The best primers and foundation for photographs

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I recently have been buying more makeup products since I have decided to do my own makeup for my wedding day. As someone who does photography and also someone who has had my photo taken for shoots occasionally, I understand what kind of makeup works best for flash photography. I also want to make sure that the primers I use on my skin on my wedding day will offer really good staying power for my face makeup. As I have been doing my makeup trials I have realized I would prefer to do my own makeup so I wanted to share what items I have recently purchased to create a long lasting, flawless face for my bridal look on my wedding day. This is also good for those looking for primers and foundation to help with event makeup or for those nights you just want a bit more coverage especially if you are having your picture taken.


One thing to keep in mind when looking to do a more professional makeup look is that it takes a few tries to find the products and brands that work best for you. I have been investing in my makeup kit for years but these items that I purchased from Sephora and MAC are items that I had not been using or have never used. I use a variety of different brands and buy so much makeup, which is one of my biggest splurges. I love to try new brands and items to see what works best for me and my skin. When I buy my makeup I usually always buy them from:

1. Sephora 2. MAC 3. ULTA or 4. Cinema Secrets


Some makeup artist brands that are not as commercial can be fond on and it’s makeup that is usually used for film, theater or photography. The products are great since they are used under heavy lights and also on set so that means they withstand hot lights and lamps, HD camera and also flash photography. You need to make sure that on your wedding day you avoid makeup that has a lot of titanium dioxide in it. This is an ingredient that bounces light off the face and can make your photos look less than flattering. It is found in many drug store brand foundations so for your wedding day foundation make sure to really invest in a good brand name foundation like Makeup Forever, NARS or MAC Pro cosmetics. These are brands make specifically for photography and flash photography.


Best Primers for Photography & Flawless Foundation:

1. MAC oil control lotion ( link) – this product is light and helps to prevent you from getting shiny with a long day ahead of photos. I like to apply this just in my t-zone area where I tend to get oily throughout the day time. I did not apply this all over as some areas of my face are dry and some are oil prone. This one does not clog my pores and sets and dries invisibly.

2. Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Undereye Primer ( link) – this is a great first step for the undereye area. If you plan to use a concealer under your eyes this helps to great a nice, soft finish under the eyes. It helps to make sure the undereye area is moiosturized and hydrated so that your concealer doesn’t get cakey or sink in and emphasize the lines under the eye area. This seems to also wake up the undereye area for a rested look.

3. Makeup Forever Step 1 Hydrating Primer ( link) – this primer quenches dry skin. I use this on my nose and on the cheeks and chin area. This is applied after the other two above products have dried into the skin. This hydrating primer gives my skin a soft canvas to begin applying my foundations.

4. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light (link) – This can be used in replacement of the MAC oil control lotion if you don’t tend to get oily in your t-zone. This I used on photoshoots a lot as it had amazing staying power and was very light on the skin.


Overall primer is crucial when you are doing a makeup look that begs for a flawless finish that lasts all day. It is the fresh canvas you need to be able to begin applying your foundation. All three of these items are used when I am putting on a full face of makeup, but when it comes to everyday makeup I skip the primers and opt for just a BB cream like the Too Faced Beauty Balm ( link) or Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue in Natural ( link) since they have some coverage but also skin care benefits and SPF.


The best full face airbrush foundation combination


I have recently fallen in love with this dynamic duo of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ( link). I also highly recommend the Bare Minerals Smoothing Face Brush ( link) as it really is the softest and most airbrush finish type brush I have used for foundation application. Sometimes it takes awhile for a foundation brush to be “broken in” but this one really worked amazing from day one! I use 1-2 pumps of the NARS foundation on the back of my hand and then put a small amount of the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and mix them together with my finger. Then I dot the mixture on various parts of my face and then blend and smooth it into the skin with the brush.


This mix is the most flawless I have ever seen my face, almost an airbrush finish that looks like it has full coverage but not cakey! You can build this coverage if you want, but honestly you don’t need a ton of it to get a flawless face. I tried this out and have to admit that I was more impressed than I thought I would be. The NARS foundation is very liquidy which I thought meant it would not give any coverage, but I was so pleasantly surprised. This is the foundation I will be using on my wedding day 100%!


Below is a photo of my makeup looking using these items while attending a friend’s wedding this past weekend. The makeup lasted all day and night without need to apply any type of powder and it photographed really well too. I did not get oily like I usually do and the makeup felt light too.


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