This time of year, everyone is a photographer. Between your best friend, who can’t stop documenting every minute of her holiday soiree, and your aunt, who hasn’t seen you or operated a camera in ages, photos are impossible to avoid during the holidays. To make sure all of those flash bulbs capture the very best you and to save you from a season of de-tagging, we pulled together the top tips for a more photogenic holiday season.
Keep reading for our favorite photo-ready tips!
Elongate your neck and push your face forward ever so slightly. It may feel a little ridiculous, but it makes your face look thinner and disguises any sign of a double chin. Tipping your chin down just a bit also defines your jawline and gives your face a more angular look.
Tucking your hair behind your ears makes your cheekbones look more lifted. At least do one ear to open up your face. Besides, what good is a metallic smoky eye if it’s hidden behind a curtain of hair?
Unless you’ve got supermodel features, facing the camera straight-on is rarely flattering. Turn your head slightly to show off your better side. A three-quarters position gives your features more depth. And remember a photo shot from above is far more flattering than one shot from below.
Fluid hairstyles photograph better than structured ones. Stay away from slicked-back styles and anything too coiffed. Make volume and shine priorities. Get your hold from the styling products you use while your hair is wet, and choose light-hold hairspray, so your hair doesn’t end up looking crunchy. But remember flash can pick up flyaways, so be sure to smooth those with a bit of styling cream.
We all know natural light is the best for photos, but that’s typically not an option at holiday parties. The next best thing is soft, indirect lighting. Avoid standing directly under a light source. It will cast shadows where you do not want them (read: under-eye circles) and make your hair color appear flat. Also avoid standing directly in front of strong lighting.
If you can avoid it, don’t go crazy with the foundation. Light-coverage foundation and a good cream concealer will get the job done, but a face masked in foundation will look flat in photos. And be sure you’ve got the right shade, because when flash makes a too-pale foundation look even pastier. Even if your foundation game is on-point, don’t rely on a flawless complexion to carry your look. Without blush and a highlighter or some contouring, your face can look two-dimensional and washed out in photos. Another thing to remember? A little lip color never hurt. Just skip nudes, which can look ashy, and avoid dark matte colors, which tend to have an aging and lip-shrinking effect.
No need to say “cheese,” but trying saying “money” instead. The hard “e” sound lifts the corners of your mouth up without looking forced. Or try gently pressing your tongue against the back of your teeth when you smile. If you have a tendency to smile a little too hard, this little trick prevents your smile from turning into a goofy grin.
Wine-stained lips? Good. Wine-stained teeth? Bad. Even if you’re not a cabernet drinker, try to take your pictures before you get too deep into cocktail hour. You’ll be more in control—after all, you have angles, lighting, and posture to think about. And no matter how well you hold your liquor or how bright the camera flash is, your eyes are going to look droopy after three martinis.
What will you be wearing to your holiday parties this year? Tell us in the comments below!