Photographs capture moments and make them memories. That's why so many
of us panic when we know we'll have our picture taken: We want to look gorgeous! And while it's very, very easy to look not-so-pretty
in pictures, it's also pretty simple to take a fabulous photo. Here, our best photo-worthy tricks:
Even skin is key to looking good in a photo
-- and foundation makes your skin look smooth and flawless. "I prefer a matte finish," says Marie Papp, a New Jersey-based
wedding and portrait photographer. "It reduces facial shine." Another crucial cosmetic: pressed powder to nix any breakthrough
shine while you're being photographed.
Papp also recommends avoiding alcohol and salty foods for a day or two before
you're photographed. "It can make your face and jawline puffy, which doesn't look good in photos," she says.
makeup is always your best bet. "Lots of shimmery eye shadow or lipstick isn't flattering in photos," says Papp. Instead,
go for matte shades of shadow and cream-formula lipsticks. For a bit of shine, dab some lip gloss in the center of your lower
lip. "The light kicks off the lip gloss in pictures, making your lips look fuller," says Papp.
Other important makeup
items: mascara, to make eyes look wide; light to medium lipstick, as dark shades can make you look older; and concealer wherever
your skin is red or pink.
You might also consider hiring a professional makeup artist to do your makeup if your photos
are very important.
For photos, the smoother and shinier, the better. Women with naturally straight
hair do best by smoothing hair with a natural-bristle brush and then spritzing on a shine spray. For curls, wind them around
your finger when hair is wet, then allow to air-dry without touching. Shake curls gently when dry to break them up a bit.
This method will leave you with shiny -- not fuzzy -- curls. Avoid hairstyles that pull your strands too taut; you could end
up looking bald in photos!
"I tell my clients to wear form-fitting clothes instead of blousy
ones," says Papp. "Form-fitting clothes show off your shape." Choose a top with a neckline that's flattering to you, whether
it's a V-neck, scoop neck or boatneck. And stick to darker shades; they tend to recede in photos, having a slimming effect.
What to avoid: bold, bright prints.
If you wear glasses, consider leaving them off for your photo. But if you can't,
"wear a pair with an anti-glare coating," says Papp. Without that coating, your glasses will show reflections and glares in
"A smile that's genuine is the best smile," says Papp. "Smile with your eyes as
well as your mouth." So focus less on achieving the perfect smile, and more on being real. Papp advises against practicing
your smile in the mirror, as a too-perfect smile tends to look flat and lifeless in photos.
camera straight can be unflattering and even have a confrontational feel. Instead, position yourself in a three-quarter position,
so you're facing the camera at an angle. This pose shows off your waistline and curves, notes Papp. Also consider shifting
your weight to one foot.
Finally, don't forget to breathe. "When you don't breathe, you look
frozen," says Papp. "When people try to control everything so much, their photos tend to look lifeless. Allow yourself to
be in the moment and show your energy."