We all have to sell ourselves at some point, right? So whether you're updating your LinkedIn or Facebook profile pic or gearing up for a video-conference or Skype call, there are certain techniques you can use to accentuate your favourite features while downplaying those you'd rather not highlight.
Paula Begoun (aka The Cosmetics Cop) and her team talked to Darryl Bernstein, who has some handy pro secrets:
"Nothing beats a well-rested face," says Darryl Bernstein, owner of Bernstein Productions. "Get plenty of sleep, don't drink alcohol, at least not a lot, and, if possible, avoid being in front of the camera first thing in the morning."
Give yourself time to let the overnight puffiness fade...walking around a bit before the call can do wonders to reduce puffiness.
What to wear: Bernstein advises sticking to solid color garments with classic cuts. "Pay special attention to the necklines and avoid modern patterns," he says. "You don't want the face to be upstaged by a bold pattern, and the photos will have a longer shelf life."
And gentleman, listen up! "Even guys can benefit from using a fine, translucent powder to cut down on glare of the face that is sometimes brought about from the extra lighting necessary to get a good photo or video," says Daniel Fergus, Media Specialist/Videographer at the University of Nevada.
Paula and her team agree: "If you typically wear moisturizer under your foundation, cut back or don't wear any at all. Powder more than you normally would or use a more absorbent powder, especially around the nose and forehead."
You also may need to wear more makeup than you usually do. "In pictures and videos, eyes often get washed out and disappear," explains Begoun. "Contouring the crease with a soft or deep brown eye-shadow will also create subtle but elegant drama that will get you cover-girl quality pictures every time."
Eyeliner, not overdone, but a definite line along both the upper and lower lashes, along with extra mascara or even false eyelashes, will make a beautiful impact.
And finally: Practice your facial expression and your pose. Don't be embarrassed, it's just you and your mirror. If your expression in photos makes you look bored or disingenuous, try gazing downward, and right before the shutter clicks, look back up to the camera and smile. For video, ask a friend to tape you so you can find your best angles and to make sure your clothes are flattering on camera. And, most important, relax and have fun with it!
As a bonus, here are a few other tricks for looking great in photos:
• Avoid outdoor photographs when the sun is directly overhead, as this casts unattractive shadows and makes you look harsh. Late afternoon, as the sun begins to set, is the most attractive outdoor lighting.
• Get to know which clothing colors best complement your skin tone. Try on some tops in bold warm (yellow) and cool (pink) colors and note how they affect your skin tone. One will look better than the other (and you can always try neutrals such as beige).
• Know your best side (everyone has one) and put that forward when being photographed.
• Got a double chin? Make sure the camera is a bit above your eye level, and tilt your head slightly up. Try resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, as this subtle action helps reduce the appearance of a double chin.