rough or especially dry, exfoliate the night before your headshot. You also want to make sure your clean shaven, ready for concealer and lots of powder. The day of your shoot apply moisturizer and ChapStick to chapped lips. Apply concealer to under eye circles and blemishes. Finish with lots of powder.


As with makeup for your headshot you want to style your hair in a way that portrays the most realistic version of yourself. Don’t wear your hair in a style you would never normally wear. I suggest using product to help enhance smoothness and shine and minimize fly-always. Using a flatiron and/or curling iron helps create a simple classic style.

Tools you should bring to your shoot: Hairspray Smoothing Fluid Clips/ bobby pins Comb/ brush Curling iron Flat iron

By: Christina Silvia (professional makeup artist)