From angles to lighting to makeup, staging that perfect selfie isn’t always so simple. Luckily, we did the work for you, asking beauty experts exactly what to do to put your best face forward.
Here’s how to get InstaGlam in each and every selfie you snap.
Trick 1: Angles Are Everything
“An angle is always better to elongate the face,” says Sarah Potempa, celebrity hairstylist, and creator of the Beachwaver. “Keep the chin lifted up, as selfies from below are never flattering. Everyone looks leaner with a lengthened neck!”
Once you’ve got an alluring angle, make your hair work with it, advises Laura Polko, Scunci Celebrity Hair Stylist. “If you know your angles, you should always go from above and somewhat to the side, so it makes your face look longer and thinner.” For a thin face, always make sure your hair is tucked back (behind your ears) or completely slicked back in a pony or low braid. For a sexy look, style your hair in front of one eye or place your hands in your hair. Messy hair is always going to look sexy in a selfie, but if it’s too messy, it might just read the wrong way.
Trick 2: Figure Out What Flatters
“Placing your face in the top-right or top-left corner of the frame can be far more enticing than if your face is in the center of the photo,” says Lisa Richards, co-founder of RPZL Hair Extension & Blowout Salon. “Make sure to hold your camera high above you; keep the background simple.”
“Suck in the cheeks ever so lightly and pucker lips; doing this makes cheekbones pop,” says Olivia Smalley, celebrity hair and makeup artist of OMG Artistry. Practice finding your good side, she says, and if you have hooded eyes, lean head slightly back to see a crease in lids and don’t look directly into the camera but a bit above it to show the whites of the eyes.
Trick 3: Pick The Right Lighting & Background
If you have an iPhone, tap the screen until the yellow box shows; glide fingers upward to lighten the photo. Smalley explains people enjoy lighter photos over dark ones.
According to Potempa, choosing the right lighting and background makes a huge difference. She recommends standing near a window during magic hour (the first and last hour of sunlight) surrounded by all-white walls.
Trick 4: Turn Up The Volume
Big hair, don’t care! Potempa says to create instant volume by running hands through roots in an upward motion. Also, be sure to smooth any strays (she uses her mini styling brush to clean hair off the neckline for her red carpet celebs).
“Do a hair toss before taking a picture to add lift. Flip your hair over your face and then whip it back,” says Richards. “This way, strands will fall naturally, and the photo does not look overly staged, adding va-va-volume. Remember, since photos are flat, that extra volume will make your selfie stand out from the rest.”
Trick 5: Be Natural
Don’t just smile, says Potempa, but actually laugh, which looks much more natural. Use one hand rather than two, which make for an awkwardly stiff selfie because your arms fill up the frame, she adds.
Trick 6: Stick With One Focal Point
Lori Taylor Davis, SMASHBOX Cosmetics Global Director and Makeup Artist says to “focus on one feature: such as the eyes or lips. “Modern makeup should enhance your features; it’s important to match foundation or BB cream to your skin tone. Prevent “the ghost effect” by sufficiently applying blush/bronzer on your face
Trick 7: Filters Can Be Your Friends
Using a filter can drastically lift up your selfie, explains Potempa, recommending trying out a few in order to see which flatters you best. Dermatologist S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, founder of Miami Skin Institute, agrees: “Consider using filter apps like Aviary or WonderCam to gently blur out any forehead lines and erase any blemishes.” Other apps such as BeautyPlus (my personal favorite) have a range of filter options designed to perfect the complexion.
Trick 8: Fake It ‘Till Ya Make It
If your triceps aren’t as tight as you’d like them to be, you have a little double chin or a little side boob bulge. Take the selfie from above with the phone tilted at a slightly downward angle. “It’s even better with a selfie stick,” says Dr. Jegasothy. To mask any pimples or irritation, apply a dab of Cortisone-10 to reduce the inflammation and gently angle your face the other way. “Do not pop the pimple right before taking the selfie as the redness can be harder to mask or erase in an editing app than the actual pimple itself.”