Selfie Makeup: The Ultimate Guide

Learn how to prep your skin, apply foundation and eye makeup, add blush and highlights, and groom your brows for the perfect selfie. Whether you’re going for a natural look or something more glamorous, these tips will help you achieve flawless makeup for a camera-ready finish.

Facetune team
min read
Close-up of woman's face with bold makeup and red lips holding phone for selfie.

Have you ever realized how many things you have to do to take the perfect selfie?

Clothes, check. Pose, check. Phone, check.

Oh, and don’t forget one of the most important things of all: your selfie makeup.

Honestly, the most “effortless” selfies take a ton of work and time to come out b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. From lighting to angles to hair and makeup, it’s enough to exhaust even the most experienced selfie lover.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you. Run through this selfie makeup checklist to prep flawless makeup - starting with sexy skin - for fierce selfies that stop thumbs and have everyone thinking you're a bonafide selfie model.

Skin prep

That nude look you’re going for probably isn’t “nude” at all. A lot of foundation goes into natural-looking dewy skin!

You always want to start with skin prep because no matter what makeup look you’re going for, it will always look better on healthy skin. Even if you’re doing a true no-makeup selfie, you still want to prep your skin so it looks great on camera.

Follow these quick tips for Beyonce-level complexion skin prep for selfies:

  • Use the right products: Always cleanse, exfoliate, and then moisturize. If you skip cleansing and exfoliation, you risk dry skin flakes and dull skin. No thanks!
  • Don’t forget your neck: For real. Your neck skin ages just like the skin on your face, but most of us forget to take care of our neck. The result? A youthful-looking face and dull skin around the neck. Always extend your facial care routine to your neck! Try this set to keep your neck looking youthful.
  • Prime before foundation: Primer gives you an even canvas for your foundation, which means you get a smoother look. We like silicone-based primers because they’re ultra-smooth.

Okay, so you’ve laid the foundation with clean, fabulous skin. Before we get to the fun stuff like lips and lashes, we’ve got to get your foundation right.

Concealer will help you cover up any dark under-eye circles, along with other imperfections, before you take a selfie. Try a concealer that uses salmon undertones for the best dark circle coverage.

If you’re worried about redness or irritation, try a green-tinted concealer instead. Try out this concealer that we're really into to get you started.

For your foundation, you need to get as close to a perfect match as possible. You don’t want a cakey, Oompa-Loompa look, right? Use a non-comedogenic foundation (which is a fancy way of saying it won’t clog your pores).

Less is definitely more here: thick foundation will look weird on the camera, so don’t get too crazy. We like this foundation if you're looking!

But don’t whip out your phone just yet! You need to set your concealer and foundation with a powder - otherwise, it will melt off your face. Use finishing powder to smooth and mattify your skin while also reducing the appearance of pores.

P.S. If you don’t want to be that person who has 18 different cosmetics on your bathroom counter, we totally feel you. Facetune selfie editor app allows you to digitally apply concealer, foundation, and powder with just a few taps for selfie-ready skin.

[caption id="attachment_1500" align="aligncenter" width="533"]

Female model before applying makeup according to the ultimate selfie makeup guide

Complexion before Facetune[/caption][caption id="attachment_1499" align="aligncenter" width="531"]

Female model after applying makeup according to the ultimate selfie makeup guide


Ready for your closeup? Follow these tips to apply better eye makeup, blush, brows, highlights, and lips for better selfies.


Make your eyes pop with eyeshadow that brings out your natural eye color:

  • Orange and brown tones for blue eyes
  • Purple or gray tones for brown eyes
  • Pinks or taupes for green and hazel eyes
  • Silver or blue tones for gray eyes

Just don’t forget the most important selfie eye makeup of all: mascara. Curl your lashes first and apply the mascara so it coats your lashes from root to tip. For a fuller look, use two coats on the entire lash and a third coat on your outer lashes only.

But what happens if you apply your eye makeup and realize that a certain color isn’t actually working for you in your selfie? Don’t rush to Ulta to drop $15 on another palette. You can use Facetune to painlessly switch between different shades of eyeshadow. You can even add eyeliner and mascara with a swipe of your finger. Clutch, right?


Yep, you still need to apply blush for selfies. Without it, you risk looking washed out in your selfie. You don’t want to look like a sick Victorian child, so remember a little blush, ‘kay?

But don’t just apply blush to the apples of your cheeks. Make sure to sweep it across your cheekbones. If you want a more defined look, try a contouring stick: dab just under your cheekbones and blend downward to create a slight shadow.


Want to rock those Cara Delevigne brows? Make sure your eyebrows are neat and groomed before you’re ready for selfie liftoff.

Use this type of brush to fill in and define your eyebrows. Even if you have thick brows naturally, it never hurts to pencil in sparser areas for a more consistent look.

