Here's What to Avoid Headshots are Hollywood's business cards, and if you're looking to land a part, your photo better be near perfect. For the role you're submitting for, at least. Headshots have transitioned out of their black and white roots, and getting the perfect makeup look for them isn't black and white, either.
MAC Senior Artist Caitlin Callahan breaks down the difference between "natural" and "light" makeup, the mistakes most actors and even business professionals make, and what makes your portrait look human — not like a painting.
Whether you're trying to make it in Hollywood or just looking to spruce up your online dating profile, these tips will help you look better before you pose in front of the lens. This isn't a magazine cover. Caitlin stresses that the photo needs to be an accurate depiction of what you look like. They're trying to create looks on their face that change their face, and when they're cast, they look different. What about contouring? Intense contouring looks very unnatural. Ease back.
The professionals know how many products it takes. There is definitely a difference between light and natural makeup. If you have flawless skin, don't wear foundation. It depends on the person. Don't use burgundies to accentuate green eyes or other similar techniques. Instead, Caitlin suggests using shades like ivories, peaches, browns, apricots, and pinks on the cheeks and eyes, which match everyone's natural undertone.
And avoid hard lines, too: You makeup should have a blurred, soft-focus effect. Avoid powder at all costs. Caitlin's clients include Linda Evangelista, Dakota Johnson , and Naomi Watts — she knows what goes into a gorgeous glow. So what's the trick to looking dewy, not oily? As soon as you start to powder, it looks makeup-y. You want reflectiveness — not in the T-zone.
As an artist, we're looking at quadrants of the face. An interesting photo has texture. Dewiness of the cheek and brow bone and bridge of the nose, a creamy lip; a matte chin, nostrils, and forehead. That looks human. You don't want to look flat and boring. Caitlin recommends using a tissue, paper towel, or blotting sheets. And when she does use powder, you know it's going to be MAC. It looks like skin. It's bouncy and has glycerin in it. I give the powder a spray with it. Prep your skin a week in advance.
Your face will be the primary focus of your headshots, so it's essential that it looks its best. It will make you feel your best, too! Exfoliate the night before, groom a few days before. At the end of the day, it's about showing an accurate depiction of who you are. Sometimes it takes a bit of work, but it's not about the trends in fashion.
It's about you. Keep it about you.
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