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Countdown to Oscars 2014: How Makeup for Photos Is Different from Real Life

There comes a time in every woman’s life—be it college graduation, her wedding day, or a public speaking event—when she must take her makeup game to the next level. The high def level. While a smear of tinted moisturizer and swipe of mascara will more than suffice for an average workday, special events call for special preparations. Here are our super sneaky tricks for charming the camera.

Prep Your Pores

With the popularity of HD photo and video, we’ve gotten up close and personal with the pores of our favorite celebs. Make sure your skin is in zoom-lens shape with the help of dr. brandt’s Exclusive Camera-Ready Kit, a set of four best sellers designed to smooth, brighten, and tone your complexion. Perhaps most importantly, it includes the brand’s pores no more pore refiner, a sheer formula that makes skin look noticeably smoother and pore-free.

Prime to Last

It’s hard enough to get a camera-ready complexion without having to worry about making it last. That’s where Benefit’s Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer comes in; it’s what our own co-founder Katia leans on uses on her nonstop days. A mixture of moisturizing ingredients—think olive and soybean oils—acts like double-stick tape to secure your makeup in place for hours on end (without clogging your pores).

Contour Like a Celeb

For a moment in the spotlight, consider taking notes from Birchbox staffer Deepica, who knows how to contour like a pro. Not only will layering products create flawless coverage, you’ll also score light-reflecting cheekbones and an enviable Hollywood glow. What you’ll need: a foolproof, medium-coverage BB Cream like Benefit’s Big Easy, a highlighter like Chella’s versatile Highlighter Pencil, a buildable cream blush, like W3LL People’s Universalist Multi-Use Colorstick, and an arsenal of brushes for detailed application, like Stila’s Brush Kit.

Go Big (to Look Normal)

A veteran of the red carpet, Us Weekly’s Beauty Director Gwen Flamberg advises the soon-to-be-snapped to apply more makeup than they normally would in order to have their features show up under bright camera flashes. For eyes, this means extra coats of a thickening mascara, like Benefit’s lash-boosting They’re Real, or going for broke with Winks by Georgie false lashes. While blue eyeshadow may not roll in your next board meeting, consider playing with color for your next big event. We love Smashbox’s Full Exposure Palette, which combines neutrals with glittery silvers and golds for an extra boost. For lips, go for shades that will stand the test of time like Stila’s stay all day liquid lipstick in beso and tesoro.

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