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8 Steps To Take Before Your Headshot Shoot - Tips From A Photo Retoucher

Photoshop is an amazing tool to help actors look their best, but there are some things that can't really be faked. Here are a few tips for how to prepare for your headshot shoot so that you truly shine...

1. Drink plenty of water. When you're dehydrated, fine lines and pores are more noticeable, and your lips can look dry and wrinkled. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics and can cause dehydration. Make sure to drink lots of water on the days leading up to your shoot so that your skin has a healthy, dewy glow. Coconut water is also a good alternative to water and another delicious way to hydrate!

2. Moisturize. Gentlemen, this means you, too! Using a moisturizer diminishes fine lines and dry, flaky skin. My favorite night moisturizer is Honey Girl Organics Face & Eye Cream (available at Whole Foods) - it's ultra-moisturizing and has a great texture. My second favorite moisturizer is straight up Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. I know it sounds silly, but it's a wonderful, convenient and inexpensive beauty aid! Just pour a few drops in the palm of your hands and rub it all over your face before bedtime (and don't wash it off). The night before you shoot is the most important time to moisturize, as well as the morning of. I recommend using a daily moisturizer such as Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion with SPF 15 - not only will it give you an extra dose of moisture, it will protect against the sun when shooting outdoors!

3. Get a facial. Again... I'm talking to you, too, guys! Facials with extractions are a great way to get your pores cleaned out. Clogged pores and blackheads are going to show up in your photos! As a photo retoucher, I can tell you that it's easy to remove a blackhead here and there, but it's NOT easy to clean up an entire face of dirty pores. Get your facial done at least a week before your shoot, because facials can cause breakouts and redness. Make sure that the facial you're getting includes extractions. And drink lots of water before your facial! The more hydrated you are, the more pliable your skin will be... And this will make it much easier for your aesthetician to really get your pores clean.

4. Use fresh mascara. Ladies, this is a great time to replace your mascara! Experts say you should replace your mascara every 3-6 months, but I know many of us (myself included) sometimes keep it much longer. When mascara gets old, it looks clumpy and makes eyelashes look like spider legs. It's almost impossible to clean those lashes up in Photoshop! So get a new tube of mascara to keep your lashes looking smooth and natural, and comb your lashes if you see any clumps. My favorite mascara is Lancome Definicils... Try it with the Lancome Cils Booster for added impact!

5. Don't overdo your foundation. Keep makeup light and natural so that your skin texture doesn't look fake. Loreal True Match Liquid Foundation has a lovely finish that looks great on camera. Keep translucent powder on hand for shine, but go easy with it. For men, I would typically recommend that you don't wear any sort of foundation. Just use a little moisturizer, and possibly a light dusting of translucent powder or oil blotting sheets to take care of shine. Don't worry about a pimple or a shaving nick - those things can easily be retouched. But I can almost always tell when men are wearing makeup in a photo, and there's not much I can do to make it look more natural in Photoshop. If you have uneven skin and do decide to wear a foundation, use a light touch... and try the aforementioned Loreal True Match in place of cakey stage makeup!

6. Get plenty of sleep. This is an obvious tip, but it's important. Not only will you look better, but you'll feel better!

7. Get a trim. Hair always looks so much nicer when it's freshly trimmed, so why not do that the week of your shoot? Neat ends can't easily be faked in Photoshop. Also, it's a good idea to ask your photographer to keep an eye on your hair during the shoot. It can be rearranged easily in real life, but not so much in post.

8. Bring lip balm or gloss. To keep your lips looking moist in your photos, make sure you have lip balm on hand. Ask your photographer from time to time if your lips look dry or cracked, and reapply as needed.

Well, that's it! Those are my tips on how to look great in your photos. If you start with these basics, you'll spend less time and money with your retoucher, and be much happier with the results!

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