Makeup & Hair for your Senior Photoshoot

Why a pro makes the difference


Last week, we gave you some ideas to up your style game for your Senior photo shoot.  This week, it’s all about the HMU Artist. Oh, HMU stands for Hair & Makeup (I had to look it up too).  And the reason we are talking about an HMU and not how I think you should do your makeup is because I’m a dad, and you really don’t want me messing with your eyeliner or lip gloss.

All of my senior sessions include a HMU for one simple reason.  They are the pros.  They know the styles and trends, they know skin and their products, and they are trained to bring out your best in front of the camera.  Since the camera tends to remove makeup, there are techniques to keeping the look fresh and radiant for your images, and still pull off that bold glam look or glowing boho style. That’s why I call in the pros, and we have the best team in the area!

So here’s the formula, what the pros recommend to help you get your hair and skin ready for your photoshoot.  Plus this is good info that you can use year round.


Drink Water – Yes staying hydrated will help hide fine lines, keep dryness away and make your skin more smooth – not just your face, the rest of you too! Quit drinking monsters, red bulls, diet coke, and energy drinks! These rob your body of vitamins, minerals and water! They are pretty much the opposite of what you want to do.

Take your Vitamins – A simple multi-vitamin in the morning with breakfast will do the trick, just make sure it has some zinc, folic acid, and vitamin C for some extra skin lovin.

Senior Photography Hair Makeup Behind the Scenes

No Chemicals –  I know it sounds like a nice relaxing evening, but you want to give your skin a break. Extra chemical treatments or an over active skincare regimen may cause the dreaded breakout – ain’t nobody got time for that!

Be Gentle – A gentle skin cleanser is what you want, not the heavily scented, scrubby, foamy, chemicaly kind.  Even a heavy exfoliating scrub can scratch the skin and create redness and oiliness, and chemical foaming scrubs might dry you out and cause flaking. If the skin is too dry it makes up for it by breaking out.  Instead, try some gentle creamy cleanser like Cera Ve, Cetaphil, or Purity by Philosophy). These melt away makeup and protect the skin’s natural barriers and prevent the type of overstimulation that produces oils.

A Simple New Habit – Invest in a great eye cream, a facial moisturizer and a lip balm.  Keep the routine simple this week; cleanse, hydrate, eye cream & moisturize your lips – super easy.  One super famous HMU (i can’t pronounce their name they are french),  recommends Cera Ve Moisturizer, Clinique All About Eyes gel eye cream, & Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1

Hair Color – It should probably all be the same color, unless that’s the style you’re going for. It’s definitely not recommended to make big changes right before the shoot.  Give it a week, let the color take and the style set. Be sure you love it, and it’s who you are!


Wax the Brows – Cleaned up groomed and manicured brows will give the HMU the best canvas to bring out your eyes. You definitely don’t want to do it the day of or before because makeup doesn’t stick to freshly waxed skin, so give it a little time.

Senior Photography Hair Makeup Behind the Scenes

Tan Spray or Sun – Whichever you choose, you shouldn’t do it within four days of your session.  Let the golden bronze sink in, even out, and look as natural as possible.  Tanning right before the session will either turn your skin orange (we all know how attractive that can be) or red, which I’m pretty sure is not the color you are going for.

Sleep – Everyone knows this is important, but it is especially important before your session.  8 Hours per night sounds about right.  You want rested eyes, clear skin, and a ton of energy on the day of your shoot.


Don’t change A Thing – Stick with your skin regimen its working!

Senior Photography Hair Makeup Behind the Scenes

Wash Your Hair – If you are getting a full up-do prior to the shoot, you will want your hair clean and ready for the stylist.  So a simple wash & dry, with no conditioner 24 hours prior to styling is perfect.  This will let the stylist put every last fly-away into its proper place!


CLEAN/CLEAN! Arrive with a clean fresh face and hair.  Remove all the traces of makeup the night before, follow your new Habit – cleanse, hydrate, eye cream & moisturize your lips. Do not use any mineral based foundations or products before your shoot – they are great for daily use, but they are super shiny in camera.

Senior Photography Hair Makeup Behind the Scenes

TRUST the HMU – Remember I said we call in professionals.  I know your makeup looks amazing every day, and you know exactly how you like it. Our HMUs know this too, so talk to them, tell them what you like, what works for the look we are shooting, and let the do what they do best, bring out your beauty.  There is a big difference in daily wear makeup and camera ready, so sit back, relax and be pampered!!

Follow our Friends – If you get a moment, check out the other work our HMU’s do.  They are incredibly talented and I’m sure they have a ton of advice for you too! THE RED BIRD SALON (Clarksville), EVERY MOMENTS MAKEUP (Clarksville & Nashville), ALYSON ROE (Clarksville & Nashville), YOANA CLARK MAKEUP (Seattle)

We would love to hear from you!