How to Look Better in Photos

Whether it’s an unflattering angle, bad makeup or the dreaded “fat arm,” the wrong look can instantly make you appear different—and perhaps even heavier—than you are in reality. Next time you flash your smile, give these expert tips a try for picture-perfect results.

1. Look Down Just A Little
“A subtle tilt of the chin downward will make your face look slimmer and give you a sharper jawline,” says Melissa Silver, makeup artist for Maybelline New York. “And smile. This lifts up the cheekbones, giving your face more structure.” Also, try pushing your face out just a bit.

2. Pose The Right Way
“When standing, rest your weight on one leg—it gives the body more of a relaxed look and simultaneously provides better shape to the body, as well as a slimming effect,” says celebrity and beauty photographer David Leslie Anthony.

3. Fake Fuller Hair
“Bring your hair to the front, which makes it look fuller and better frames the face to add dimension,” says Andre Austin, stylist at Hair Room Service in New York.

4. Stand Up Straight
Good posture not only makes you look taller, it can also make you look thinner and your stomach flatter. This is an easy one to do that takes less than five seconds: Stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, lift up your chest and lengthen your neck.

5. Contour With Makeup
Photos can flatten out your face so, “Use a sculpting powder or matte bronzer to contour your cheeks, giving them a hollowed out look that also slims,” says Nina Soriano, professional makeup artist for Cargo Cosmetics. Add light to your face using concealer in the high points like the nose, cheekbones and chin to provide a slimming effect.

6. Pick The Perfect Spot
According to New York fashion and beauty photographer Jamie Nelson, when taking a picture in a group, avoid standing on the end. “Some cameras can make you look bigger than everyone else if you're near the edges of the frame, even if you are actually smaller in real life.”

7. Match Your Colors
Celebrity makeup artist Jake Bailey says to apply foundation to your face and jawline, continuing all the way down the neck and décolletage. This gives a more even looking complexion without any harsh demarcation lines that can show up in pictures.

8. Always Wear Powder
Because the flash from a camera can cast a shine on your skin, making you look oily, you should always apply a light dusting of translucent powder to the center of your face and T-zone.

9. Choose The Right Lipstick
Certain colors of makeup can make you look washed out. Pink, rose and peach hues are best—browns tend to give a garish look. Blue-based red lipsticks will make your teeth appear whiter. In terms of formula, matte and slightly shimmer lipsticks and glosses are best.

10. Watch Where You Place Your Hands
Anthony says to avoid placing your hands flat against your legs. “The camera sees two dimensionally and your hands will look huge in the photo, bringing the attention to your hands and not you.”

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