10 Beauty Tricks to Go Without a Filter In Your Next Selfie

Aly Walansky
selfie tips

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We’re lucky to have a roster of photo-editing apps that can make all our photos look great, but what if we want to start out looking our best, no filters required? Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to write “#NoFilter” on a selfie, so we wanted to learn some tricks to do just that. Try out these beauty tips from the experts and you’ll be increasingly photo-ready in no time!

When skin is dry, dead skin cells are opaque and don’t reflect light, resulting in dull-looking skin. To have the look of glowing skin, light must reflect off the skin to give a radiant look.  While there are many ways to bring on a glow, a quick use of a facial scrub will reveal healthy, light-reflecting skin instantly, says celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau.  Simply massage a gentle facial scrub over the skin for 45 seconds, rinse clean, apply an alcohol-free toner, follow with an antioxidant serum and an SPF moisturizer, and you are ready to take on the day (and your selfie).

Dehydration will cause the skin to be less light reflective due to superficial cracks in the moisture barrier, says Rouleau. When the skin looks dull and no longer has a glow, it is often a result of a damaged lipid barrier that no longer seals moisture between surface cells. As a consequence, when light hits the skin, instead of reflecting it evenly, it is scattered and skin will appear lackluster. Use a moisturizer rich in ceramides and lipid-rich oils while you sleep to deeply moisturize and repair the skin’s damaged layers. A strengthened lipid barrier will allow the skin to reflect light, imparting a glowing perfection.

MORE: 5 Tricks for Taking Better Selfies

Always make sure you start off with exfoliated, toned, and moisturized skin because your makeup will only look as good as your skin! Then use a brightening primer to prepare and smoothen the skin and follow with a light to medium coverage foundation blended well into the face and neck to create a perfect canvas, says Pierre Michel makeup artist, Katherine Dorn.

Set the Look
Finish makeup with a product that optically diffuses (fancy words for “blurs lines and pores”). “I love MAC Prep & Prime Translucent Setting Powder. Press it into the skin and buff away the excess. It’s like an instant filter for your face!” says GLAMSQUAD’s Director of Makeup Artistry, Kelli Bartlett. Use a tiny pointed concealer brush and full coverage cream concealer to target camouflage pimples.

For photo-ready makeup, highlighting and contouring is obviously very important. A concealer shade slightly lighter than your skin tone will brighten up the under eye and make you appear younger, says Cara Lovello, owner of three New York-area Glamour Shots photo studio locations and manager of their team of professional makeup artists. “Contouring not only the cheekbones, but the jaw line as well, is super important in slimming the face, and I always start at the jawline and shadow out the neck with a matte bronzer to eliminate any shadows and make the face appear slimmer!” says Lovello.

Find Your Light
Use front facing light to apply makeup and take the photo. Natural light is best, but you can fake it with an in-home vanity makeup light, says Bartlett.

MORE: Fake It Until You Make It: Looking Gorgeous in Pictures

Use an illuminizer to add a sun-kissed glow and hide imperfections for a flawless complexion. However, be sure to avoid products with frost or sparkles or lipsticks or glosses with added shine as these don’t photograph well, says Dimitri James of Skinn Cosmetics.

To reduce redness of pesky blemishes, hold a cotton swab soaked in eye drops that relieve redness to the trouble area for 15 minutes or until the redness disappears.

A nicely groomed brow area can do wonders to frame the face. Remember that a thicker brow, as opposed to an over-tweezed brow, looks more natural and also more youthful, says Allison Tray of Tres Belle Spa in New York. Lighter haired beauties can get a tiny bit of tint thrown on at the spa or salon for some added pop.

After properly hydrating your face, blot your t-zone with facial paper or a clean tissue. The camera can pick-up T-zone shine and end up making you look greasy, says Tray.