Are you "warM" or "cool"
Choosing the best colors to wear for your photo shoot can be simple if you know which color palate best suits your skin tone and coloration. There are just a few simple questions to ask yourself to figure out which colors will work best on you. Once you know if you're a "warm" or a "cool" tone you can expand that into your makeup and bring out your features in the most natural and cohesive way.
If you're "cool" jewel toned makeup and clothing will suit you best. These colors include blues, purples, turquoise, greens, magenta, and deep blue with red undertone shades. Your foundation should have a bluish or pink undertone. Black mascara will make your eyes pop. Heidi pictured to the left is cool toned.
If you're "warm" Earth tones will flatter you the most. Colors for you should include yellow, orange, brown, orangey-reds, and yellow-green shades. Your foundation should have a yellow or golden undertone. Deep red lipsticks will make your skin look amazing.
color tone quiz
Look at the inside of your wrist, are the veins there more bluish or greenish?
If you chose blue, give yourself one point under "cool". Green, one point for "warm".
When you wear an orange or yellow shirt does it make you look like you have a glow or do you look sickly?
If you chose glowing, one point for "warm", and sickly one point for "cool".
Which precious metal looks best on you? Gold or Silver?
If you chose gold, one point for "warm", silver one point for "cool".
What happens to your skin if you're out in the summer sun without sunscreen?
If you burn easily give yourself one point for "cool", and if you tan easily give yourself one point for "warm".
What color group does your eye color fall under?
Golden brown, green, blue, hazel with gold flecks. - Warm tones
Black or deep brown, gray, steel blue, hazel with gray or blue flecks. - Cool tones
Tally up your score and see where you fit. Now that you've narrowed down your fashion and makeup search for what will help you stand out in your photos, experiment with some of the colors you haven't previously thought of or tried. The best way to look good however is to feel good. A positive attitude and genuine smile will always outshine whatever it is that you're wearing.
The photo to the left is a self portrait that I took in the studio while I was waiting for a client who ran a little late. Nothing like making the most of your time. As I was taking a couple of quick shots I was inspired to share some tips for helping you look your best in photos.
You don't have to be a model to photograph well, you just have to keep a couple of things in mind and even your snapshot backyard photos will look amazing. Here are 5 simple tips that will help you get the most out of your images, and help you feel confident in front of the camera.
Tip 1 - darken your brows
You can balance the shape of your face by simply darkening your brows one shade darker which will really give your make-up maximum impact in your photographs. If you are doing your make-up yourself I suggest practicing prior to your session with brow darkening. There are pencils, powders and waxes available to accomplish this, and you may want to experiment with more than one medium to see what works best for you. I highly recommend one of the several youtube tutorials available from make-up artists to ensure proper technique. Kandee Johnson is my favorite make-up artist youtube blogger. Here is her eyebrow tutorial, it's under 3 minutes and totally worth it! _ <click here
Tip 2 - know your angles
If you're prepping for a photo shoot I recommend practicing in the mirror to find and get to know what you feel are your best angles. Knowing which side you prefer to be photographed on and how it feels to get a certain "look" that you'd like to achieve will help ensure that you get the final image result you're going for. It also helps the photographer know what you prefer and play up on your best side.
Tip 3 - Form fitting clothes
Did you just think to yourself... "wait, the camera adds 10 pounds". Well if you're wearing a loose billowy top it will most likely add 30. You don't need to show up in a spandex, but something that fits you correctly and is neat and wrinkle free will look best in your photos. I always tell my clients to bring what outfit they'd like to be photographed in and change in the studio. Sure wrinkles can be "Photoshopped" out of your picture but a quick change will ensure that your outfit looks as stunning as you do for your photo session. Also stay away from bold patterns, solid color tops and bottoms will photograph best. If you need a little splash of color, use an accessory to add it in.
tip 4 - squint, just a little
Tyra Banks is always telling her models to "smile with your eyes". Just a little squint helps to make you look more relaxed and connected with the camera. When you're looking deep into the lens think of someone close to you and picture them not the lens. Try to connect with a feeling or emotion, this will resonate in your final image.
Tip 5 - Don't look straight into the camera
Tilt your head just a little to the left or the right. Angle your shoulders to one side, and always if you're standing place all of your weight on the leg furthest from the camera. These things will elongate and slim the body while actually looking more natural and relaxed.
I hope these tips work for you. If they did please let me know by commenting on your experience or if you have a great tip yourself please share it with me. Also you can sign up for the newsletter for more tips, inspirational information and discounts from NDS. Thank you!
Coconut oil and your beauty routine
Yes, you read that right. I use coconut oil to wash my face. I won't take my makeup off with anything else. It cleanses, moisturizes and has anti-bacterial properties. It's perfect for sensitive skin (mine hates anything chemical) and smells wonderful. Not only that but its really inexpensive, and easy to find. I purchase my coconut oil at Trader Joe's for less than $7 and it will last me more than four months. You can also use it for hair conditioner (increases hair growth) and a body moisturizer. It's great for massages, and even intimate use. As with all new things being introduced to your skin try a little patch test area to ensure you're not sensitive to the oil prior to slathering it all over your face.
