Passport Photo Hacks: Easy Passport Makeup Tutorial + Best Photo Tips

Irina Reina
by Irina Reina
10 Materials
10 Minutes

Passport photos seem to be painful for almost everyone! And you might be wondering if you can wear makeup in your passport photo at all?!

Well, follow along to learn some useful passport photo hacks to look like the best version of yourself!

Speaking from my own traveling experience, you don’t want to get to customs after a grueling flight only to look nothing like your overly made-up passport photo.

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Tools and materials:

  • Primer
  • Assorted makeup brushes
  • Foundation
  • Makeup sponge
  • Highlight/contour palette
  • Blush
  • Eyelash curler
  • Mascara
  • Translucent powder
  • Lip liner

 In all 4 of my passports, I look completely different!

The main idea of this tutorial is to create a flattering look without altering your natural facial features.

Passport photos

1. Even out your skin

You don’t have to show up for your passport photo with a face covered in acne and discoloration. Apply primer with clean hands.

Next, apply foundation with a brush, then blur it with a sponge.

Applying skin makeup

In trouble areas, use concealer in the same tone as your foundation, or just apply more foundation there.

Applying skin makeup

2. Bring back the shadows

Skip contouring because it changes the structure of your face!

Instead, just bring back the shadows. Pick a shade from a contour palette that’s 1 shade darker than your natural skin tone.

Apply this lightly, just at the top of your cheekbones and on either side of your forehead.

Applying skin makeup

3. Apply blush

Apply blush sparingly, to bring back a natural coloring to your cheeks. 

Applying skin makeup

4. Groom your brows lightly

Avoid showing up with super dark brows if you have naturally light ones.

Just brush them and lightly fill in any sparse areas with a tone that matches your natural eyebrow color.

Powder for brows

5. Address your eyelashes

Give your lashes some attention without overdoing it, starting with curling. 

Curling lashes

You can even apply some mascara to your top and bottom lashes so that they don’t get lost in the passport photo.

Applying mascara

6. Apply translucent powder

Especially before being photographed, use a translucent powder.

The powder will stop the light from reflecting and showing unwanted texture.

For the same reason, avoid using highlighter for this passport photo makeup!

Adding face powder

7. Lips

Overline your lips with a lip pencil, but keep it within your natural lip form. Contour the bottom lip slightly.

Lining lips

For me, this is the maximum amount of makeup I can pull off while still appearing natural.

Passport photo hacks

Now let’s talk about a few more tips, beyond makeup, that can help us look our best for a passport photo.

Bad lighting can ruin all your thoughtful makeup efforts: 

Passport photo hacks

In the example above, the lighting placement drew attention to the bags under my eyes as well as to smile lines.

There was normal lighting from the ceiling and the camera was below my face, flashing upward. 

Always take your own photo, if possible. It’s not as daunting as it seems! All you need is a clean, white background (wall), a light source and a camera.

You can even use a decent phone camera. Be sure to check out the requirements for your ID photo online first. Apply those rules when resizing the final photo. 

The lighting should be above your face, pointing at you from a 45 degree angle. Here’s the beauty lighting setup:

Passport photo hacks

If the lighting comes from below, you can see how it accents the smile lines, for example.

Passport photo hacks

Camera placement at eye level (or slightly higher) is also important. If placed below your face, the camera will distort your appearance. 

If I don’t have the option to take my own passport photo, I will bring one of these handy LED lights to my appointment.

I would even ask the photographer to move the camera if it’s not at eye level. 

Passport photo hacks

Passport photo hacks

I hope these passport photo hacks will allow you all to slay your ID photo sessions!

Which hack did you find most helpful? Comment down below.

Next, learn how to do a cute makeup look with faux freckles with me.

Suggested materials:
  • Primer
  • Assorted makeup brushes
  • Foundation
See all materials

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