She Who Dares | Your guide to make-up for your brand shoot

She Who Dares | Your guide to make-up for your brand shoot

For a lot of people, wearing make-up – whether it’s make-up for your brand shoot, a special occasion or simply just day to day – can feel a bit daunting, especially if you’re not used to it.

I’m Sasha Brown, a freelance make-up Artist based in Worcestershire with over 15 years experience in the beauty industry. And today I’m answering your questions about wearing make-up!

Make-up Artist Sasha Brown smiling to camera
Sasha Brown, Make-up Artist, based in Worcestershire

I want to help women to see that wearing make-up can be really empowering, and that’s what I love so much about my job. Seeing people feel good and the difference that make-up can make to a woman’s confidence gives me huge job satisfaction!

Like with anything, applying make-up is a skill that anyone can learn. Try to make time to practise and you’ll naturally get quicker the more that you do it. And when you do it and you see how good it makes you feel then you’ll want to do it again and again!

How important is wearing make-up in front of the camera? What difference does it make?

I’m a big believer that women should always be true to themselves and do what makes them feel their best. But there are a few reasons why I recommend wearing at least a little make-up for your brand shoot.

Wearing make-up for your shoot will emphasise your best features and will be a huge confidence boost. Feeling your best and feeling confident will help you to relax on camera, which will help the photographer draw out your natural warmth and personality! And that’s ultimately what will help attract the right kinds of customers to your business.

Make-up Artist Sasha Brown applying make-up to a female client sitting in a tall director's chair

Without make-up, a face can naturally appear a bit flat on camera, so applying make-up will bring depth, dimension and colour, bringing your face to life. Done well, make-up will open up the eyes, helping communicate your personality. For me it’s like putting on jewellery – it’s the finishing touch that helps me feel put together.

Also, cameras these days can capture a lot of detail – and that includes your skin! So a little bit of make-up will help even out skin tones and ensure the attention is where we want it to be.

So I would recommend wearing some element of make-up for your brand shoot. Without it your face is all tone and no contrast and that’s not how you look in real life! The purpose of your brand photo shoot is to capture your brand’s personality in order to attract the right clients. It’s not about changing how you look, but presenting the best version of yourself so that you stand out for all the right reasons!Branding headshot photo by Emma Jackson Photography of a woman in a neutral top standing amongst pink blossom smiling and watching the petals fall

What advice would you give to someone doing their own make-up for the camera?

If you’re doing your own make-up ideally you need natural light. Position yourself in good daylight in front of a window, avoiding direct sunlight. Good make-up needs a good base. So prep your skin well by thoroughly cleansing and applying a good moisturiser, such as Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrait or Bobbi Brown Enriched Face Base.

If you are concerned with fine lines, avoid shimmery or shiny make-up such as highlighter. Instead go for eyeshadows which are more matte rather than pearlised, since shimmery make-up can emphasise lines.

Practise your make-up before the photo shoot. If you can, factor in a few practices before the day of the shoot. Not only to get the hang of the application but also so that you can get used to seeing the end result! It can feel quite strange seeing yourself wearing make-up if you’re not used to it. The last thing you want is that you don’t like the look of it or you feel self conscious about it just before your shoot starts. Having plenty of time and test runs will give you the confidence that you’ll like the end result and will feel ready to be photographed.

How does the camera affect make-up?

A camera doesn’t capture make-up and colour with the same vibrancy as we see with our eyes, so photos can look a little more washed out, with make-up looking less dramatic than it actually looks in real life.

Light can affect how you look in photos, whether that’s studio lights or colour casts from things nearby such as painted walls or signs. Light bouncing off make-up can also change the way it looks.

Soft natural light is the most flattering for skin tones, harsh or direct light can create shadows which can distort your appearance. These environmental factors are all things your photographer will be aware of and will manage during your shoot.

Headshots of Make-up Artist Sasha Brown smiling to camera

Should I exaggerate my make-up for my brand shoot?

You will probably want to exaggerate your make-up slightly for the camera – how much depends on your style and preference.

When I have my photo taken, I will apply more make-up than I would wear day to day. Eyes can appear smaller on camera if you don’t emphasise them so I’ll pay special attention to my eyes as I want them to be a focal point. I’ll pay more attention to the eyeshadow and eyeliner placement and blending techniques to help create the illusion of brighter, more open eyes.

There are tricks you can use to help enhance the eyes, for example, applying a nude eyeliner to the lower waterline makes your eyes look whiter. I will sometimes add extra lashes too, to draw more attention to my eyes and to help open them up.

Soft light for your photos will help smooth out details and texture. However, don’t forget that real skin does have texture – something that can be easy to forget when we are surrounded by filtered photos on social media and celebrities whose skin has been smoothed beyond belief using editing software! Texture is good – it means your skin is healthy and real!

Using the correct shades for your eye colour and skin tone really make everything work in harmony – when you’re using the right eyeshadow colour, blusher and lipstick, they will all come together and really work on camera.

Make-up Artist Sasha Brown give a lesson on make-up application in her home studio in Worcestershire

What should you look for in a good foundation? Does it need to be different to your usual shade?

A good foundation for use on camera needs to suit your skin tone, which means colour matching your neck. Your face can often be a bit paler than your neck so you need a bit of colour added to your face by using foundation, suited to your skin type.

Go for slightly more coverage for the camera than you’d normally wear. And slightly warmer is more youthful, blended well and sheered out, rather than a lighter shade which can be more ageing. Dior Backstage Face and Body works beautifully on camera, and dry skins tend to love Estee Lauder Futurist as it’s really hydrating and has a little more coverage.

Do you have any advice for those who don’t normally wear much make-up?

Wear a little bit of make-up around the house and dial it up gradually. This will help you get used to seeing your features emphasised. Try and wear a complete ‘face’ of make-up – foundation, concealer, eyeliner, mascara, bronzer, blusher, lipstick and brows rather than just say foundation and mascara. Take your time in applying it and you’ll get more familiar and comfortable with feeling ‘made up’. If you don’t ever wear lipstick, try and wear it daily for a while in the lead up to your brand shoot, and it’ll help you feel less conspicuous and self conscious on the day.

Cotswold Make-up Artist Sasha Brown shows some of the make-up brands she uses

Any advice for applying make-up in winter and dealing with dry and flakey skin?

A thorough skincare routine – morning and evening – doesn’t have to be high end and pricey. Exfoliate gently and regularly and use hydrating and repairing serums through the winter. A solid skincare routine – cleanse, tone, moisturise morning and night – will provide the base for well applied make-up.

Most skins get a bit drier in the winter, so consider adopting a more nourishing skincare routine through the colder months to support your skin. I tend to wear more coverage in the winter using a more moisturising foundation. In the summer I might opt for a tinted moisturiser, which often feels lighter on skin when it’s hot.


Sasha Brown is a freelance Make-up Artist based in Worcestershire. Specialising in luxury bridal beauty and soft glam make-up, Sasha also offers make-up lessons and event make-up.

Sasha’s work as a freelance make-up artist is in demand not only across the UK but also internationally as well, with Sasha travelling to popular European wedding destinations to make bridal dreams come true! Prior to becoming self-employed, Sasha worked with a variety of leading beauty brands including Elemis, Guinot, ESPA, and Bare Minerals.

To see more of Sasha’s work, or to enquire about make-up lessons or wedding/event make-up, visit her website

Did you know you can also book Sasha to do your make-up for your brand shoot with me? Book a free Virtual Cuppa discovery call with me, Emma, to talk about which type of shoot would be best for your business, and to book Sasha to do your make-up!

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