Barcelona photographer Žana Česnik, Barcelona based make up artist at work.

They say that a good photographer is able to take a beautiful photo of any person. While I agree with it to SOME extent, it’s not entirely true. What many people don’t realise when they look at the appealing photos is that a lot of time and effort had been put into the preparation in order to get the result. The model was probably styled and she got her hair and make up done. And this, believe me, can make a whole difference.

It does not only apply to models, but also to us, “normal” people, who just want to look at their best at photos.

So today I want to talk “make up” with a great friend of mine, Žana, who is a make up artist based in Barcelona. She is sharing some tips on how to prepare your own make up if you are having a photo shoot.

Hi Žana. How did you become interested in make up?

Thanks to the beauty and the power of makeup. In fact, it started at home, when I was a little girl and I would see and watch my mom doing her makeup and her hair. I would observe how carefully she was choosing her clothes, shoes… It just fascinated me the way she could transform from being just my mom to being a powerful woman. Because, did you know that 93% of human communication is non-verbal? That’s what the experts in communication say. And that gives image a huge amount of power, doesn’t it?

It definitely does!

Well, later, when I was already a grown up girl, I was using makeup almost on a daily basis. And in this period, some friends started asking me to do their makeup too. They wanted to feel self-confident, secure. And so, I helped them with that. Some years later I just decided to become a professional makeup artist, so I went to an academy and also took some private lessons  – in fact I keep learning more and more every single day. And since then this is what I do. It’s my passion, my lifestyle.

I can see that. And what is your experience with make up for photo shoots?

Well, when you’re looking at your old pictures, e.g. from a prom, a wedding, an important anniversary or a birthday, how many times have you asked yourself  ‘why don’t I look better on this photo’? Makeup should be adjusted to a photo shoot occasion. Well, the whole look, not just your smile.  Everyone wants to look their best in their photos. Because, one thing is taking selfies or daily pictures, but when it comes to special occasions in life or even to moments you want to catch as a memory, I always suggest you to use professional services (like hiring a makeup artist, a hairstylist and a photographer). Because you will see the difference. People love having a good memory at its best.

Before and after - how make up makes a difference
Model Marta before and after Zana’s make up.

What kind of make up can you recommend for personal or love stories photo sessions?

In any case, but especially in this one, I always want to know if the clients use makeup and how they do it. From my experience, when the clients choose these kind of photo sessions, they usually want to look like “natural” and at the same time they want to show their beauty, emotions, a message about their life. So, it’s important that the clients explain how do they want to look like and why is that photo shooting essential to them. I always consider these wishes and their energy, and at the same time I also advise them about what kind of makeup to choose, e.g. a more soft or romantic look with a dash of a pink glow…

Photographer in Barcelona

What kind of make up is in your opinion absolutely essential for a photo shoot?

Of course, it depends on the type of photo shoot. However, definitely a makeup, made with professional products and by a professional makeup artist is a must. Using matte and warm colours is generally good, and simultaneously a bit of shimmer can be great. Especially if the photographer knows how to take the best of the makeup on those photos.

What about guys? Do they also need to wear make up? If yes, what kind of make up?

For couple photo shootings I would recommend to all guys to wear a natural makeup. It will hide sweat, unwanted shadows or under eyes dark circles, and so on. But again, it depends also of the type of photo shooting. For everyday life, guys feel free to wear natural makeup. Why shouldn’t you cover under eye dark circles, oily skin or redness? Or use a moisturising cream?

Make up artist in Barcelona

What products do you use and what can you recommend for photo sessions?

I use products from professional brands, like Make Up For Ever, MAC cosmetics, Kryolan, Ben Nye, Harlow, Estee Lauder, Chanel. At the same time I’m using also some of the drug store products, like Maybelline, Kiko, NYX, Rimmel London…, because the quality of some of their products is amazing.

Here’s what I recommend how to do your makeup so it looks incredible in pictures.

  •  Use primer
  •  Use HD foundation, concealer, and translucent powder.
  • Fill the brow in a natural way
  • Colour the eyes using three colours (a neutral, a darker shade, and a highlighter). This will make your eyes appear brighter and larger in pictures.
  • Use eyeliner
  • Get false eyelashes. They will make your eyes bigger, and this is what camera loves.
  • Do a little contouring magic
  • Define your lips in a symmetrical shape

These are great tips, thank you Žana.

Žana Česnik is a professional make up artist based in Barcelona. You can find her on her page and Instagram @zanacesnik.

Model: Marta Walters
Photography: Natalia Wisniewska

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