Of all the different selfie angles to perfect, there is one that is harder than the others: The sleep selfie. A good sleep selfie looks cute, cozy, and adorable. A bad one is just so cringy.
You must have seen those #sleepselfies where an amateur posts the caption “bae caught me napping,” except you can see their hand reflected in the mirror behind them. Or they’ve got a full face of makeup on, and its clearly the middle of the day on a Tuesday. *shudders*
It’s enough to make you never want to attempt the sleeping selfie. And we don’t blame you. However, one look at the comfy pillows, soft blankets, and serene smiles, and you’d be forgiven for wanting to have a go yourself. But, if you can nail it, it’s one of the cutest trends there is.
However, proceed with caution to avoid taking one of the worst selfies in the world. To assist you, we’ve compiled the best advice there is to make sure you look super cute in your sleep selfies, rather than super cringy.
1) Check for mirrors
The number one cardinal rule of a sleepy selfie is DO NOT HAVE A MIRROR IN THE BACKGROUND. You can style the perfect sleeping pose photo, but if a mirror in the back shows how awkwardly you have to twist your arm to get the shot, the whole thing is ruined (and a mirror selfie is decidedly not what you are going for here).
And it’s not just mirrors you’ve got to look out for. Any reflective surface like a glass window or a tv screen will betray you.
While you have a look around, check for anything that will ruin the vibe. That might mean you’ve got to clean a bit, but I promise its worth it. Old food wrapper, dirty laundry, a used mug, and a messy bedroom are all things that will turn your sleep selfie into a joke.
2) Don’t go OTT
You’re supposed to be sleepy. I know every girl in every film ever looks like a princess when she wakes up, but in reality, no one looks like that first thing in the morning or last thing at night. This means if you take a sleepy, relaxed selfie with a full face of makeup and a fully styled hair literally shouts “THIS IS FAKE.” People just won’t buy into the cute vibe if it’s overdone.
If you really have to wear makeup, go for a natural look; clear mascara, and a bit of concealer. For your hair, no elaborate curls or styles; messy, free, and imperfect is the vibe you need. If you want a more subtle look, try taking a picture without makeup and then using digital touch-ups to give a natural glow. Facetune’s smooth and conceal functions are perfect for easy selfie editing.
3) Sort the lighting
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good mid-afternoon nap. But it isn’t always the right kinda vibe I want to promote. I don’t spend ALL day in bed. Honestly, I don’t. Sometimes it’s cool to post a photo from bed in the middle of the day; the night after a big party, the day after graduation or a rainy Sunday. But honestly, it just feels better to post a sleepy selfie either first thing in the morning or in the evening.
The issue is, this gives you really dodgy lighting to work with. That dull bedroom light can create all sorts of weird shadows that make you look like you’ve got six chins and haven’t seen the sun since 2004. To avoid this less-than-cute aesthetic, you’ve got to plan your lighting in advance.
Choose a warm-coloured light bulb to mimic the soft golden hour glow. Make sure you position your light so you don’t create any strange shadows. If you don’t have a warm light to hand, grab your laptop and search for the colour orange. On the image results page your laptop will project this colour giving your photos the same light as an actual lightbulb.
4) Plan your bedding
This is a big one. There is almost nothing worse than seeing a picture of someone’s bed and noticing a few stains or crumbs. Believe me when I say, no one will be looking at your face if you’ve got dirty bedding. It’s the equivalent of taking a mirror selfie with a dirty mirror – very 2012.
We’ve moved on since then. Crisp, clean bedding is the new thing. Whether it’s a blanket on the sofa, a cushion cover, a bedsheet, or your pyjamas, make sure they are stain-free. We don’t need to see the pizza crumbs from last Friday, or the evidence of last night’s midnight ice cream snack. Wash the bed and make sure the focus is on your face.
5) Set yourself up
So, if you’ve checked your background for mirrors, then hopefully, you won’t be caught out showing exactly how you twisted your arm to get the perfect angle… unless, of course, the grimace on your face gives you away.
It might be quicker to just grab your phone and start snapping, but you’ll regret it in the long run. You need to set up your camera correctly. Find the angle you want, or find several. Take some practice shots to get everything right. Don’t expect it to be perfect on the first try; this is one of the hardest selfies to master.
If you want to speed the process up, you can buy a Bluetooth button, which will allow you to retake photos without getting up and going over to your phone. The controller can be hidden in your hand so that it won’t ruin the sleep selfie shot.
That’s it! If you can get these things right there’s no reason why you can’t take a subtle sleeping selfie without embarrassing yourself. Good luck!