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8 steps to follow before the photo shoot – Advice from a photo retoucher

Photoshop is an amazing tool to help actors look their best, but there are some things that really can’t be faked. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your photo shoot so that you really shine…

1. Drink plenty of water. When you’re dehydrated, fine lines and pores are more noticeable and your lips can look dry and wrinkled. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics and can cause dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your session to give your skin a healthy, dewy glow. Coconut water is also a great alternative to water and another delicious way to hydrate!

2. hydrate Gentlemen, this also refers to you! Using a moisturizer diminishes fine lines and dry, flaky skin. My favorite nighttime moisturizer is Honey Girl Organics Face & Eye Cream (available at Whole Foods) – it’s ultra-moisturizing and has a great texture. My second favorite moisturizer is extra virgin olive oil. I know it sounds silly, but it’s a wonderful, convenient, and inexpensive beauty aid! Just for a few drops in the palm of your hands and rub it all over your face before bed (and don’t wash it off). The night before the session is the most important time to hydrate, as well as the morning of it. I recommend using a daily moisturizer like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion with SPF 15; Not only will it give you an extra dose of moisture, but it will protect you from the sun when shooting outdoors!

3. Get a facial. Again… I’m talking to you guys too! Extraction facials are a great way to clean out your pores. Clogged pores and blackheads will show up on your photos! As a photo retoucher, I can tell you that it is easy to remove a blackhead here and there, but it is NOT easy to clean a whole face of dirty pores. Get your facial done at least a week before your session, as facials can cause breakouts and redness. Make sure the facial you receive includes extractions. And drink lots of water before your facial! The more hydrated you are, the more supple your skin will be… And this will make it much easier for your esthetician to really clean your pores.

4. Use fresh mascara. Ladies, this is a great time to replace your mascara! Experts say you should replace your mascara every 3-6 months, but I know many of us (myself included) sometimes keep it on longer. When mascara ages, it looks clumpy and makes lashes look like spider legs. It’s almost impossible to clean up those tabs in Photoshop! So get a new tube of mascara to keep your lashes looking soft and natural, and comb them out if you see any clumps. My favorite mascara is Lancome Definicils… Try it with Lancome Cils Booster for more impact!

5. Don’t overdo your foundation. Keep makeup light and natural so your skin texture doesn’t look fake. Loreal True Match Liquid Foundation has a lovely finish that looks great on camera. Keep translucent powder on hand for shimmer, but take it easy. For men, I would normally recommend that you not wear any type of foundation. Just use a little moisturizer and possibly a light dusting of translucent powder or oil blotting sheets to care for the shine. Don’t worry about a pimple or razor cut, those things can be easily touched up. But I can almost always tell when men are wearing makeup in a photo, and there’s not much I can do to make it look more natural in Photoshop. If you have uneven skin and decide to wear foundation, use a light touch…and try the aforementioned Loreal True Match instead of cakey stage makeup!

6. Get enough sleep. This is obvious advice, but it’s important. You’ll not only look better, but you’ll feel better!

7. Get a trim. Hair always looks so much better when it’s freshly cut, why not do it the week of the session? Clean ends cannot be easily faked in Photoshop. Also, it’s a good idea to ask your photographer to keep an eye on your hair during the shoot. It can be easily rearranged in real life, but not so much in post.

8. Bring lip balm or gloss. To keep your lips looking dewy in your photos, make sure you have lip balm on hand. Ask your photographer from time to time if your lips look dry or chapped, and reapply as needed.

Well that’s it! Those are my tips on how to look great in your photos. By starting with these basics, you’ll spend less time and money with your retoucher, and you’ll be much more satisfied with the results.

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