Sure, we could pretend like we don't carefully strategize our Instagram posts, curating various photos of our lives like a veritable highlight reel. We could. But we won't. Like it or not, we do care about our feeds, and it's especially exciting to upload a picture that's met with a ton of likes. I swear there's a connection between our serotonin levels and those times we sit back and watch the likes roll in on an especially good photo. You can judge, but I know you've felt it.
So I thought it helpful (and mostly just fun) to ask my fellow Byrdie editors about the stories behind their most-liked photos. Was there a particular product they used that moved the needle, a setting, or something similar? Turns out there was, and Byrdie HQ has been buzzing with Instagram secrets ever since. Below, find the Instagrams our followers have double-tapped the most and the previously undisclosed products and poses that got us there.
Hallie Gould, Senior Editor
My secret: A lot of light (and Chanel nude lipstick)
My thoughts: Good light is absolutely the most vital component of all my most-liked photos. It makes the image look so exquisitely high-res, offering up clear, sun-drenched skin and a lot of glow. Then, you don't have to edit at all. The sun washes out any discoloration and sets you up for a really beautiful selfie, one which shows off your skin, makeup, and eyes in a glinty, sunshiny way. We have this secret window in our office, off in a corner right by the men's bathroom, and no one's ever over there.
(We don't exactly work with a ton of men.) Each time I see the sun shining, I run over there and snap a few pictures, whether it's for a story or just for me. In this particular picture, the new Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in Nuance ($37) didn't hurt, either.
My secret: M-61 Hydraboost HA Serum Pads ($32)
My thoughts: Here's another one in that same corner, with more direct, shadowy light. I love how light can really change the mood and feeling of a photo, even when it's in the same place and even the same pose. (I know my angles.) To show off glossy, glowy skin, I'll apply M-61 Hydraboost HA Serum Pads ($32) before foundation and really let it sink in. That way, when I blend foundation on over it, the shine comes through, making my skin look really fresh without highlighter.
Maya Allen, Assistant Editor
My secret: My signature red lipstick
My thoughts: "A bright, fiery, in-your-face red lip never fails me. I might as well be the spokesperson for Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bawse ($24) because I recommend it to IG followers, strangers who compliment me, and all my friends every time I wear it. It never fades, it's non-drying, and it's the most vibrant red I've ever worn."
My secret: Face oil, all over
My thoughts: "A good glow always warrants an overflow of likes. I have inherently dehydrated skin that swallows any and all products in seconds. But nothing feels as good as a face oil. I've raved about how my number one face oil does my skin and body so good: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($72). In this photo, I used it as a primer, which made my foundation look so luminous. And I lathered it all over my décolletage."
Amanda Montell, Features Editor
My secret: Dior Lacquer Addict Stick is Poisonous ($37)
My thoughts: "All credit to this photo's likability goes to the Dior Lacquer Addict Stick is Poisonous ($37), which is this shiny milk chocolate color that makes your lips look insanely plump and juicy."
My secret: A blush-and-highlighter combo
My thoughts: "I never post selfies that show this much skin, so I guess that contributed to the uptick in likes (ha). Also Nars Blush in Orgasm ($37) and Glossier Haloscope in Quartz ($22). And sweat. A lot of un-blotted sweat."
Victoria Hoff, Wellness Editor
My secret: Orange eye shadow
My thoughts: "This Make Up For Ever orange shadow has accidentally become something of a signature look for me this year. I tried it on a whim last spring while I was bored on a weekend, and loved how it looked so much that I've worn it on the regular ever since. It's a low-effort, deceptively minimalist *lewk* that always earns me tons of compliments and elevates even the most casual outfit."