The holidays are all about marking another year gone by and the blessings that came with it. One of the ways we do that is by taking holiday photos and professional family portraits. But the thought of getting camera-ready can cause anxiety for some. If that’s the case with you, we’re here to help. Take a look at these simple beauty tips that will have you glowing and looking gorgeous for all your photo ops. This complete holiday beauty guide will give you the skinny on what you need and how to get it all with Cash Back at Rakuten.
Hydration first and foremost
You may think skipping the moisturizer will help you keep your face on longer, but remember: We’re approaching winter, and the cold air is harsh. Protect your skin by always starting the day with a moisturizer. Stick with non-SPF moisturizer (it photographs better) and keep it light. A sensitive-skin formula should do the trick.
Applying a pore-reducing, matte primer is your next step. We recommend Benefit Cosmetics’ The POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel. It will give you an instant glow, and your foundation will glide on like butter. Speaking of foundation, you’re going to want to go heavier than normal for full-on coverage. Then, even out your skin tone with a concealer (We love Tarte’s Double Duty Shape Tape concealer!) that blends easily with your foundation. Finish it off with powder, and you’ve got the perfect canvas.
Pro Tip: If dry spots pop up while you apply your foundation, mix it with your moisturizer and reapply to only the dry areas.
Filling in your brows is a must for photos, even if they’re naturally full. Harsh light can wash them out, leaving your eyes looking frameless. The key to keeping the look natural is filling with hair-like strokes. This Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer does just that with a push-up, angled tip.
Now that you have your face and brows done (the foundation of your makeup look), take a selfie. Mirrors will only deceive you. Make sure to do it in bright, natural light to make sure everything looks even, and angle the shot so that your brows look as symmetrical as possible.
Believe it or not, you’re now past the hardest part, and highlighting your eyes will be a breeze. All you need is neutral shadow at the crease, light-yet-matte shadow at the brow bone, a little dark shadow on your lash line at the outer corners (top and bottom) and a touch of shimmer at the inner corners. Before you finish it all off with your normal mascara, sweep on some Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Mascara Base to create the look of thick, long lashes. No falsies required!
You may not normally wear lip liner, but it’s absolutely essential for photos. Start with your liner, then apply lipstick (preferably matte, for staying power) with a lip brush. You’ll be amazed how much longer lipstick lasts this way, as opposed to when you apply it straight from the tube.
Once everything is applied perfectly and you’re full-on feeling yourself, spray on some Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. Don’t worry — it may feel wet, but it’s really like hairspray for your face, and will make everything sweat- and element-proof for the whole day. Be sure to keep blotting papers and translucent finishing powder on hand in case your skin starts to get shiny.
Pro Tip: Ripped-up pieces of toilet seat covers actually work wonders for absorbing oils when you’re in a pinch.
Briana is a shopaholic whose newest obsession is matching top-and-skirt sets (but she also can’t resist a good jumpsuit). She loves rock music, horror movies and is an all-around pop culture junkie. She is, without fail, always down for karaoke. Her blog, Mamafierce, is a chronicle of personal fashion, body positivity and the adventures of motherhood. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three-year-old son and tortoiseshell cat, Divvy.