Looking good on screens and in photos is an essential life skill whether you’re an avid Facebook/Instagram poster or not. You can control your own selfies but often not those other people take of you and display online. Who needs their double chin, tummy bulge or under-eye circles revealed to all? As a beauty and style editor who has spent a lifetime on photo shoots, I know a few tips to make all the difference between “forget-about-it” and flattery without using filters or special apps:
1. Know your best facial angle
Few people have symmetrical faces — especially at 50 when age and gravity take over. One side or the other is going to be better. Consciously playing to your good side by facing off-center instead of straight on helps. Test this by taking a few three-quarter face selfies from the right and left angles and compare them. Unsure? Know that many people unconsciously part their hair on the stronger profile side and are already giving it priority. Let your nose, cheeks and jawline be a guide, but don’t start dialing cosmetic surgeons. Looking great in photos has nothing to do with actual physical perfection. The more natural and animated you look, the better. Just be sure to smile with your eyes and lips.
2. Employ pro face-lift tricks
Models and celebs secretly chisel their faces and necks with every snap. “To define your jaw, elongate your neck and prevent a double chin, be sure the camera is above your eye level — not lower — but not too high up either,” says New York City portrait photographer Eric Wolfe. “Smile but keep your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth or behind your top teeth to tighten and slim the jaw and neck even further.” I’ll add two other DIY contouring tips: Imagine a string at the top of your head pulling it up and stretching your neck. Push your head slightly forward and chin slightly down — like a turtle or as if you’re holding an orange under your chin. Try it in a mirror! Last, say, “money,” not “cheese” for a more genuine smile without showing every tooth in your mouth (or any for that matter)!