Or - even easier! - you could just thicken your eyebrows instantly with Facetune.


Masterfully applied highlighter gives you dewy, red-carpet-ready skin that will make your friends say, “How did she do that?”

You don’t want to use highlighter everywhere, though. Just apply it to:

  • The inner corner of your eyelids
  • The bridge of your nose
  • In the cupid’s bow (the top of your lip)

Lips give your selfie the va-va-voom factor that rakes in likes (and breaks hearts). But remember that your lips are part of your skin: use lip balm regularly and use a nighttime lip mask if you have dry lips.

If you’re going for an eye makeup look that’s on the bolder side, go with subtle lips. A gloss or lighter matte color are all you need.

More natural eye makeup gives you the freedom to add more pops of color to your lips for a bold statement.

Always apply the lip color first, and then apply gloss. If you have thinner lips, try blurring: apply lip color with a lip brush like normal and then soften the edges for a fuller look. Read more about how to make your lips look good for selfies here.

Selfie Makeup Tips for Guys

We didn’t forget about you, fellas. Who says girls get to have all of the fun with makeup?

It’s totally fine for guys to wear makeup, whether you want a subtle lip tint or an all-out glam look for a night on the town. You deserve to look fabulous no matter what. Follow these makeup tips for sexy selfies that get everybody talking.

1 - Don’t skimp on the prep

When was the last time you pampered your skin? This isn’t just for the ladies: you’re a human being and that means your skin needs a little TLC!

Actually, men tend to have drier, thicker skin than women. #ThanksBiology. That’s why it’s even more important for guys to take care of their skin pre-selfie.

Don’t underestimate the power of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin. But as a man, you’ll want to use super moisturizing ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, to compensate for your drier skin.

If you’re feeling gorgeous today and want to do a full face of makeup, remember to apply a primer for a smoother look.

2 - Use concealer

Shhh, it’s okay: you don’t have to tell anyone about blemishes, redness, or dark circles if you don’t want to. A little concealer will make those imperfections a thing of the past.

If you aren’t going for a shimmery look, stay away from any concealers that use words like “brightening” or “illuminating.” We like Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Concealer for men’s makeup.

Double-check that your concealer is the right shade, too. People can immediately tell if your concealer isn’t a match, so take the time to find your shade. Depending on your sun exposure, you might need a different shade in the summer and winter.

This sounds a little intimidating, but the sweet employees at the department store will be more than happy to help you find the right shade.

If you aren’t a big fan of the cosmetics counter, you can always subtly conceal imperfections (and match your color exactly) with a selfie editor app like Facetune.

[caption id="attachment_1498" align="aligncenter" width="532"]

Male model before applying selfie makeup.

Complexion before Facetune[/caption][caption id="attachment_1497" align="aligncenter" width="530"]

Male model after applying selfie makeup.
3 - You don’t need a matte finish

Where did this misconception come from, anyway? It’s totally fine for guys to have a glossy or shiny finish. You don’t need a matte finish if you don’t want one!

And we know you probably don’t want a full case of makeup at home, but for everyone’s sake, stop using your fingers to apply your makeup. Use a dollar store sponge to blend everything together for a cleaner look.

4 - Give your beard some love

Got facial hair? That’s sexy as hell, but double-check that your facial hair is cared for before you start selfieing.

If you have a beard, be sure to blend your facial makeup along your beard line so you don’t have a weird gap between your skin and facial hair. For a fuller look, you can fill in any gaps in your facial hair with an eyebrow pencil.

To tie everything together, use a small brow brush to untangle and smooth your beard before you snap a pic. Read more about beard grooming selfie tips here.

Better makeup for better selfies

This ultimate guide to selfie makeup should give you a good idea of everything you need to take a share-worthy selfie. Use these tips, coupled with selfie ideas for guys, to not only good amazing but to feel confident every time you smile for the camera.

Makeup can be tons of fun, but if you don’t have the time (or desire) to do an hour’s worth of makeup for a selfie, you don’t have to. Facetune allow you to perfect your makeup and try on different looks with just a tap.

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Bring out your best self in your selfies with Facetune
Join a community of 200M+ and discover why Facetune is the world's top selfie editor. Experience the fastest and easiest way to edit with our ultimate one-tap tools, made for every skill level.
Facetune team
Experts in elevating your selfies and offering the latest beauty, lifestyle, and photo editing tips. Your go-to source for all things Facetune.
Join a community of 200M+ and discover why Facetune is the world's top selfie editor.

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Bring out your best self in your selfies with Facetune
Join a community of 200M+ and discover why Facetune is the world's top selfie editor. Experience the fastest and easiest way to edit with our ultimate one-tap tools, made for every skill level.

Experiment with new looks, shine on social media & never run out of inspiration.
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