Sunday, May 20, 2018

Smile! Here's how to make your selfies shine

Ask Webster and you'll probably find that a selfie is a self-taken photo, typically taken with a mobile phone and posted to social media.

But ask a fashion blogger, a celebrity or a teenage girl, and you'll soon discover that selfies are a language, a common ground, a channel for creativity. (Let's not even talk about selfies for sexting.) No matter the reason, here's how to make your next selfie look flawless and actually do some good.

Makeup matters

Your makeup bag has the power to make every picture look better thanks to the latest hi-def products literally made to make skin, lips and eyes look best on camera.

Primer is a must, and arguably the best-known primer for pictures is Smashbox Photo Finish ($49 at Sephora) or try Revlon's PhotoReady Perfecting Skin Primer Cream ($12.49 at Walgreens).

Foundation is next and many brands have developed products ideal for pictures. Givenchy's Photo'Perfexion Fluid Foundation is not cheap at $48 a bottle, but this product is billed as having "the expertise and speed of a digital retoucher," concealing dark circles and perfecting the appearance of your complexion. Revlon's Photo Ready Makeup offers similar benefits for less than $13 at most drugstores.

Finish off with Make Up For Ever's HD Microfinish Powder, a product created specifically to create flawless, invisible coverage on screen, in high definition and in real life.

Picture perfect

A lucky few are just naturally photogenic. But for the rest of us, learning how to pose properly for pictures takes practice. If you've been spotted with a double chin in more than one photograph, I'm talking to you.

Years ago at a photo shoot, I was told to pose for photographs by lengthening the neck as much as possible, craning the head forward in an almost unnatural way and then tilting the chin slightly up at an angle. It feels weird but it also ends unflattering photographs once and for all.

And then there's lighting. Natural diffused light is best, and that's exactly what you'll get during what's known as the "golden hours," the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. Of course, there are always filters, but it's much easier to look great in a shot taken at the right angle with the right lighting.

Camera+ is my favorite photo app not only because of the vast amount of filter options but because it has a timer feature that allows you to take selfies from afar.

Selfless selfies

And if all of this selfie talk seems well, selfish, in light of all that's going on in the world, I've discovered a way to turn your love of selfies into a charitable endeavor via Johnson & Johnson's free app, Donate A Photo. Consumers can share their favorite selfies via the app, select a charity of choice (options include Girl Up, World Wildlife Fund and Operation Smile, among others) and for every photo shared, Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to a cause you want to help.

You can donate one photo a day, every day and that means some of you — you know who you are — can share your new lip gloss or #ootd while raising a fortune for charity.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn at @tampabaypretty.