Do you pile on extra makeup for blog photos?

I do! I wear makeup most days anyway, but I do enjoy adding a little extra pizzaz for blog photos.

Here’s why:

1. It’s fun! (If you don’t find wearing make-up fun, then just ignore everything I’m about to say.) I really enjoy buying and wearing make-up though, and blog pics are an excuse to be a little more playful than I would day to day. Mo’ glitter, mo’ shadow, mo’ shine, mo’ fun!

blue eyeshadow

Blue eyeshadow – not my every day look.

2. It photographs well. Now, this might vary a lot person to person, but I’ve got a very low-contrast colouring: blonde hair, invisible brows and lashes, and pale lips. For me, makeup helps define my face in photographs even when I go for bright, slightly over-exposed lighting.

bare face Well Hello, no makeup me! 

3. It helps set the mood. A summer top might call for lots of bronzer, or maybe a sassy dress needs red lipstick. Just like choosing the right pair of shoes, the right necklace, the right lighting or the right location.

red lips

Channeling my inner flamenco dancer.

4. It makes me more confident. Not that it changes my confidence in my looks (ok, maybe it does a bit) but it’s like putting on a costume and becoming someone else – the Gillian who goes to take pictures in front of strangers! I’m one of those shy people who is confident on stage as long as I have a role – likewise, when I dress up as a version of myself, I’m ready to go take pictures like a boss.

DSC_8071

Believe it or not, this is me with a lot of bronzer on my face, neck and shoulders!

Now, you are probably saying, “But Gillian, you look basically the same in every photo!” Well, yes… but the differences that are subtle on camera are noticeable to me as I get ready. I rather like that I can cake it on to get in the mood but the camera makes it all seem understated!

The glory of makeup is that it’s a choice… and it’s just as valid to say “No thanks!” as “Yes please!” Makeup would be no fun if I HAD to wear it, and I’m definitely not saying that good pics require makeup. We’re all feminists here, right?

cat eyes

Frank’s cat-eye-liner is always on point! 

In my interview with this month’s Better Pictures Project muse Erin, she talked about her pre-photo routine to get in mood. The more I think about it, the more I realise that my warm-up routine is putting on make-up (usually on a weekend day where I’ve been in pyjamas til mid-afternoon), and trying out necklaces, shoes, and other accessories. I’m usually thinking through the blog post I’ll write, and deciding where to take photos. It’s quality thinking time, AND a chance to smear colour all over my face. It’s a win-win!

What’s your personal relationship to makeup? Love it, hate it, or bored by it? Do you change up your routine for blog photos? 


54 thoughts on “Do you pile on extra makeup for blog photos?

  1. I am with you 100% Gillian. I don’t tend to wear makeup much in my normal day to day life but I always spend time putting on my face before I take blog photos. Funny thing is I feel so much better wearing it that I really should make the effort every day. I love all of the different looks that you have created with your make up.

    Debbie
    http://www.sewnfromtheheart.com

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    1. You know, maybe if you wore it everyday, you’d lose that extra pep it gives you! (That’s not true for me, but I’m sure it’s true for some! :P)

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  2. I wear the same makeup that I wear everyday, plus some lipstick (usually just wear that when I’m on the town, not to work). But I may pile a little extra blush on or whatever depending on what I’m planning to photograph. I would do more with my makeup for photos if I had any idea what to do with it!🙂

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    1. Uh, but you manage eyeliner every day ,so you are automatically in the cool girls club! I just can’t figure it out… though I enjoy trying, and then wiping it off!😛

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  3. I have a love/hate relationship with makeup. In general makeup boosts my confidence, but I hate the feeling of having stuff on my skin, hence I often go without it. I often take long to post a new blog post because its just too much effort to doll myself up, and I wont take blog photos without makeup!

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  4. I tend to wear quite a bit of make up on a daily basis anyway, as without it although I have dark hair I am very pale and washed out looking. My make up for blog photos tends to be the same as normal, although depending on what I’m photographing I might add a little extra or go for a brighter lipstick.

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  5. While I don’t wear a lot of make up as I used to do, I think a subtle touch of colour makes all the difference between looking ok and looking radiant. I think experimenting new looks is fun and it’s not incompatible with being a feminist as long as your life does not revolve only around that.

