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THE BEAUTY CHECKLIST: Prep for Photoshoot

There are five areas where a little advance preparation can make a significant difference when having your portrait taken. If you ignore them, an otherwise perfect photograph may end up with distracting elements that take the focus away from where it should be. (Of course, I'm referring to your stunning eyes.) Face, Hair, Hands, Skin, and Clothes are the five areas.

The week before your shoot (or sooner if you've scheduled ahead of time) is a good time to plan. Choose your apparel, decide which beautification steps to take, and make appointments (even if they're just with yourself). Remember, these tips are here to help you come up with ideas for preparing for your shoot, but they are not required, or even desirable, for everyone. Simply choose what fits.

- FACE -

Whiten your Teeth. For a quick whiteness boost, Crest sells white strips that whiten in a week or less. I've heard that dentists can also whiten teeth. Many offer it for free to new clients. If you're overdue for a cleaning, consider going all out.

Don't Pick. A pimple is simple to conceal with makeup, but scabs, wounds, and flaky patches are more difficult. Stop picking at your skin as soon as you can. If you, like me, scratch and squeeze at every bump and flake on your face, it's time to bring out the big guns. Do whatever it takes. Stop looking at your face in a mirror closer than two feet away. Wear bandaids on your fingertips if you pick while doing something else. Choose some with a really sassy print, such as Barbie or Dora the Explorer.

Exfoliate. A comforting evening can be spent exfoliating your face and body with a grainy scrub (or gently massaging your skin with a washcloth). Plan to exfoliate a few times before your appointment, but make sure to give yourself some time in between "treatments" and before your shoot.

Facial- Make sure to get your facial at least a week before your shoot if you're going to indulge in full-on pampering. A week usually suffices to allow for healing after a facial because redness is usually the result.

For those of us on a budget, a gooey, fluorescent-masque facial at home is always a fun substitute for a night out. Add a tasty book, then refresh your mind. Repetition is required.

Wax the Brows - If you choose to wax or thread your eyebrows, be sure to make the appointment at least a few days prior to your photo shoot. Otherwise, a day or two prior to the shoot, you could trim or touch up your eyebrows at home.

- HAIR -

Refresh Your Roots. If you dye your hair, it's best to touch up the regrowth three days prior to your photo shoot. Take my word for it: now is not the time to make significant changes. Believe me.

Trim It. Younger and more vibrant hair is neat, healthy hair. Even a small trim can do wonders if it has been a while since your last haircut.

Condition Deep. You can use your preferred deep conditioner or protein pack at home or have your salon perform a professional conditioning treatment. Apply it after applying the goopy facial masque. Wrap your head in a turban. While you're marinating, pretend to be a genie while wearing harem pants. Or pick up a book. Your choice.


Manicure. Add a pedicure while you're at it. If you neglect your nails, schedule a manicure and pedicure for the day before your shoot.

Stick to clear, neatly shaped nails if you're a minimalist. For fingertips, softer, more understated hues are ideal. Any color can pass for toes. (Consider the attire you're bringing and make sure to pick a color that will go well with it.)

Clean the Ring. Cleaning your jewelry with a toothbrush and toothpaste is a great daily cleaning method, but most professional jewelers have sonic cleaners that restore their original radiance. Many people even offer free ring cleaning. especially if you go back to the jeweler where you originally bought it.

Bring the ring in right away if it's been a while since your last professional cleaning. It's a good idea to give yourself a few days in case the goldsmith needs to re-set anything because if there are any loose stones in your setting, they might get shaken loose.

The day before your shoot, if it is convenient, have it cleaned once more. Or you could use the tried-and-true toothbrush technique the previous evening. Alternately, refrain from wearing it between the cleaning and the photo shoot. Just be sure to keep it with you!

Him as well. If you're bringing your man to the shoot, check that his ring and nails are both neat. If you can convince him to put on the genie mask, bonus points.

- SKIN -

Shave or Wax. Give yourself a few days to recover before your shoot if you decide to wax. The night before, you can shave. Make sure to massage your legs, underarms, and, if you plan to wear a swimsuit or lingerie, the area around your bikini.

Spray Tanning A few days before your shoot, get a spray tan if you typically have a fake glow. However, I love having fair skin. You would forgo the tanning bed and embrace your inner pale if it were up to me.

Remember that even though Photoshop can cover up a lot of sins, you'll still enjoy seeing yourself as you appear in your photographs. At the end of the day, some things cannot be changed by preparation (and perhaps you wouldn't want to). Scars or birthmarks are a couple of examples. While some believe that these alterations are an integral part of who we are, others would prefer to have them "photoshopped" away. Which is accurate? whichever you desire. It consists of your face, body, and photos.


Pack 5 to 6 outfits. Your portraits ought to be a more polished version of yourself. Pick out clothes you adore. Consider the go-to blouse you always wear when you're going someplace nice or those special pieces you might not wear frequently because they're not practical for everyday use.

Something Dark. Bring at least one dark outfit or top. The best colors to use are black, navy, or charcoal.

Something Light. Consider an angelic look for your light clothing. It might even be layered and sheer. You can use cream, nude, light pink, or anything else instead of white.

Sexy Thing. You are entirely in charge of this. You have the option to omit the sexy. However, if you so choose, you can flaunt your sexiness in a pretty pinup-style swimsuit or a backless formal dress. Gorgeous underwear is lovely and


  • Bare face (wash and apply your usual moisturizer)

  • Clean, dry hair (very short hair should leave it wet)

  • Comfy outfit (to sit in while you’re being styled)

  • 5-6 fitted outfits to wear in photos

  • Pretty nails (Neutral fingers, fun toes)

  • Clean wedding ring

  • Touched up brows

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