Looking for some tips on how to make your make-up look as stunning as your gorgeous outfit for a big event? 

Sonny and Kat asked their favourite makeup artist, Sharayah Hill, for her three top tips on doing makeup for photos.

Here’s her pro make up tips:

To ensure your makeup in photography looks as striking in the photos as it does in the mirror, there are a few important makeup tips to know.

Makeup looks very different in real life than it does in pictures. Not knowing how to apply makeup correctly can make your photos look flat, lacking colour and just plain disappointing after all that effort! 


Black and White corporate image of a mature age lady sitting on a studio box with bare feet.

As a makeup artist, it’s a rare occasion that I will use a HD full coverage foundation. They are heavy, and can look very ‘cakey’. Without proper application, they tend to make dry skin look drier and oily skin look oilier. 

Instead, opt for a light-to-medium coverage with a dewy finish, or maybe even a BB cream. A BB cream will even out skin tone creating the illusion of light-to-medium coverage and giving a radiant, dewy finish. 

If you don’t feel confident without full coverage, then just make sure you really blend it well, be aware of the hair line, ears and jawline/neck. You shouldn’t be able to see a defining line where your foundation begins and ends. 

Next, Translucent Powder. If your foundation is more than dewy and looking shiny, we need to diffuse this as lighting for photos will reflect and enhance any shine. Using a medium-sized fluffy brush, blend powder under the eyes (this will set foundation and prevent the dreaded panda eyes), around the nose, the middle of the forehead and chin, and anywhere that gets particularly oily. You can dust all over and opt for a completely matte look, otherwise keep reading to find out how to add just enough highlighter to bring back some radiance…


Young business woman leaning on chair corporate headshot

Whatever your relationship is with your eyes, you want them to be the main event. To enhance your eyes it’s best to opt for brown shades. They’re neutral, they look more natural and can be as subtle or as bold as you like. Try using a brown pencil and work into/across your top lash line. Then use a small firm brush or sponge (or even your finger) to blend/smudge. This will create a slightly smoky look and make your eyes pop. Feel free to go over it again if it’s not dark enough or blend in some eyeshadow to deepen the colour. 

If you’re not confident with a pencil, opt for a matte eyeshadow in a light to medium brown colour and blend it all over the eye lids. Sometimes this is enough for a natural look that’s not too bold, but enough to still be seen in photos.

Next, you should have lashes, they really open up the eyes and create a bolder look. Definitely use mascara and either some individual lashes (not lash extensions) and apply them to the outer corner of the lashes working inwards but only about 1/3 of the way across. OR find a pair of false lashes, remove one from the package and cut it in half (length-ways). Use one half each on the outer corners of the eyes, on the lash line. They will be easier to apply this way and will create a flattering fanned out look. 

Don’t forget your brows! The brows balance and frame the face. Either go and have them waxed and tinted, or fill and shape with makeup, try going a little darker than usual if you can bare it. If you naturally don’t have much in the way of brows this may be difficult for you, as you’re so used to not having much there and then all of a sudden there’s brows and they feel bold and ridiculous. I promise you, they don’t look nearly as ridiculous as having photos done without them! 


A lot of people are afraid of this, and I can understand why. It really needs to be done right. Don’t worry, I’m not about to have you searching for the nearest YouTube vlogger and use five different products to create a chiseled look! 

You only need a matte bronzer (if you can’t find a bronzer try a normal compact powder foundation a couple shades darker than your skin tone). A fluffy angled brush is easier to use, but not necessary. Use any fluffy brush and simply pinch the bristles near the base to make it less round and fluffy. Gently dust your product on following the line from the top of your ear towards the corner of your mouth, but stop/lift off about half way. Let go of the bristles and blend it so there’s no harsh lines. You want to be able to see it, so it should be a little bolder than you’re comfortable wearing out and about, as you will lose a lot of the colour in the photos. 

Photo of older sophisticated woman on a grey chair. She is wearing a black suit and raspberry-coloured boots with red-framed glasses. She has short grey hair and is smiling widely.

Next, blush. Using a fluffy brush, dust your fave blush across the apples of your cheeks, up towards your temples. Blend. Again make this a little bolder than usual. 

Then highlighter, used this sparingly. We want to add a little radiance, we don’t want to be a disco ball! Your highlighter should be a champagne colour, or something that blends into your skin tone (not white, silver, or with a colour reflect, unless it’s a fashion editorial). 

Using a medium-sized fluffy brush, gently dust your fave highlighter across the top of your cheek bone and up towards the temples. Don’t forget to blend. I also like to dust over the cupid’s bow on the lips, this helps the lips look more prominent. You can also dust a little in the middle of the forehead and end of the nose if you so desire.  

If you accidentally put too much on, grab your foundation brush/sponge and dab over it to diffuse it. 

Another hot tip is to practise! Try all of these tips yourself at least once, if not a few times. You need to be confident. You need to feel fantastic, don’t leave it till the day of the shoot to open new products and try new techniques! You need to know if your products work for you and, if not, you need time to change them. 

I hope these tips are helpful and inspire you to try and do your own makeup!

Makeup artist preparing business woman for corporate head shot and branding session in Sonny & Kat Photography studio

Sonny & Kat Photography have worked with Sharayah for the past few years and always go to her for their Corporate Branding Sessions. Her understanding of the relationship between makeup and photography is so crucial. It saves us valuable time in editing and helps with our lighting. You feel pampered and look amazing, and the photos speak for themselves! 

We often suggest to plan for dinner afterwards or go out with the girls, as it’s a shame to just go home and wipe it all off when you’re looking so extra gorgeous. 

Our ‘Let’s Take Over the World’ Packages will provide you with twelve months of visual content to use across all of your platforms, ensuring you are connecting with your audience in an authentic and compelling way. These packages are from $800 and Afterpay is available.