Photo shoots should be fun. I really believe that.
For one thing, no matter what the photos will be used for, you probably want to be able to look back on them and feel positive all around—not pick them apart because your skin is shiny, your eyes are puffy, and you remember how uncomfortable and gross you felt that day.
For another thing, when you’re paying for photos, you want the experience to make you feel good about giving up your money! There’s nothing like paying a premium for something and coming out on the other side only remembering what was annoying about the experience, like that you felt like you were sweating the whole time or were caught at all your most unflattering angles.
So, to help ensure that your next session is a success, I thought about what you can do before the shoot day even comes that will help you look and feel your best in front of the camera. After all, when you feel relaxed and healthy, your photos always come out better.
And as long as we’re talking about looking and feeling your best, we might as look at all these tips from an organic and sustainable perspective! With each tip are some of my favorite feel-good, do-good products and resources to go to before one of my own photo shoots. Ready? Let’s dive in…
#1: Decrease your caffeine intake, and replace it with essential oils.
I am rarely one to turn down a cup of coffee. (Oh, I just woke up? Time for coffee! Oh, I can get coffee with my dessert at 10:00 at night? Yes, please!) But the week before a photo session, I seriously cut back.
Coffee and tea both can have adverse effects on your skin when consumed. (I say “when consumed” because there are green tea masks and coffee scrubs out there that are obviously topical only, and claim to have amazing effects.) In my case, a lot of coffee can cause my skin to be particularly dry, and a little bit red and blotchy.
While it’s my everyday practice to have warm lemon water right when I wake up, the days leading up to a shoot I add another mug of it before bed, and to it I’ll add a couple drops of lemon oil or frankincense oil, and 4-5 drops of lavender oil. These oils, which I get from doTERRA, are good for keeping my liver and digestive tract clean (good for the skin), and the lavender also helps me to fall asleep faster and stay asleep, which allows my body time to rehydrate my complexion—which means less shine, and more glow!
Want doTERRA oils of your own? Contact Caitlin Earle through Instagram!
#2: Follow your morning moisturizer with a face mist.
I thought face mists were a marketing gimmick until I got one from Ashley Asti in a subscription box a few years ago. That one was a green-tea-and-aloe mist, and putting it on was my favorite part of the day. Instantly I felt refreshed, and it did a lot for both my sunburned skin from my Acadia trip and for my blemishes when the sunburn was gone.
More recently, I started using Mist Congeniality by Kálos, which I got in my spring 2019 Causebox. It feels quite good when it goes on, but as of now I can’t tell that it’s having any long-lasting effects for quenching and revitalizing my skin. I’ll use it up and then go back to my trusty Ashley Asti, which you can also get here.
#3: Two nights before your shoot, trying a pore-reducing face mask.
If you can avoid it, never use a face mask the night before a photo session. If it’s a quality mask, what it will do is pull all your toxins to the surface, and when you peel off the mask, your skin will be smooth and feel amazing; but for the next 24 hours, your skin will be a little rosy, and you may get a few fresh blemishes you weren’t expecting. However, after another 24 hours, because your skin will have had help from the mask in purifying your complexion, those blemishes will reduce to nearly-invisible status and be very easy to cover with makeup!
You can make a homemade face mask using 2 raw egg whites and a couple slices of avocado, or get a purifying mask from a holistic boutique like janegee. For best results:
Boil 2-3 cups water, then take it off the burner (I usually put the pot onto the floor of the tub). Throw a towel over your head with your face about 12 inches from the surface of the water for about five minutes (leave a little room for some steam to escape, and if it gets too hot, poke your head out). After five minutes, dab your face, and apply the mask to leave on for about 10 minutes. Use water, or water and a gentle scrub, to remove. I apply my moisturizer after washing, and do the whole routine before bed!
#4: Doing your nails? Go for non-toxic polish.
Most of the time, I go polish-free—both in daily living and when I’m getting photos taken. I used to have my nails done all the time as a teen model, and I remember hating the way my nails felt, as though they weren’t getting any air, and I also recall thinking the salon always smelled strongly of chemicals, and that there was no way what I was putting onto my nails was good for my body.
It never occurred to me that others were thinking the same thing and developing a solution to that problem! I first heard about Handmade Beauty from WaterThruSkin on Instagram, and later I heard about Zoya natural polishes from joining Causebox. Zoya nail polishes are free of the top 10 toxins that appear in most main stream nail polishes, and Handmade Beauty is non-toxic and cruelty-free—although, if you’re stateside, you’ll have to wait for shipping, since it’s currently only available in Europe!
#5: Consider using organic makeup.
Any number of factors could contribute to skin that is less-than-ideal—digestion issues and diet, dehydration, too much sun, allergies, and inconsistent sleep, just to name a few. But a factor not everyone will consider is makeup.
If you’re going to bed with your makeup on, stop that! Launder your pillowcase and start rinsing and moisturizing you face each night before bed. And then weigh the pros and cons of switching to organic makeup.
During a recent conversation with my colleague Sarah Lord, who owns her own beauty business, I learned that sometimes, ingredients listed as “fragrance” in your makeup are the same chemicals used in pest and rodent control. Yuck! Switching or organic will eliminate those toxins from your routine and stop them from entering your blood stream through your skin and harming your complexion.
Sarah’s tips for prepping for a shoot? “I would highly recommend a solid setting powder (again, the organic for sure). A great matte powder will help with any flashback and oilyness which would show immediately in photos/video. Another great tip is highlighter on the tops of your cheeks—it really makes any facial structure pop!”
Start with something from bareminerals.com and move to looking for organic options on Instagram and Pinterest. Then come back and share what you find!
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Hello! My name is Alexis.
Coffee lover, day dreamer, foodie, and creative. Currently working and living in New Hampshire, I’m an eclectic mix of forward-looking and completely old-fashioned.