From trout pouts to double chins and dreaded red eye, to belfies , welfies and even ussies (aka group pictures - yep, that’s actually a thing now), taking the perfect picture nowadays poses a list of pitfalls and possibilities longer than ever thought imaginable.
With the selfie phenomenon giving a jar of Marmite a run for its money, whether you love them or loathe them, one look at our Facebook newsfeeds proves that there’s no escaping them. So to ensure that you have all the tools you need for that inevitable moment when that well-meaning albeit snap-happy friend of yours whips out her camera phone, here are the 10 best ways to ensure that the pic’s a keeper from the pros who get people camera-ready for a living, plus some words of warning from our own personal experiences too.
Go towards the light
“Avoid any overhead lights,” recommends makeup artist and Get The Gloss Expert Caroline Barnes . “Kitchen and bathroom lights that are fitted into the ceiling and send light onto the top of your head instantly makes eyes look darker, more tired, and show up fine lines too. It’s the most unflattering type of light.”
For the day, opt for natural daylight over artificial. “It’s the softest most beautiful light,” says Caroline. “However, don’t go into the daylight and then turn away from it - you need to be facing it otherwise you’ll end up getting a side light which causes different shadows to be cast on the face.” During the night, always use your flash and don’t rely solely on filters which can often wash out features.
Cast the trout pout out to sea
Possibly the most annoying facial expression OF ALL TIME, there are plenty more fish in the sea when it comes to choosing another pose of choice. The best ones? To give lips a subtle dose of fullness, push your tongue against the back of your teeth. And if in doubt, just smile. “A relaxed smile that reaches your eyes will boost any photo,” says makeup artist and Get The Gloss Expert Ruby Hammer . Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Join the arm-y
Got arms so long that they could rival those of Mr Tickle? You could become the perfect selfie’s new secret weapon. For the best possible angle, use as much range of motion as those bad boys will allow you to showcase, “Keep your chin up and hold the phone above you so it points down i.e. as a birds-eye view,” recommends makeup artist and Get The Gloss Expert Daniel Sandler . “It helps to soften any under-eye dark circles and prevents a double chin.”
“Extending your arms as long as possible will also give you a better area to crop with in Instagram,” says Caroline Barnes.
The post-gym selfie - great if you’ve actually worked out, not so much if you look like you haven’t even broken into a sweat. Chronicling your weight loss journey can be a motivating thing to keep you going when you feel about ready to throw in the towel. However, restrain from posting if you haven’t actually used one - no one likes a gym poser.
In an ideal world, we’d love the ability to contour like a Kardashian at lightning speed, however for us mere mortals, a speedy touch-up is all we’ll have time for without garnering concerned glances from fellow party-goers.
“A quick touch up for a selfie would be using a little bit of cream concealer underneath eyes and blending it out and around nose,” recommends Caroline. The secret also lies in some clever eye makeup pre-party prep. “Due to the loose detail you get on Instagram, you don’t need to worry about using lots of little soft eyeshadows or a blusher, it’s more important to keep strength in face by making your eyelashes and your brows stand out. I love the Laura Mercier Brow Pencil , £17.50 and Tom Ford Brow Sculptor , £34. My top tip is to make sure it has a really sharp point so that you can draw them in with fine hair-like strokes,” suggests Caroline.
On the lash
“For eyelashes, I’d recommend a really volumising mascara such as Max Factor Transform Mascara , £9.99 applied on both top and bottom lashes so that you get enough bulk,” recommends Caroline. “As long as your lashes and brows show up and you have some shape round your mouth (a nude or red both work well), it’ll give the perfect final polish to your finished beauty look.”
Don’t do dewy
“Avoid dewy makeup finishes as they will make you look shiny and always carry a blotting powder with you for touch-ups,” says Daniel Sandler. “My Invisible Blotting Powder , £19.50 will ensure you are always photo-ready.”
“Make sure your T-zone doesn’t get too shiny,” also recommends Ruby Hammer. “Powder or blot the area using MAC Blot Powder Pressed , £20.50 which comes in a great range of shades.”
The only way is up
“Always look up into the camera,” recommends Caroline. “If you look down, you’ll have instant eye bags and a double chin too.”
Practice good posture
At the risk of sounding like your gran, “Don’t slouch!” Do and you’ll be giving Dynamo a run for his money having magically concocted a double chin, bulging belly and hunchback literally out of nothing. The key lies in keeping your body ready for fight-or-flight but not letting it reach your face, or else risk looking like an extra in Meerkat Manor. Check out our top tips for good posture for making sure you’ve got the basics covered.
Don’t be a newsfeed hog
And finally, curb your selfie addiction by posting two maybe, three selfies per event. Max. There’s no quicker way to lower your friends list than inadvertently turning your uni mates’ newsfeeds into something akin to a stalker’s wall better placed in an episode of CSI.