Makeup For Boudoir

Soon after I started shooting boudoir, I realized how makeup played an important role in my client’s session. Every time one of my gals had her makeup done, it gave her an instant boost of confidence. It also makes a HUGE difference in your photos! When I focus my camera during a boudoir shoot, I center focus on your eyes 90% of the time (except for booty shots of course 😉 ). Most of us think that we know how to apply makeup correctly. It wasn’t until I took my first few makeup lessons that I realized we have it all wrong!

You don’t have to wear a dramatic look if you don’t really like wearing makeup. Your makeup should definitely match your taste and personality. However, proper application it’s important. You can contour your eyes and make them stand out even with natural shades of eyeshadow if that’s what you prefer. Smokey eyes are often requested, but not necessary if  it’s not your style. The following are a few makeup tips when you are getting ready for your shoot:

  • Avoid foundation with SPF, which may reflect light (I fill in with artificial light during your shoot.)
  •  DO extend your foundation coverage down to your chest area and make sure your face and neck area matches the rest of your body, especially if you are posing nude.  You might have to either lighten or darker your foundation shade to accomplish that.
  • The focus should be on your eyes OR lips. NOT both. For boudoir, I prefer a dramatic eye and a nude lip. However, if you are a red lipstick kind of gal, then go nude with your eyeshadow.
  • Don’t contour with bronzer! Bronzer looks a bit red in photos and should be avoided for contouring.
  • Use sparkle sparingly to avoid taking the focus away from your eyes. Also, remembers that sparkly makeup reflects light. If you are not a fan of matte makeup, then add a touch sparkle with highlighter over your cheekbones instead.
  • If you want some sparkle in your eyes, don’t use frosted eyeshadow under the brow bone. Keep it in your lid or the inner corner of your eyes if you want to make them seem a bit wider or open.
  • False lashes are a must! They make your eyes really stand out.  My favorite brand is Ardell’s Studio Effects Wispies.
  • Stay away from spider lashes! More is not necessarily better with mascara. Lashes should look full but natural.
  • Blend, blend, blend that eyeshadow! A fluffy brush makes wonders to blend your eyeshadow.
  • Avoid eyeshadow colors like blue, green, hot pink, etc. Keep it neutral with browns, greys, blacks, and maroons.
  • Take it easy on the blush, but DO wear blush. Contouring your cheeks is important, but you don’t want to take the focus away from the eyes.
  • DO fill in your eyebrows. Brows frame your eyes and they always need a bit of “sprucing up”. If you don’t have brow pencil or powder, you can use a matte eyeshadow and an angled brush to fill them in a bit.

On a final note, if you are also styling your own hair:

  • Big soft curls look best. Avoid “prom” or “wedding” tight curls. Think “sexy bed hair”. If your hair is hair naturally curly, you still need to style it with a curling iron to give your curls shape and form.  Air-dried curly hair doesn’t look polished enough for pictures.
  • VOLUME on top is very important. Flat hair doesn’t photograph well for this type of session.  Again, the styling you are used to when you go out it’s different. For boudoir photos, you need volume on TOP! What it may look like “big hair” to you when you look in the mirror, actually looks perfect in boudoir photos.

Hair and makeup for photography is very different from what most ladies do on a daily basis. I strongly suggest that you book the services of someone who knows how to style for photography. You are already making an investment with your photos. It’s worth to invest in proper styling. 😉

All the ladies on this page had their makeup done by me (Mya).  Questions? I LOVE to talk about makeup! Send me a quick email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

(Note: The purple at the bottom on her eyes is the reflection from her glasses. It’s NOT makeup.)

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