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Makeup for Talent Head Shots

Makeup for Talent Head Shots

Posted by Robin Wright on 2017 Dec 4th

As a Makeup Artist I have jobs that entail applying makeup on talent for a variety of mediums. Whether it be for video, print or stage, makeup is required to make the talent look like the best version of themselves in front of the camera or audience.

This blog relates to applying makeup for talent head shots. So, what are booking agents and casting directors looking for when it comes to a great looking head shot? For the most part your head shot should look clean, polished and most importantly "like you!" Whenever I'm asked to apply makeup on talent for their head shot, my application will always consist of a few products to achieve a natural looking finish. Casting directors are usually looking for personality over glam, it is important to show up at the casting looking like yourself and not like someone else. When you look like yourself it's much easier for the agent or director to visualize you as the character they're casting for.

For makeup my main focus is on giving the talent an even skin tone. I'll use concealer for covering major blemishes and/or scars and a tinted moisturizer such as a BB cream for the entire face. I'll apply translucent powder for mattifing the skin then I'll follow with grooming facial hair (for men) and applying a lip balm with a subtle sheen on the lips.

Makeup for fashion photography is a little different. Since lighting can be more dramatic with strong shadows, it is much easier to get away with more makeup. When applying makeup for fashion photography I'll stick with pretty much the same application as if I were applying makeup for head shots. Instead I'll add more eye makeup on the model depending on the look the photographer is going for and use a full coverage foundation instead of a lightweight BB Cream.

Keep in mind, makeup varies depending on the medium. For instance, makeup for video and stage is much more heavier than makeup for print, you also want to compensate for different lighting situations.

Professional head shots can be used for Linkedin, CEO profiles, business cards, comp cards etc., and can range between $400-$1000. If you're going to spend this amount of money on your head shots you definitely want to look your best. Here are a few products I recommend to take with you on the shoot:

BB Cream


Translucent Powder

I always recommend booking a Professional Makeup Artist, this will guarantee a polished looking photograph while saving time in post production. Remember, when auditioning for a role you must bring the whole package: talent, image and a good attitude.

To book a Makeup Artist for your head shots please click here

If you're looking for professional head shots visit