How to Do Hair and Makeup for Your Business Headshots and Branding Photoshoot

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‘I prefer the no makeup look’, ‘I prefer the natural look’, ‘I don’t like the way makeup makes me look’. 
If I had a penny for every time I heard one of those comments, I’d have a small fistful of pennies.
Sadly there has been a lot of misinformation around makeup, and particularly makeup for the Camera, since the camera was invented.
Doing ballet as a young girl, I learned that stage makeup meant that the back row of the audience needed to see your lips and cheekbones.
Doing film in highschool I was told that for film you want to make it look like you’re not wearing any makeup at all.
But in over 15 years of working behind the camera, capturing real humans I have discovered that somewhere between natural and what many consider a full glamour look is pretty spot on.

What exactly makes for perfect branding photo makeup? Read on.


I just want skin that looks like real skin.

Oh yeah I’ve seen some cake faces in my time and it adds a decade or two. The best base for your makeup is dewy (not too dewy) and not ‘baked’ anywhere. The myth that you need to bake your highlight or concealer doesn’t really apply for women over 30 or women who don’t have extremely oily skin.

I don’t want to look like I’m wearing makeup.

Some women that I work with really want to appear as though they’re not wearing anything at all, and that’s totally ok if it aligns with their brand. An excellent makeup artist can apply makeup that doesn’t look like makeup but enhances your natural beauty (enlarges eyes, enhances cheekbones, brings out lips and cheeks etc).

***All of these eye makeup looks include false lashes yet some look far more dramatic ‘lashwise’ than others.
***All of these eye makeup looks look incredibly natural on camera, the key is shadow placement and excellent blending.
***The same pinks, mauves and browns work perfectly on every eye colour to create a soft natural look.


Blue eyeshadow, no?

Makeup in 2023 isn’t like what your mama wore in the 70s and 80s. Eyeshadow hues are far more subtle and complementary to skin and eye colours now. Warmth on the eyes is great, especially for older women. Ask our makeup artist what they would recommend for you. But generally that electric blue is a no-go.

To lash or not to lash. That’s not really a question.

If you’re getting brand photos done with Tilly it is highly recommended that you have lashes applied during your session with our makeup artist. There are thousands of different types of lashes and not all will make you look like a cast member of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The reason we want false lashes is quite simply that they open the eye and draw the viewers eye to your eyes. So it’s definitely possible to have a subtle false lash look, but it’s important to have them.

Advanced hair, yeah yeah!

Some ladies really love wearing their hair up, and they rock it too. But no matter who you are I can promise you that wearing your hair down for your brand photos will yield the absolute best results possible.

If your hair is pulled back there will be many angles where you look, sorry to say it, bald as an egg. Letting your hair down will frame your face and ensure people know you have hair from every angle that we shoot at.

***Regardless of hair colour soft waves, or straightened, with volume at the roots, will look best.
***Try to avoid flat on top hair as this can make your head appear wider and shorter.


Preppity Preppity prep.

A few days out from your session I always recommend a refresher of your hair colour, make sure you have no regrowth and your colour is healthy and shiny.
It’s also good to have your nails done now, your hands will feature in some images and nails will be visible.

Please avoid having a hair cut, or get your nails done on the day of or day before your session. A few days grace will make sure your hair looks fresh, but not freshly done.

Last but not least…

With a great photographer many of these points will be laid out in their session guides, helping you to make these choices with zero stress.
Get in touch today to book Tilly to capture your head shot and brand photography.


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