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The Foundation Technique For Better Photos

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Certain people always look good in photos, no matter what (Kendall Jenner, for instance). Most likely, there are a couple of factors at work here. Three off the top of the head are:

A.They’re just naturally photogenic.

B. Someone taught them their angles.

C. They figured out how to have their makeup done when there’s going to be some flash photography involved in the day’s proceedings.

Luckily, A becomes sort of irrelevant when you’ve got B and C covered. And those two are totally teachable. Today, we’ll cover C.

Not to suggest that a iPhone camera is nearly as intimidating as a press corps of red carpet photographers, but it seemed like a safe bet that celebrity makeup artist Quinn Murphy would know what to do when asked how to look more photogenic without much work. (He works with Lily Aldridge, Leighton Meester, and Anne Hathaway for Pete’s sake). Armed with a bunch of Laura Mercier product they generously loaned us for just this occasion, he demonstrated, in four steps, on Camilla Deterre—she looked pretty good in photos to begin with, but no shame in stepping up that game. Bring on the photogs.

Prep

Quinn begins with a primer—and Laura Mercier’s various Foundation Primers (there’s the classic, Radiance, Hydrating, and Oil-Free) is the preferred product, it seems, of anyone who seriously cares about laying something down before moving onto makeup (it’s more important than you think!). He squirts out a quarter-sized mound and massages it onto Camilla’s face. “You just want to be ready for makeup—not overly oily, not overly dry. Camilla’s skin is on the drier side, so I’m using the Hydrating primer on her, which has a moisture-rich formula. The focus should always be on the skin itself. Skin has to glow and be radiant or else the rest of the makeup will fall flat.”

Conceal & Cover

Turning Camilla’s face toward the light, Quinn applies Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage to a few blemishes and Secret Concealer for the under-eye. Then he begins his foundation work, explaining, “The most important part to finding the right foundation is good lighting. Whenever you shop for one at a department store, make sure to take a sample and see what it looks like on your skin in natural light. It will be the most honest application.” Another important part of shade-matching: making sure your face matches the rest of your body. Tugging Camilla’s top down so her collarbone shows, Quinn checks to make sure the whatever shade he uses won’t leave lines on her décolletage or upper arms.

Using Laura Mercier’s new Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation, he decides on Bamboo Beige for Camilla, thins it out with some Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil, and applies it with a wet sponge. “Everyone always thinks you need heavy coverage for red carpet. That isn’t necessarily true,” he says. “You still want the skin to look breathable and luminous. However, you don’t want it to be too sheer—if there are red patches, make sure to target them so the tone is even.” Then, to contour and highlight the face, he suggests buying two shades darker and two shades lighter respectively, which also works for seasonal changes. “I’m going to take the lighter foundation and apply it to her forehead, nose-bridge, and Cupid’s bow. The darker, I’ll apply to the edges to really frame the face seamlessly.”

Play Up Your Features

For daytime events, or when you simply just want to look like yourself but better, Quinn focuses on particular features. He applies Laura Mercier’s Crème Cheek Colour in Canyon to the apples of Camilla’s cheeks. “I really like crème blush on foundation. With cream and cream textures, they blend extremely well together,” he says. He then curls Camilla’s lashes, applies mascara, and uses Laura Mercier’s Tightline Cake Eye Liner to “define her eyes without looking like she’s wearing makeup.” Stamped in between the lash line, and Camilla’s lashes look fuller without looking false. “This is my favorite. It’s a great everyday product and really lasts all day.” Finally, he pats down her lips with Crème Cheek Colour in Blaze.

Nighttiming

For an event that requires “a look,” to easily emphasize your eyes, Quinn uses two Caviar SticksTuxedo on top, Jungle on bottom. To add warmth and contour, he uses Matte Radiance Baked Powder on the hollows of the cheeks. Camilla’s lips are then slicked with Lip Glacé in Bare Beige. Sultry, sheer, and satisfied is probably the best way to describe Camilla at this point as she poses.

Photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Quinn Murphy (The Wall Group). The post was created in collaboration with Laura Mercier.

Read more of our Model in Makeup series here.