Whether you’re getting ready for a day at the office, heading out at night, or preparing for a day running errands around town, there is a rule of thumb for how best to apply your makeup. But what about when you’re preparing to get your photographs taken? During the consultations we hold before sessions, one question we always receive is how makeup should be applied to achieve the best looking photographs. We’ve gathered up the five answers to this question that we’ve found to be the most helpful.

1. Always apply your makeup in a natural light.

Anybody who’s experienced the witchcraft that takes place when your look changes between your bathroom mirror and the one you keep in your office drawer knows that when it comes to makeup, lighting makes all the difference. When preparing for your session, it’s a good idea to apply your makeup in natural light similar to the one your photographer will place you in. Try sitting near a window or in a room that is flooded with natural light to ensure consistency.

2. Reach for your matte shades over shimmery shades or glitter.

Who isn’t a fan of shades that add a little bit of luster to your look? Unfortunately, when it comes to photography, shimmery shades can cause your eyelids to look oily. Your best choice would be to stick to matte shades that will define and draw attention to your eyes without reflecting too much light.

3. Try something slightly bolder than your natural look.

We’re not saying that you have to opt for dramatic winged eyeliner or a super-smokey eye. Taking your natural look and practicing and perfecting a slightly more intense version of it will help the camera to capture your features and really make them pop. Choose black liner and mascara, and make sure you practice the look in advance to hone your skills.

4. Finish with a setting powder.

Adding a thin layer of translucent setting powder over your finished look will keep light reflections to a minimum without looking cakey. Translucent powders won’t add to or take away from your skin tone, making them ideal for achieving a naturally matte finish.

5. Bring some oil blotting sheets to your shoot.

No matter how many mattifying products we stock our arsenals with, skin has a tendency to regain some shine throughout the day. Slipping a pack of oil-absorbing blotting sheets into your bag to bring along with you to your session is a simple way to quickly remove excess oil and keep you looking the same as when you sauntered away from the mirror.

What makeup tips help you feel your best in front of the camera? Tell us in the comments!