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    1. I feel that way about blush! I work hard to tamp down the redness elsewhere in my face, but boy do I feel brighter with a nice rosy cheek!

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  6. I used to wear waaaaay too much makeup (like I said brittle eyelashes from way too much mascara, and practically perma-eyeliner), but I stopped wearing it completely a few years ago. The only time I even buy it now is for Halloween costumes, and when I see myself now with something like mascara, I always feel like I look really weird! My version of makeup now is just to keep my skin nice through drinking tons of water, eating well, not drinking alcohol, moisturizing daily, and using high SPF when I go in the sun (100 SPF, yo!!!), and to keep my brows nicely shaped. And on a few occasions, I’ve gotten an eyebrow tint and like how it helps define my features.

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    1. I can’t even picture you with “way too much makeup!” I demand photographic evidence! I totally agree that looking after oneself is the best way to look and feel nice… but I do so love some shimmer and colour!😉

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  7. This is a great topic! And oddly, I can relate to being low-contrast — nothing about my face pops without makeup. Yet, I don’t wear any. I don’t style my hair, either…I feel like I should, but I resent having to do more than be clean and reasonably neat in public. What can I say, I’m stubborn *and* lazy.

    In my 20s, though, I did wear makeup. Would not be caught dead without it. I thought it made me look better, pretty even, and putting it on, and styling my hair, and accessorizing, were all a part of my getting ready for the world routine. It was, just like for you, a nice time when I could plan my day. So, it goes both ways.🙂

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    1. Clean and reasonably neat is TOTALLY enough in public! I feel the same when I wear jeans to work, like “What? does my choice of casual pants mean I’m any less good at my job? Then don’t judge me!”

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  8. I only usually wear makeup if I’m going out on the weekends. I definitely wear it for blog shoots because the pic would literally fall flat without it. I’d be all dressed up but the camera won’t capture the features in my face without a little eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss (at least). When I forget, it’s not the end of the world but I can definitely tell the difference.

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  9. I was just thinking about this topic on Sunday when I had my husband handy, it was still light outside when I finished a project and it was not raining. It was a very rare occurrence, so I made him go out in the backyard with me to photograph two new makes. After I got the photos and was looking at them, I realized that I wasn’t wearing makeup. I wear eye makeup every day to work, but I often don’t wear it on the weekends. So a lot of my blog/facebook photos are of me sans makeup. I find it funny that I won’t show up to work without my eyes defined, but I’ll happily post photos for the world to see of me all clean-faced. Go figure.

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  10. I pretty much wear the same make up as every day, which is very little!! The only guarantee is eyebrows, like you, mine are blonde and non existent so I draw them in everyday. I mostly wear mascara and super occasionally wear eye shadow. I never wear foundation or anything else. I keep thinking I should really make an effort though because when I do I get compliments which makes me think it must look better than my natural state!!! 😂

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    1. Ahhh, but trust me on this – if you wear makeup everyday, people take it as “normal” and only comment when you aren’t wearing as much, to say “Oh, are you ok? You look sick!” Um yeah, thanks, guys. (Bonus – when I actually am sick, I don’t wear blush, and then everyone notices I’m sick and cuts me some slack. Otherwise people are like, “But you LOOK fine!”)

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  11. I wear the same makeup I wear when I leave my house (if I don’t leave my house, I skip the makeup entirely – #noeyebrowsforthewin) but sometimes I think I should wear a little more so my bitty eyes don’t get lost in the scene lol!

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    1. I’ve got eyes that crinkle up near closed when I smile… I figure makeup means they at leasts how up on camera, but no makeup will ever make me doe-eyed!😉

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  12. I rarely wear make up, except for special occasions, since I have a very sensitive skin and my autoimmune disorder provokes mild allergic reactions to almost everything. I do wear a tiny bit of make up during my photoshoot sessions to give some color to my lips and avoid black rings under my eyes.

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  13. Hmm, I suppose you could say I wear my “maximum effort” look for blog photos. I don’t wear any makeup at home, but I have to wear some at least to go out, otherwise I look very washed out and generally a little ill. Whether or not I wear more than tinted moisturizer, mascara, and blush varies by the day and what I’m doing, but I always go the extra mile for photos — adding eyeshadows, eyeliner, lipstick… More like what I’d wear for something special, rather than running errands.

