The 2 Best Foundations for Photo Shoots

Whether you’re a model, makeup artist, or just someone that loves having their picture taken on a night out, this post is for you.

One of the most important topics that come to mind when I’m doing my makeup for any type of photoshoot or occasion is choosing which foundation to wear.

I bet that almost every foundation-wearing person has at some point realized in a photo that their face either looks super pale, uneven, or just not how it does it person. Before I got certified in makeup and really did my research on products, I was always frustrated and confused about why that happened sometimes. After educating myself and talking with others, I learned that it was primarily because of my foundation.

Please note that while foundation does play a big role in how your skin will appear in photos, other products that you may be using will influence it as well. Powders alone can ruin all the hard work you put into your makeup when it comes to photos and flash if it’s not the right type. I’ll get into that on another day though.

When I was doing my makeup for a photo shoot yesterday, I realized that I never have revealed my favorite foundations for photo shoots or flash photography. So today, we’re going to change that.

I have two main foundations that I use for photo shoots, flash photography, or even just occasions that I know I’m going to have my picture taken a lot for. Those foundations are both by Smashbox.

Smashbox is my hands-down favorite brand for any photo shoot. I was told in the past that Smashbox formulates and tests all of their products in their in-house studio. Basically this means that they are creating their products to look good in a studio setting with different lighting. I’ve worn many of their products over the years and no matter what the product is, it always looks good both in person and on camera. Sometimes “camera makeup” tends to look cakey and thick in person because the pigments can get washed out by the studio lighting and flash, but in the years of my experience, I’ve seen that Smashbox products don’t do that.

With that being said, the two foundations I love for photo shoots are the Camera Ready BB Water Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and the Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation.

For a more natural makeup look, non-studio shoots, or more casual events (networking, blogging meet-ups, weddings, etc.), I almost always reach for the Camera Ready BB foundation. It’s lightweight and has a sheer, buildable coverage. Unlike other foundations, the SPF in this foundation does not show flashback—which is usually the problem with SPF in foundations/face products. I like to wear this one especially in warmer weather because it feels light on the skin and doesn’t sweat off. I wouldn’t say this foundation is water-proof, but it’s definitely long wearing.

Skin: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water | Photo: Emmanuel Luciano Photography

Tip: If you have very clear skin, this foundation is going to be ideal for you. It will blur out any imperfections and give you an even skin tone without hiding your natural skin texture too much.

When I’m going for a super glam look or going to be shooting in a studio or with a lot of flash photography, reflectors, or video, the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation is the one I grab without even thinking twice. The color never seems to oxidize, change, or fade throughout the entire wear time. This one is also a long-wearing foundation that is sweat-resistant and transfer-proof. In comparison to the Camera Ready BB foundation, I would say that this one is more “water-proof” even though it is not advertised that way. It provides medium coverage that you can definitely build up to full coverage. Although it does provide a substantial amount of coverage, the foundation itself is very thin and water-like (in a good way). The consistency of it reminds me a lot of the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation. With this foundation, I rarely set it with any powder. I feel as though just setting it with a setting spray works best and keeps the foundation lightweight and flexible.

Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation | Photo: Clif Ellis for AKIRA

Tip: If you can’t decide between the two foundations, I highly recommend mixing them! If I mix them, I usually do equal amounts of each and apply with a damp beauty sponge.

I know some of you might be wondering how the Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation compares to the MAC Studio Fix Fluid, so let’s talk about that for a minute. I’ve used the MAC Studio Fix Fluid for a ton of shoots and while it is an amazing product, for me personally it is much thicker than I prefer. If I have a breakout and need really full coverage, I’ll use the MAC Studio Fix Fluid, but on a typical day when my skin is normal and clear, I opt for the Smashbox Studio Skin foundation. The MAC Studio Fix Fluid also tends to have a more matte finish, while the Smashbox Studio Skin gives a more natural finish. I like a natural finish on my skin best, but if I want to have a matte finish without using powder, I’ll use my MAC Studio Fix Fluid without a doubt.

All and all, I’ve tried dozens of foundations for photo shoots but these two Smashbox products have always been the most consistent for me. I ran out of both recently and was shopping for foundation for a few shoots and even after testing some of the new ones I saw, I still ended up picking up these two.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I tried to cover all of the questions or curiosities I thought you all might have about these foundations, but if there’s anything else you want to know, I’m always happy to help! Thank you so much for reading!

#photoshoot #photoshoot #photography #foundations #makeup

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