Q&A – Makeup For Color Photography Vs Black and White Photography

posted in Ask Me Anything

Q&A – Makeup For Color Photography Vs Black and White Photography

Hi Everyone!

I just love doing Q&A blog posts. Here is a fun and technical one requested by a follower on Instagram! Makeup for photography!

Q: I’m doing a shoot and want to get some cool shots in black and white, but also some in color. What kind of makeup should I do, so it will not look like too much in color and will pop in black and white?

A: Makeup for color versus black and white photography varies in technique. If it were me, I would try starting off by doing makeup for color and then make a few changes for the black and white shots.

Color photos – The most important thing to remember while doing makeup for color photography is to blend, blend, blend… to create soft edges. Did I mention blend? :) Use powder to set your makeup, but try to keep the natural glow of the skin. If you use too much powder, try applying a spray like MAC’s Fix + which will bring back the natural radiance. Make sure to give warmth to the overall photo by using a light matte bronzer around the perimeter of the face. Use a lipstick and then highlight just the middle of your lips with a pretty gloss. Note: If you use lipgloss on the entire lip, you can loose definition and it can look like you are drooling from the corners, if the light hits just right… Haha not cute! So yes, just keep the gloss in the middle!

Now that you’ve got your gorgeous color photography shots, it’s time to make some slight changes to the makeup for the black and white shots. When updating for black and white photos, be sure to focus on creating highlights and shadows to give dimension by contouring.

Black and white photos – In black and white photography every color will (obviously) translate into shades of grey, or black and white. Makeup done for black and white photography may look like a bit much to the naked eye, but will translate beautifully in photos. It is important to know the difference between warm and cool colors. Warm colors will appear as lighter shades of gray and cool undertones will appear darker. For a natural look, stick with warm tones (such as peach). If you want more of a high fashion look, then use colors that have a cool tone (shades of blues, charcoals, violets, purples). With lip color, warm tones will create a very natural look. If you want more definition to the lip, then use a color with a blue undertone (try pinks), which will translate as a deeper shade of gray. Red lipsticks can be really tricky. Orange-red will become a medium shade of gray, whereas a blue-red can translate as a dark shade of gray, and can sometimes appear black. Unless you are going for very high fashion or goth look, I’d avoid it using it.

Tip: Use eyeliner to really make your eye pop for both color and black and white photography! My favorites are AMC Eyeliner 101 by Inglot and L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lacquer Liner in Blackest Black.

I hope you enjoyed this post about makeup for photography!

Photo Credit: Makeup Artistry work by me (Debra Johnson), model Merissa P, photographer Dondee Q

♥ Debra Johnson Makeup Artist Orange County, California

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