Why do I look white in photos?

If you are having your makeup done for a photoshoot or any occasion where you will appear in photographs then you need to carefully consider the products either you or your makeup artist are putting on your face.

Why?

Because not all products are created equal.

Have you found that no matter how well you apply your foundation it makes you look white in photographs particularly those taken at night?

Here’s the reason why.

It’s not you – it’s your foundation.

There’s one main ingredient found in most foundations which does not agree with a camera flash and as most night photos are taken with a flash, you get that white washed out look if you are using 95% of the foundations found on the market today. It’s not that cosmetic companies are out there trying to make you look awful in photos – after all that’s what makeup is for, to improve our appearance – it’s that they are trying to protect your skin from sun damage.

What does sun damage have to do with night photography?

Almost all foundations these days contain an ingredient called Titanium Dioxide. Some foundations have a lot, some have a little. The easiest way to tell if you foundation contains Titanium Dioxide is to check for an SPF factor. Titanium Dioxide is used as a sun protection so cosmetic companies are actually trying to help you out when they add it to their foundations. It means you don’t have to worry about putting sunscreen on before or after your foundation – you’re getting two in one. The greater the SPF factor of your foundation or tinted moisturiser, the more Titanium Dioxide. It’s brilliant for everyday use to protect against UV rays so long as you aren’t going near any flash photographers.

But, turn the lights down, step out at night and “flash” – who’s the Casper in the photo?

Titanium Dioxide plays havoc with a camera flash because it photographs pure white.

What’s the point of paying for the services of a professional photographer if your makeup spoils the images?

Always check the list of ingredients in your makeup products and avoid foundations which contain high levels of Titanium Dioxide – unless you like the “Casper” look ;) Anything with an SPF of more than 15 is likely to photograph white. It’s really hard to find foundations that don’t contain Titanium Dioxide but I have found Arbonne’s liquid foundation range and Make Up Forever’s HD range are safe.

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