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    1. That’s a good way to put it! I’d say the same about my photoshoot makeup – it’s more like what I would wear on a special occaision than every day!

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  14. So much love for this post. I wish I could just wake up with makeup on. Its the effort that kills me! But having done posts with no make up and then hating them I always make sure i’ve got some on before doing any blogphotos! I think people at work would be shocked if I wore makeup, but I’d rather have 10 mins extra sleep than bother in the week!

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    1. LOL – yeah, if it’s not fun, don’t bother! I really enjoy putting on makeup before work – it’s a nice selfish part to my morning!

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  15. I really wasn’t putting on makeup before. Probably because I usually ended up taking photos immediately after pulling the garment from the sewing machine. But I have started making the effort to photograph the next day, after some much needed rest, so I wouldn’t look so tired in pics. I definitely find that I look better in photos with some makeup on, so I make sure to do a little magic now.

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    1. I like to think that make-up helps us guide the camera to capture light the way we want it to – a little definition here, a little sheen here, and make this fade into the background… it’s fun to play with!

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  16. I’m very fair and look like Casper the Ghost’s anaemic friend without makeup. I slap it on for blog photos and still look invisible but without it I look about 12. I had makeup lessons when I got married and it really helped me understand just how much I need to look decent in photos.

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  17. I wear a little natural looking (and by natural I mean most people think I don’t have any on) makeup every day to even out my skin tone and because sunscreen. I usually end up taking blog photos on Sundays after church so I already have the extras of mascara and lipstick on. As someone who works in film and tv, I know everyone needs at least a little powder for better photos. It’s really all about not creating any distractions – if you forget to brush your hair, no one is going to focus on the clothing you want to show off. And hey, a little extra makeup means less time editing photos later! =)

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  18. Usually I will put makeup on for photos, although there have been exceptions! My last post got the “sunglasses instead of eye makeup” treatment because it was freezing outside and we weren’t leaving the yard, so I was in no mood for the extra effort.

    I don’t wear makeup most of the time, so it’s fun to work out what I want to do with my face for photos each time! (One of the many luxuries of having wacky hair: it is enough “look” to not make me feel like I need makeup for normal everyday life.) I like the way I photograph with makeup much better than “au naturel” too, so that confidence boost definitely helps me get better pictures!

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  19. I definitely wear more that I typically would for photos. Regular makeup = no makeup on camera, so LOTS of makeup = regular makeup! It’s also fun to style your makeup look to go with the styling of the clothing.
    When you take your photos do you plan to do something afterwards? I’ll sometimes plan photo days to be when I have plans in the evening so I can get all dolled up in one go, instead of going home and washing it all off lol,

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    1. Hehe – I’m totally the opposite! 9 times out of 10 I wash the makeup off the minute I get home from taking pictures. Maybe that’s because it’s usually mid-day on a weekend, and it feels strange just to sit around the house in full face?

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    1. Maybe it’s time for some on-the-hanger shots? No shame in that! Or throw some sunglasses on and take a few pics outside… ’cause sunglasses always equals looking great!😉

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  20. I enjoyed this post a lot. I have been toying with the idea of make-up design and styling for blog shots (if I ever make anything) as it is a) a load of fun and b) I think that I look terrible without make up as I am very pale and photograph with no definition apart from my brows. You look great BTW, perfect skin!
    I used to wear full make-up every day and wouldn’t leave the house without it. Now I don’t wear any except for client meetings or evening events when it’s kind of expected to scrub-up. I have a whole shelf of make-up technique books and love my old Kevyn Aucoin ones.

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    1. Ooh, fun! I don’t have any makeup books, but I do love watching youtube videos. So relaxing… because what could be lower stakes than watching an expert apply removeable pigments?

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  21. No makeup for me…I don’t feel like myself in it. I spend a lot of time thinking about clothes, though less I sew smarter, exactly no time about makeup, and about 2 minutes a day on hair. Part of this is that I like being about to get out of bed and leave the house in under 15 minutes. On the other hand, when trying *not* to be myself, I’m (theoretically) game (thinking mainly of Halloween costumes here, though it sounds like your game face ritual accomplishes that goal too – let’s you try being someone else!).

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  22. I usually add a bit more makeup for the blog, because I always turn super pale in front of the camera too. I I don’t have at least mascara and a bit of lip colour on I look like a ghost!😉

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