How should I do my make up and hair for headshots?

Headshot Make Up and Hair

Headshot Make Up and Hair by Joshua Michael Shelton hair and make up done by William Williams Beauty Academy

You have probably had this question before: “How should I do my make-up and hair for my headshots?”  There is nothing to stress about, I will explain to you exactly what you need to know.  The next time you show up for your headshot appointment you will be confident that your make up is on point.

Let’s start off with explaining headshot make-up.  Have you ever thought about what a headshot is for?  Of course we think headshots are what we use to get work, right?  This is true, but a great headshot is to show a recent snap shot of you to a casting director.  In this snap shot your skin, hair and eye color should be true.  A headshot is not a glamour shot or fashion headshot.  The purpose is not to show you in a dramatic portrait, but in your natural form.

Skin should always be fresh and clean.  I suggest going very light on your foundation and apply little to no blush.  The key is minimal make up.  You need just enough to even out skin tones.  Lips should always be matte and your natural skin color.  Do not have glossy lips.  The shine can be distracting.

Now let’s talk about the eyelashes and eyebrows.  Remember, headshots are 50 megapixel close-ups of your face.  Eyelashes can be great when you are in person and people see you from afar, but in a headshot they can seem distracting.  If you are going to wear eyelashes have singles put on by a professional.  The majority of the time stripes look fake.  They also tend to fall off from time to time during a shoot.  And when applied incorrectly, stripes tend to show excess glue.

Hair is the hardest part of a headshot.  It should be easy to recreate and something you would wear to a casting.  You should look like your headshot when you go to castings.  Don’t go over the top and do something to your hair that you do not intend to do when you go to castings.  Another important thing to remember is to show your face.  A great headshot shows your facial structure (both cheekbones, full jawline).  You do not want the hair to hide your face.

If you plan on shooting outside, it is good to account for the wind.  Most days there will be wind. So if you love the outdoor backgrounds, plan on a hairstyle that works well in the wind.  You can put your hair up or partially up.  Definitely plan on using a lot of hairspray to set your hair and prevent fly aways.  In Summary:

  • Light foundation
  • Little to no blush
  • blending
  • Lips should be matte and your natural lip color
  • Eyelashes should be natural or singles
  • No strip eyelashes
  • Spend time plucking
  • Hair should not hide your jawline and check bones
  • If shooting outside pick hairstyles that do well in wind


I hope this section helped to explain some basics of how you should do your make up and hair for headshots.  If you have any suggestions to add to this blog or if you have any questions, please email me.  Thanks and have a great shoot!


2 Look 2 Retouch
2 Headshot Looks
200-350 Photos
2 Retouched Photos
Copy of all Hi Resolution Photos
3 Look 3 Retouch
3 Headshot Looks
450-600 Photos
3 Retouched Photos
Copy of all Hi Resolution Photos
4 Look 4 Retouch
4 Headshot Looks
600-800 Photos
4 Retouched Photos
Copy of all Hi Resolution Photos