Keep your headshot high: Essential makeup tips for professional headshots

Unlock professional headshot success with essential makeup tips and Facetune's transformative features.

Adi Dorf
min read
Professional headshot makeup: Expert tips for flawless looks.
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Having a professional headshot is essential for your LinkedIn profile, CV, or when networking with others online. Research shows that members on LinkedIn who include a photo on their profile receive up to 21 times more profile views and up to 36 times more messages.

Many people feel anxious about taking a professional photo, fearing it might not represent them well. They might also feel awkward or insecure standing in front of the camera. Looking and feeling your best at the photoshoot can help you feel more confident while standing in front of the camera. This can be achieved by wearing an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and by having hair and makeup that feels natural to you and enhances your best features.

It's not just about looking pretty – it's about projecting confidence, approachability, and professionalism, all in one frame.

As an HR professional and a former flight attendant I’ve gathered my best tricks and tips for professional headshots:

Natural makeup tips for professional headshots

Foundation first

Not everyone feels comfortable about wearing foundation, but having it on during a professional photoshoot helps create a finished and smooth look. Choose a level of coverage that you feel comfortable with, and make sure it is spread evenly to avoid a cakey appearance. It is best to stick with natural makeup for headshots.

Tip: Even if you are a fan of glowy makeup, it’s better to keep the shine away for a professional photoshoot. Opt for a matte finish foundation and set it with powder, especially in areas that tend to become oily (T-zone area).

Conceal like a pro

Even if you have foundation on, concealer can be your best friend on a shooting day, so don’t skip this step. A good concealer is your secret weapon to hide any signs of fatigue or stress. Just dab a bit under your eyes and on any blemishes, and voila – instant freshness!

Tip: If you have specific blemishes you’d like to hide, use a corrector before topping it with a concealer in your skin color. Green correctors can help hide red spots or zits, and orange-toned correctors can help reduce under-eye circles. For darker skin, go for more orangey tones, and for lighter ones, choose peachy or salmon shades.

Brows on fleek

Brows help shape your face, as the bright lights of the photoshoot might wash out your best features. Make sure they are well-defined. You can fill them in according to your brow shape with a brow pencil or powder and complete the look with clear or colored brow gel.

Shape up with brush & blush

Foundation and bright lights can often cause your face to lose its shape and dimension. To avoid this and bring back dimension, it’s best to add some blush and bronzer to the look. Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend upwards to the tops of your cheekbones. Use bronzer on the lower parts of your face (cheekbones, temples, hairline, and jawline).

Eye makeup advice for stunning headshots

Eyes are the window to your soul

Though this saying is well-worn, if you feel uncomfortable during the photoshoot, it will be evident in the final result by the look in your eyes. For eye makeup for headshots, I recommend going for a neutral cream eyeshadow as a base to even out the lid, and using a good amount of mascara to open up the eyes. If you feel comfortable with heavier makeup, you can opt for a winged eyeliner and add a shadow in a darker color in the crease.

Lip service

Just as with eyebrows, the same goes for lips; they help frame your face and complete the look. Stick to colors you feel comfortable with. If red lipstick is your go-to, then go for it! If you prefer more neutral colors, make sure not to choose a shade too light that will wash you out. I recommend starting by lining your lips with a pencil and using a long-lasting lipstick as it tends not to smear on your teeth during the photoshoot.

Tip: I would also suggest avoiding shiny finish lipsticks or lip glosses, as they may reflect lighting on set. This could potentially cause your lips to stick together and make you feel and look uncomfortable on set.

Don’t forget about your full look

Makeup should compliment your total look which also includes hair and wardrobe. Choose attire that matches what’s expected in your current industry, and you can spice it up with accessories or colors that show your personality.

Tip: Check in advance what the photoshoot’s background color will be to choose a top color that won’t clash with your background, for example wearing an orange top against a pink background might not be the best choice.

Enhance your professional headshots with Facetune

Achieving the perfect professional headshot doesn't always require physical makeup or even a professional photoshoot. Whether you're looking to tweak a photo you're not completely satisfied with or you'd prefer to skip the makeup process altogether, Facetune offers powerful tools to ensure your headshot looks polished and professional.

  • Manual makeup in our editor: For those moments when your photo needs a touch-up or you want to experiment with different looks, our manual makeup editor is your go-to. Apply detailed enhancements such as contour, blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyelashes, eyeliner, and even freckles. This feature allows you to manually edit your appearance, offering a personalized touch to your professional headshots.
Beauty headshot makeup tips for stunning portraits

  • Discover Feed or 'Looks': Seeking a more effortless approach? Our 'Looks' feature provides one-tap preset makeup looks that can instantly transform your photo. With options ranging from 'Natural' to 'No Makeup,' achieving a professional appearance has never been easier. This one-tap makeup photo editor is perfect for those who prefer a quick, hassle-free solution to enhance their headshots.
One makeup photo editor: Enhancing headshot beauty.


  • AI Headshot Generator: This cutting-edge tool not only enhances your look but can also alter your attire and the backdrop to match various corporate styles. If you're in need of an instant professional headshot that meets industry standards, our AI technology provides an easy solution, ensuring your headshot is perfectly tailored to your professional needs.
AI headshot generator: Enhancing makeup perfection.

Craft a headshot that radiates professionalism

Remember, the goal of makeup for professional headshots is to enhance your features, not overpower them. Keep it fresh, keep it polished, and above all, let your confidence shine through. Dive into these makeup tips for professional headshots and see how Facetune can complement your efforts, providing a variety of options to present the best version of yourself.

Adi Dorf
An HR professional at Lightricks who enjoys creative writing and loves everything related to pop culture, animals and fashion.

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