Selfies get a lot of flak, often labeled as ‘narcissistic’, ‘a cry for help’ or simply put ‘pathetic.’ At HBFIT, we celebrate the selfie as an empowering art form that allows women and men to appropriate their own image. Taking the perfect #selfie should be painless – we’re not into going to extreme lengths to capture that perfect photo (that means no breaking the law, no nips and tucks, no over-sharing). Here we break down our tried-and-tested tips for looking fresh-faced and bright-eyed at every click.
Get the lighting right. This will make or break your selfie. Natural light softens the face and blurs any imperfections. “I am a big fan of natural light – it gives a certain richness to pictures, which you don’t get using a flash” says fashion photographer Victor Demachelier. Stuck indoors? Try posing near a window, and avoid fluorescent lighting, which can make you look sickly. Or, fake a natural lit-from-within glow by applying shimmer where the sun would naturally hit the face on the forehead, nose and chin.
It’s all about the angle. Take a cue from selfie queen Kim Kardashian and always point your chin down and outwards to help slenderize the face by making the chin appear more angular. “In general, shooting down is more flattering!” explains Demarchelier. Hold the camera above or at eye level – not below. Not sure you’ll get it right the first time? Try the Burst Button on your phone, which captures ten photos every second. Simply press and hold down the shutter, and voila you have a bunch of different options to chose from.
Picture perfect. Selfies tend to get really up-close-and-personal so make sure that you’re makeup is on point. Focus on flawless skin by using concealer to brighten up the under-eyes and then use a matte foundation to even out the skin. Avoid using sun block or hydrating formulas, as they can make skin look shiny and ashy in photos. Bobbi Brown makeup artist Cassandra Garcia notes: “Use sheer finish powder to even out the complexion, especially where you notice any redness. Also, use powder through the t-zone to get rid of any shine.” Also, stay away from neutral and pale lip colors that can look washed out in photographs. Opt for a lipstick with blue undertones to make teeth appear whiter.
Say it with your eyes. Focus on enhancing your eyes so they appear bigger and more awake. “Mascara always make an impact – it instantly opens up the eyes. It’s a quick and easy way to define the eyes, without having to line them,” says Cassandra Garcia. Take the more subtle approach and smize; no need for the dramatic ‘duck face’ or ‘fish gape’.
Get creative. This isn’t a mug shot so have some fun with it! Zoom out and grab a selfie stick. Take a group shot or capture the scenery.
Text: Natalie Haimo
Photograph: Courtesy Vogue/Mikael Jansson