Special Guest Post! {Anna-Vaugn Callahan Photography – Achieving Flawless Skin with Makeup} | Brooke Roundy Photography

Hey lovelies! I have a special treat for you today… My sweet friend, and fabulous photographer specializing in high school seniors, Anna-Vaughn Callahan (hair and makeup super guru, if you ask me!) has graced us with her presence with tips on flawless skin! :) So, without further adieu, here she is… :)

Achieving Flawless Skin with Makeup

by Anna-Vaughn Callahan

Everyone wants to have perfect skin but not all of us were blessed with it. That is why some genius invented MAKEUP! Great makeup is key to looking flawless – in person and especially on camera! When you have great makeup on for your session that means less photoshopping which will produce a much more natural look in your images.
I’ve compiled a list of steps to help you apply your makeup for your session and the first three steps don’t even include makeup! All of the products that I recommend, are products that I use myself and on Ansley, so I KNOW that they work!

*Above is Ansley’s before and after. You can see that there is very minimal editing required because of the great makeup application.


1. One of the most important steps is to EXFOLIATE! Makeup will look 10 times better if it is applied to a smooth face and the only way you can get that is to exfoliate. The week leading up to your session, I suggest exfoliating at least three times with a gentle exfoliant such as Olay Total Effects – Blemish Control Salicylic Acid Acne Cleanser.

2. MOISTURIZE! Another very important step to producing skin that “glows.” Dry skin will be flakey under your makeup so be sure to moisturize every day with an oil free moisturizer such as Olay Total Effects -Fragrance-Free Moisturizer With Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15.

3. Use a PRIMER under your makeup/over your moisturizer. Primer helps to smooth your skin and keep your makeup fresh. Mally Beauty makes my favorite primer – Perfect Prep Poreless Illuminating Primer. It feels amazing on your skin and one jar will last you at least a year!   ”Ultra lightweight, but still rich feeling, it creates the prefect, seamless canvas for your makeup by minimizing fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. It also hydrates your skin and seals in moisture so your skins feels radiant and your makeup looks morning fresh all day!

4. FOUNDATION. Our first real makeup step. A long wearing, full coverage foundation – IN THE RIGHT COLOR – will look amazing in photos and hide any redness, blemishes and sunspots.   My favorite foundation is Revlon Colorstay Makeup. Foundation should be applied over your primer – using either your fingertips (make sure your hands are clean!) or a sponge (make sure this is clean too! Makeup sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria!). I prefer to use my fingers because the warmth from your fingers will help to blend the makeup onto your skin. Blend the edge of the makeup line onto and partially down your neck and into your hair line so that there is no defining line of makeup. *Be sure to choose a color that matches your skin tone and level of darkness/lightness. If you have cooler skin (more blue – these foundations are usually pinker or redder) do not select a foundation that is too warm (yellow) and vice versa. Also do not choose a foundation that is too dark for you. The foundation should blend into your neck seamlessly.

5. CONCEALER. Everyone needs to use a concealer under their eyes. It doesn’t matter if you have huge dark circles (like me) or no darkness at all. Shadows will form under your eyes, regardless, and concealer will help to bounce light back into your eyes. A creamy concealer that will glide on effortlessly with minimal pulling is Revlon Photoready Concealer. Choose a concealer that is at least one shade lighter than your foundation. One of my tricks is to put concealer above their upper lip – no mustaches here!;)

6. BRONZER and BLUSH. Lucky for you, I made a video on how to apply bronzer and blush! *insert big cheesy smile* You can watch it here. (Just ignore my silliness and over done eyeshadow. I kept making videos and getting interrupted so I had to apply it lots of times.) I use Mally’s Believable Bronzer but I don’t think its available anymore.:( Here is a kit that will get you exactly what I have in my bag and comes with a beautiful blush, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara (the best mascara – ever!) and a lip gloss.

7. EYE SHADOW. This is where you can have some fun – just don’t go too crazy! The perfect eyeshadow technique, that will look great on everyone, is to use a light (NOT WHITE) neutral color on the lid and a medium shade in the crease. Then using a small eyeliner brush sweep the medium shade under the bottom lashes from the outer corner to about 2/3′s in.  This is the pallet that I have in my purse at all times and it has two beautiful light neutral shades, a neutral grey/taupe color, a brown, a purple, and a black eyeshadow and it also comes with a couple of other goodies – like blush and lipgloss.

8. EYELINER. A great black eyeliner is something every girl needs. Apply eyeliner very thin at the inner corner of your eye and slightly increase the thickness as you sweep it outward, keeping the line as close to the lashes as possible. All of Mally’s eyeliners are amazing. Ansley is wearing Mally’s Ultimate Performance Waterproof Eyeliner in Get on the Jet Black on her upper lid only.

9. MASCARA. When you look at pictures the first thing your eye goes to is usually the eyes – or at least thats what I look at – so it is very important to have a great, non flakey, super black mascara that will lengthen and thicken your lashes. I recommend Mally’s Volumizing Mascara to everyone I know and now they’re all hooked. Its seriously the BEST! Thats why I’m linking the duo so that you can go ahead and get two because when you run out, you’ll want another tube ASAP! Remember, two coats on the top, and one on the bottom.

10. EYEBROWS. Another SUPER important step is to make sure that your eyebrows are well groomed and not over plucked/waxed. Sometimes if you have light brows or thin brows they will not show up on camera and thats not good! If you have lighter brows that have gaps or you just want to add to your existing brows, use a great brow liner like Maybelline Define-A-Brow. I have the medium brown shade. *Be sure to use a light touch. Super dark, over drawn brows can be worse than having no brows at all!

11. LIPS. What you do with your lips is really up to you. I prefer to either use a light/medium nude/pink shimmery lip gloss on most of my girls and every now and then a bright pink or beautiful red to switch things up. Just be sure to use a toothbrush to gently exfoliate them before your session. Just like your skin, flakey lips don’t look great in photographs!
12. Last but not least POWDER. I think its such a dirty word. I hate using powder. It ends up getting very cake-y and gross looking. You don’t actually have to use a powder, if you don’t want to. Ansley isn’t wearing any. But if you must, make yourself some “mineral veil” by using this recipe. Its cheap, quick, easy and it’s only two ingredients – corn starch and baby powder. Apply it lightly with a fluffy brush and voila! You’re finished!

Now that you have my full makeup routine, here is a list of DO NOTs. I mean these in the nicest way. So if you do them, just wash your face and don’t do them anymore. I won’t tell!;)

* DO NOT use foundation that is too dark or the wrong color. This looks horrible and everyone will know you’re wearing bad makeup.

* DO NOT line the bottom of your bottom lashes with black eyeliner. This closes the eye and makes it appear much smaller than it is. We want big, beautiful eyes – not little squinty ones.

* DO NOT use too much mascara on your bottom lashes. You will look like Mr. Snuffleupagus.

* DO NOT  use dark or dull blush. We want bright, beautiful and youthful looking cheeks. If it is dark or dull – throw it away NOW.

* DO NOT use lip liner unless you are applying red lipstick over it. Lining your lips and then applying gloss is soooo outdated.

* DO NOT go crazy with bronzer and fake tanner. If you are white – embrace it. The camera will pick up on the orange and you could end up looking like an oomph loompa.

* DO NOT use super white shimmery eyeshadow on your brow bones. Again, this is an outdated look and its not natural.

*DO NOT over pluck/wax your eyebrows. They are so important and they’re there for a reason.
I think that is about it! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I hope that it will help you in achieving a flawless finish for your photo session!

XOXO – Anna-Vaughn

Visit Anna-Vaughn at her website and her FaceBook page! Thanks AV!! xo

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