While there is scientific proof social media can warp your view of yourself, your life, and just about everything else—I think I've somehow evaded the harrowing effects on my psyche. So, yes, I genuinely love Instagram, and quite honestly, I'm not shy about proclaiming that fact to naysayers. I think it's fun to take notice of beautiful things and photograph them (and the likes aren't so bad). So, when Who What Wear Editor Aemilia Madden had fashion bloggers evaluate her feed, I felt inspired and admittedly a bit jealous. I wonder what I could be doing better, I contemplated, as I scrolled through the piece.
Then, it struck me. I can do the same thing by swapping fashion bloggers for beauty influencers, and hopefully, I'll boast better pictures at the end of it. I sent my plea to a few of my favorites, namely Rachel Nguyen of That's Chic and Sara Azani of Style MBA, hoping to garner a few helpful pointers. When it comes to Instagram, I'm happy to take constructive criticism. Below, find the five most important takeaways.
"I love how natural and dewy the makeup is in this photo," Azani says, which was exciting because I had tried to make it look that way before heading to this event. I even slicked on a glossy eye à la Katie Jane Hughes before leaving the office. "The only thing I would do differently is take the shot facing the natural light," she instructed. This is a hack I've heard (and tried) numerous times before, so it absolutely transforms an otherwise average photo. Moral of the story: Light is everything—get on board.
"This shot is pure perfection," Azani told me—a comment that had me beaming for hours afterward. Truth be told, myself and a fellow editor were practically chasing the light around Las Vegas to get that shot. But, I hadn't thought about depth of field at all, or even setting up an interesting mise-en-scène. That's where Azani comes in: "The play on textures is on point, but I would probably take a few steps toward the camera to add more depth."
"Killing the look," Nguyen (kindly) complimented. For this shot, I was trying to show off the velvety goodness of Pat McGrath's newest lipstick launch. FYI: The color payoff is unprecedented—yet paired with the glorious pigment is a comfortable, press-on formula that all but cloaks your lips. Nguyen continues, "I would've tricked the camera a bit so it appears you're shooting in an outdoor background." She's right, it's not exactly casual or cool of me to show the world I was taking a sunglass-clad selfie indoors.
For this picture, I had just had my makeup done by a Nars artist at the brand's Melrose boutique and interviewed Mr. Nars himself—so it wasn't just the incredible highlighter (Nars Highlighting Blush in Hot Sand, $30) that had me glowing. "I'd probably angle part of the face more toward the light so it doesn't create a top-down shadow," Nguyen asses.
I dressed up as a disco ball for Halloween this year and had Make Up For Ever create this reflective, sparkly masterpiece. I did, however, have trouble shooting it properly. "I love this look so much, but this could've been zoomed in more, in a more artistic way," recommends Nguyen. "I'm thinking similar to one of those eye-selfies or a crop of just your brows and eyes. Seeing the hair and shirt makes it look a little Pinterest-y," she adds.