What to Paint on your Face (How to apply makeup for your photo session)

As I sit here sipping my Real Sangria (YES it says REAL and it’s $7.00 a bottle and I’m not ashamed to be seen with the bottle because it’s not that pansy ass Arbor Mist stuff), I reminisce about my mother teaching me how to put on makeup.

There has to be some crazy trick to lip paint because I still don't understand how this stuff is supposed to work!
There has to be some crazy trick to lip paint because I still don’t understand how this stuff is supposed to work!

Actually, that was probably a sangria induced hallucination because my mother was and is a tomboy (She taught me how to change the oil on my car not how to curl my hair) Mom’s idea of getting dressed was slapping on a size 00 pair of cut off wrangler jeans, Daisy Duke style (that’s two zeros people, they do make clothes in those sizes in case you’re wondering because I sure as hell never bought a pair in that size) and whatever random t-shirt she could find that came about mid-thigh. (Which is actually in style now?) If she was really in a dressy mood she put on some eyeliner, mascara and a pair of whole wrangler jeans and maybe a dressy button up shirt, oh, and curled her bangs.  There’s nothing wrong with that and my mother is beautiful.  We just have to do some clothing and makeup adjustments before a photo shoot.

This is what my makeup looked like in middle school!
This is what my makeup looked like in middle school

Needless to say my foray into makeup was interesting.  I went from middle school with WAAAYYY too much make up because that’s what you do when you’re 13  to a grown up tomboy myself saying, “Screw it I look great without it.”  And I did but then I turned 30….. It hurt a little to type that….

At 30, this strange thing happens overnight.  All of those days in the sun start to take a toll on your face.  So does the smoking, drinking, late nights doing those two things and the 4 hours of sleep you tell yourself you can live with, while sleeping those 4 hours in your party hard makeup. (This was the only time I put on makeup). You see these little lines appearing around your eyes, and strange dark marks and weird hairs sprout. Also, acne does not go away when you turn 20 or 30, I’m hoping on 40.

This stuff became my new best friend!
This stuff became my new best friend!

Anyway, so GOOGLE….  I had to GOOGLE how to put on eyeliner, curl my hair, what type of face regimen to use etc.  Then I started doing more studio portraits and hello …. I had to hire a makeup artist because yep I didn’t know what to do for my clients.

SO without further ado…here are tips for how to paint that crud on your face for your portrait session…. YES it’s different than every day makeup!


Primer… If you don’t have it, get it.  Primer not only gives you a smooth even complexion but leaves your make up flawless for an extended period of time.  Any primer will work!


Ya’ll know I’m a color kind of gal BUT unless we are doing some type of stylized fashion shoot OR you regularly wear hot pink eyeliner, then DON’T get too crazy about trying something new for your photo-shoot. Even if you look fabulous, if it’s not you, then you may look at your portraits and think “What was I thinking.”


Do you regularly wear shimmery, gold dusted, glittery make up? If you do and you’re over the age of 18, DON’T.  If you don’t, sure as heck don’t start now!  Shimmery make up reflects light and that can make your face appear oily in photographs.  If you’re using these to “highlight” your face see contouring below for a better, more natural appearing option.


Oh how I love contouring!  This right here can totally change your whole face!  I am so going to link you to My Pinterest because yea there’s a good tutorial HERE for contouring but the basics are this.  You have three foundations.  Your regularly tinted foundation, one lighter and one darker. You use a lighter for the highlight areas and a darker for your shadow areas to bring out the angles in your face. I suggest sticking with the same brands OR you can buy a contouring kit or stick.  I like NYX Cosmetics Wonder Stick because it takes the guess work out of what shade you should buy.  Plus, I’m a cheap ass and it’s $11.99 at Ulta.com.


Don’t be too light handed with your make up when preparing for your photo-shoot.  Sunlight and a camera flash can wash out the color on your face.  Do your make up and then step out into the sunlight with a hand mirror. Make sure the light is actually on your face when you do this to see how your make up will look in light. Go heavier on the blush and contouring than on the eyes. The eyelids do not wash out as easily because light hits your cheeks first.  DO NOT RIM YOUR WATERLINE IN ALL BLACK!  This makes your eyes appear smaller.  Use a white or nude pencil on your waterline and then use brown (lightly) under that to make your eyes appear larger!

Does anyone else take selfies to see what your makeup looks like? That’s so what I was doing in these! Anyway….purple eyeliner doesn’t make eyes look as small as a all black eyeliner.
Without black waterline...I really need to work on my happy face in my selfies
Without black waterline…I really need to work on my happy face in my selfies
With a all black waterline (See I was trying to hold my eyes open further)
With a all black waterline (See I was trying to hold my eyes open further)

Professional Makeup

If you have your makeup done by a professional prior to your session, be sure to inform them that you are getting it done for a photo session & that they understand that there is a difference.

SO what have we learned today?

FIRST Arbor Mist Sangria is a wussy girly drink.

SECOND you have learned that there is more to learn on my Pinterest board here.

C : Don’t be scared to use your makeup, learn to contour, you’re not 12….get rid of the glitter, and don’t get too adventurous with makeup color.  OH and primer…..just like painting a wall use this before your paint your face.


Fourth- D- whatever:  Cameras are not magical.  It spits out a 2D image of a 3D person.  Even if you don’t wear makeup regularly, wearing it for your photo shoot will enhance your already beautiful face.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR OIL – Go to your Husband/Boyfriend/Friend with Benefits and say, “If I have to change this oil myself then what do I need a man for? I own a vibrator.”  Go back in the house, practice putting on makeup….watch your oil get changed.  For better instructions, ask my mom…..

GUYS…..why are you reading this? You know you don’t care what your face looks like. You just want to know how much you have to spend on this to make your wife/girlfriend happy.  Muahaaaaaa!!

3 thoughts on “What to Paint on your Face (How to apply makeup for your photo session)

  1. This article is really interesting. I have bookmarked it.
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