Make Up Something Beautiful! Expert Make Up Advice on Primping Before Your Portrait!

April 19, 2015 Advice

Jenni Shaw studied Fashion Make-up Artistry at the New York Make-Up Designory. She works in fashion, film, television, making beautiful people even more beautiful for the red carpet and the runway. Her work has been published in Teen Vogue, Filter, People, WWD, Cosmo, and GQ. She works with everyone in the world, including models, celebrities, kids, CEO’s, politicians, rock stars, chefs, surgeons and athletes. Says Shaw, “I love what I do passionately and manage to fall in love with every face I am lucky enough to work on.”

Below, Jenni shares her thoughts on make up advice: how you can get yourself gorgeous before a shoot with Honey and Moon Photography!

1. What made you want to become a professional make up artist?

I was always artistic and have always loved people. In middle school my friends became my art projects…I’d do their makeup and cut their hair (one of them even let me pierce her ears! That is called trust!!!). I studied anthropology in college but fell into freelancing when people kept passing my name along to do makeup for events and weddings. I eventually went back to school for makeup artistry and decided to make it a full-time career.

2. Is it necessary to get your make up done professionally for a portrait?

I’d say so. There are endless tutorials on the web, which are great, but they don’t give people the trained eye that a professional who understands lighting and photography has. My job as a makeup artist is to translate the face on camera so that it reads with proper dimension. For portraiture, people should look stunning, but natural. I always say that I want people to say “you look beautiful”, instead of “your makeup looks beautiful”.

3. If someone can’t get a professional make up artist, what are some tips for a great portrait?  

I recommend keeping it light and blending the makeup well. It’s also important to keep the hair well kempt. The lack of motion in photos shows every little detail.

4. Do men need make-up? 

Usually, yes. In the industry we refer to this as “male grooming”. While men can pull off the rugged look, there are aspects of a face that simply read better in photos if there is attention to detail. Brows should be clean, skin should be an even tone without oil/shine, lips should conditioned and hair should look polished.

5. Do you have any on the spot tricks of the trade that you’d be willing to share? 

It’s always good to have blotter paper or oil absorbing wipes on shoots. Oil on skin causes reflection that is distracting (and referred to as “hot spots” in the industry). These products remove shine without removing makeup.

For some inspiration and to see Jenni’s artistry, go here: *Photograph provided by Jenni Shaw.