How to Do Your Makeup for ID and Passport Photos

Categories : Makeup, Makeup Tips

Instagram photos get a lot of likes, but ID photos are forever. You’ll be using employee pass, driver’s license and other government IDs, and your passport photo for years. You want to look your best: classy, professional, somewhere between cute and not-a-criminal.

Use these makeup tips to enhance your features for ID and passport photos. They help prevent flashback and help your skin look healthy and glowing even in the most horrible lighting.  

Apply a sheer layer of matte foundation

Heavy makeup will never look good in photos, but you need good coverage too – many studio lights are very unforgiving! Your best bet is to apply a medium-coverage matte or semi-matte foundation with a damp sponge. This sheers out the formula, for an even and natural looking complexion.  Find a good (but cheap!) foundation with our article on the best drugstore foundations for every skin type.

best drugstore foundation

Don’t use foundation with SPF

Normally, we embrace any makeup with sun protection, but this is the only occasion where you should skip anything with SPF. That’s because the ingredients that block the sun will also reflect the light in studios and from the camera flash – leading to that strange white cast.  Once again: matte foundation is your best bet.

Use a brightening concealer

A colour corrector and brightening concealer can help hide dark circles and make you look like you’ve had 12 hours of sleep! Read our article for picking the right shade of concealer.

 Powder your T-zone

Just before it’s your turn to take your pic, use blotting papers to wick away any moisture on your forehead, nose and chin. You can also use the sponge in your makeup compact – but don’t just keep patting extra layers of powder, which will make your makeup look cakey. Instead,  wrap the sponge around your middle fingers and then roll around the area, so it picks up oil and distributes a thin layer of powder. Here are some powder foundations that won’t make your skin look dry.

best powder foundations

 Pay attention to brows

Fill in brows with a brown powder – not black. Black will look harsh and ageing, especially in bad lighting conditions (or bad cameras) where the contrast is too high. You can also do a very subtle ombre effect — with brown powder on the inner corners and then fading out to black – to make your brows look naturally thicker.  (Check out our 20 eyebrow hacks for full but natural looking brows.)

Skip heavy eye makeup

Just cancel out pigmentation with a matte eyeshadow that’s close to your skin colour. Define or tightline the eyes with eyepencil, curl eyelashes and then add mascara.

Use cream blush

Cream blush lasts longer and helps your skin look lit from within. Then, set it with a powder blush in a similar colour. The colour looks more three-dimensional and natural, and lasts longer too. Blend really well with a big fluffy brush. Find more tips on how to apply blush perfectly with our ultimate guide to cheek makeup.

cheek makeup tips

Say no to shimmer

No highlighters, bronzers, or shimmer eyeshadows! These will look frosty in the photos, and also tend to make photos look dated – glitter trends come and go, but you’ll be stuck with that ID photo for a long time.

Wear a liptint

You want a lipstick shade that looks like your lips, but better. Lip tints and lip stains are your best bet: they mimic your own lip texture and are more pigmented than a gloss. You can also use a cream lipstick but blot it out – leaving a subtle hint of colour.  (Find the best liptint in Singapore for every budget.)