First things first, get your complexion as fab as possible. It's really not as hard as drinking 2L of water a day for weeks, exxy facials and the most expensive products money and (therefore) celebs, can buy.
It really only takes the 'removal' of two simple, yet photobombing things - oil and dullness. And the easiest way to remove these dastardly duos are employing a good quality scrub and a mattifying product.
First up, scrub up. Any exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin cells and any dryness will do! Try the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub- it contains a micro-crushed combo of Cocoa Beans, Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E and is scented with a refreshing White Lily fragrance. Best of all, it's just $9.99!
After you exfoliate, you can hydrate. If you do it before, it won't penetrate into the skin (all that dull, dry stuff will be in the way) BUT if you do it afterwards, it'll sink into skin and promote a lovely glow. Just want you want! Try the Swisspers Naturals Aloe Nourishing Face Cream- also offers a bang for your buck, and will help to calm skin and reduce any redness which you don't want appearing in snaps.
If oily skin is a problem for you - you'll be sick of that shine that plagues you in pics! - look to a mud mask and a mattifyer to help. First off, apply your mud mask after cleansing. Try the Montagne Jeunesse Blemish Mud Masque. It'll help to draw out impurities (and the excess sebum that helps to cause them) and help soak up that oil that ruins photos by reflecting too much light, usually around the t-zone.
If you are still concerned about the shine, use a mattifying lotion to help. I love the Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner. It controls excess sebum and minimises the appearance of pores. Simply pat onto your t-zone after your skincare routine, and before makeup. It'll help keep your base matte, and keep shine at bay throughout the day, as well as in your pics.
One more thing you can do to help skin look bright and fresh, like RC babe Jessica Alba, is to add a bold red lipstick. The perfect red can help to make teeth and skin look whiter, and draw the eye to the red of the lip, rather than the redness of any blemishes in the skin. I'm loving the Shanghai Suzy Lipstick in in Miss Watermelon - perfect for injecting some colour into the last days of summer!
Master the art of smiling
Taking a good picture is all about smiling - not pouting! No one genuinely smiles with their lips closed, so dont be afraid to smile with teeth, even if you feel a little self conscious. It'll look more natural and help your face to shine.
When you are showing emotions your entire face is affected, so when you smile, your eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, and forehead are all affected too, and move to express those happy emotions! Instead of freaking and showing off a faux smile, try to remember that you are happy - you should be if you are dressed up and ready for a special event! - and convey that through your smile. It'll make for a much better and more natural snap.
Plus, red carpet winner Jessica Chastain has a terrific tip - "an actress friend of mine shared a great trick. She told me to stick my tongue behind my teeth when I smile to keep from over-smiling. If you smile without doing it, sometimes your gums show a little too much. It's an actor's trick!"
And one more tip from us! Try to avoid saying "cheese" when someone is taking your snap - even if they ask you! It can lead to forced-looking smiles, or weird mouth movements once the flash hits. Instead, just stick to your lovely, natural grin!
Shoulder level is best!
Now, if you are the one taking the snap (Hello selfies!) try to snap from the shoulder. Simply hold the phone out in front of you, with straight arms. This'll get your snap around shoulder height. It's also ok to hold the camera a little higher, but don't hold it lower than shoulder height, as it can catch that unflattering, 'under the shin' angle!
Also, you don't want to have your phone in the frame, so no mirror selfies! It's a little too Kimmy K/Miley Cyrus nakies in the bathroom!
Light it up
Picking the right light is crucial in taking a good pic. If you are getting ready for a big day out, or a big night out, you are in luck - morning and sunset light is the most flattering. And even though some photographers adjust lighting to add brightness, try to keep things as simple as possible for yourself, and take your photo with the light source in front of you, not behind you. Otherwise, your pic will look great in the background, but your face will be all dark and shadowed. Not ideal!
And if you are the one taking the photo, you have the power to alter it. With a filter I mean! No one wants to be caught up in a Miranda Kerr instagram photoshop scandal, do they? Just remember, a filter will give you photos a more 'faux' look, and often, photos are are more naturally bright end up with the most 'likes'. To fake a faux light source, try Valencia, Walden, and Rise filters on your instagram snaps.
Pick a side
If it's a solo snap you are taking, little trick that most professionals use is; split the frame of your pic into thirds, and place yourself either in the first third, or in the second two thirds. This will put you just off-center either way, and give your shot a little more interest. Pick your best side too! Yes - your face looks different on either side. Crazy right! But very true.
It's often thought that the left side is the most flattering, but do some practicing turning your head side to side in the mirror to see which is your more natural appealing. Tip: if you have a side part, you'll probably have chosen your best side to part it on, and have your hair fall over the side that is less appealing. Need more convincing? Painters historically have had their muses and subjects sit so they can paint their left side!
Get more likes
Because if you are sharing your snap, who doesn't want a few extra likes?! A couple of tips are: use hashtags! Some of the most popular hashtags are #love, #me, #cute, #friday and #coffee - so consider a cute shot with your daily cup of jo!
Also, try to pic the best photo to share and leave it at that. Posting three or more similar photos in a row will fatigue the feeds of your followers, and translate to less likes in the long run. Simply choose the best and share away!
There you have it! A few handy tips to get the best out of your photos. Are you a fan of the selfie? Do you take plenty of pics when you're all dressed up with somewhere to go? Do share! - Lauren