How to use as a makeup remover:
Coconut oil comes in a jar in and is solid at room temperature. Don't be intimidated by this! It's going to take off all of your makeup and moisturize your face at the same time.
Step one: Wet a clean washcloth with warm but not hot water.
Step two: Scoop out a dime sized amount of oil and melt in the palm of your hands by rubbing together.
Step three: Apply the melted oil to your face with your hands in an upward motion being careful not to pull or stress your skin.
Step four: Take the warm, wet washcloth and hold it over your face for about 30 seconds to help soften and remove your makeup.
Step five: wipe away your makeup with an upward motion and voila! You're ready for toner. I recommend witch hazel. I'll post about the benefits of using witch hazel for everything from face toner to healing tattoos quickly in another blog.
If you try this out please give it at least 30 days, your skin takes 28 days to regenerate. I'm curious if you like it! Let me know if this works for you! I think you'll really like it!
I spend a lot of time editing photos and one of the things I spend the most time on is.... whitening teeth. I can get your teeth so pearly white that your teeth gleam like a Hollywood actresses. Your photos look awesome, but what happens when you meet someone for the first time? What about a virtual connection, person whom you connected with via LinkedIn and your teeth in reality don't look like your profile picture? I bet it's safe to assume that the person you just met may wonder what else you've been less than honest about.
Avoid this situation all together with a few dollars and a couple of weeks of cleaning and whitening. You won't regret it. I found Kandee Johnson a couple of years ago and I love her tutorials. Check out the tutorial from Kandee below on how to whiten your teeth for less than $10. I've been using this method for awhile and my teeth are white, and not overly bleached looking. Don't forget to brush AND floss twice a day!
Preparing to take it all off can be a simple and painless process. In preparation for a boudoir photo shoot the key is proper hydration, plenty of rest, and to moisturize and exfoliate the skin. A mani and pedi the day before won't make or break the final image but it's a great excuse to pamper yourself a little more.
Hydration is key for glowing skin any time of the year. The fall and winter months tend to be drier so you should increase your water intake. If you don't know how much water you should be consuming to be properly hydrated the rule according to the Mayo Clinic is this: 2.2 liters or 9 cups for women a day and 3 liters or 13 cups for men. Typically in the winter I drink at least that much water a day and I add in either coconut water or aloe water for extra hydration for the skin. You can tell if you are dehydrated by pinching the skin on the back of your hand. If it snaps back into place, you're hydrated. If it doesn't, you need to grab a glass of water.
Dehydration is bad for beauty because when you are not consuming enough water, the body pulls water out of your largest organ.... the skin. Once your skin drys out it can begin to wrinkle. Your skin is like paper, once you crumple a sheet of paper its nearly impossible to smooth it out and have it appear how it originally did. Every company that sells miracle creams will work hard to convince you that if you slather something on top of your skin you will save yourself from the inevitable aging process when in reality the only way to truly hydrate your skin is from the inside out. Learn to love water, and put down the diet soda. Add a little lemon, cucumber, and mint to your water for flavor and detoxification. You will look amazing and feel great too!
Sleep makes all the difference in how refreshed you feel and look. The average American woman sleeps between 5.9 to 6.1 hours a night. The recommended amount we all know is a solid 8. To look refreshed you should be getting that 8 hours a night. (If you're me its more like 10) So how do you get more sleep? Well, if you have a night time routine start it a little earlier. Try 15 minutes of quiet meditation to calm the mind from the days activities before bed and to help you drift off to dream land. Don't sleep with the TV on or any glowing blue lights in the room. Mobile phone chargers can be a culprit of this indigo glow - which will actually make it harder for you to sleep. There are non-addictive sleep aids to help you too, and I don't mean anything you would buy from a pharmacy. Melatonin is a great sleep aid, is found in the vitamin isle and is drug free. But I find that the best sleep aid is exercise. Go for a walk or do other night time activities to tire you out. It can be fun, and you'll be refreshed in the morning.
Moisturizing. I know I just told you that no amount of creams will hydrate your skin, which is true but adding a little topical cream will keep you from looking ashy the day of your boudoir session especially if you've been slamming those diet sodas again. I try not to apply any conventional creams or lotions to my skin which can carry and contain numerous toxins and parabins and can actually cause cancer, dry your skin out more, and cause premature aging. So what's a girl to do? I make my own exfoliant and I use natural, organic, cold-pressed oils to clean and moisturize my skin. Yes, I said oil to clean the skin. (I'll create another post just about that) My favorite oil for moisturizing is Organic Avocado Oil. I use this on my face, neck and entire body. Avocado Oil has anti-aging and restorative properties and my skin never feels greasy or dry. Plus my make-up doesn't slide off when I apply it over the Avocado oil.
Exfoliation is self explanatory, but don't run out and buy a $20 jar of scrub when you can quickly and easily make your own right at home! This way you save money, and can control what you're applying to your skin - which will also be absorbed into your body. My general rule is "if you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin". Follow these simple tips and not only will you look great, but the recipe and directions for sugar scrub I've posted below makes great hostess or Holiday gifts. Enjoy!
*I have no affiliation with Dr Adorable nor am I sponsored by them. I just really like their products!
Saint Paul based photographer offering Headshot and creative portraiture focusing on Commercial needs.