Social media is such an important part of our lives! Not only can it build up your self-esteem, it can impact your social status, lead you to job offers, and even show you how to prepare for a special date!
“Selfies” remain popular, but they rarely look exactly like we do in real life! According to research by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, an average selfie, taken about 12 inches from the face, makes the nasal base appear approximately 30 percent wider and the nasal tip seven percent wider than if the photograph is taken at five feet—a standard portrait distance that provides a more proportional representation of facial features.
Learning to take (and post) the most flattering selfies is important to enhancing your online image. According to the experts at Barely Xtensions, there are some tips to keep in mind as you “point and shoot” amazing selfies for your social media feeds.
“We all want to present our ‘best selves’ on social media,” says Nadine Mullings, National Account Manager with Barely Xtensions. “Mastering the selfie is a critical step to achieving that goal. Always remember, what you post online lives on forever!
“For the most successful selfie, consider your hair, makeup, and outfit, as well as the background, lighting and mood. Ask yourself, ‘What is the message I want to convey?’ Take lots and lots of pictures, so you have plenty of options. That way, you can select the ones that make you feel happy, strong, beautiful, and confident.”
Nadine offers the following tips to look your best in selfies:
Get the Look. First, look up – not down. Hold the camera above your head and look up at it. Don’t look down – you’ll risk capturing that dreaded double chin! Then, try holding your phone off to the side (not directly in front of you) for the most flattering angle. Also, snap some pics with the phone tilted for cool, different looks.
Pass the Phone. Create some distance – the ultimate distance between you and the phone should be 5 feet, so you may have to get a selfie partner or “gasp” use a selfie stick.
Make it Up. Rock a smoky eye or a bold lip (but not both at once!). Use shimmery highlights, glowy foundation or a daring eyeshadow. Get a sexy blowout or fun extensions – like the ones offered at Barely Xtensions. Super-long hair is in and will look fabulous in your selfies.
Ready for Closeups? Create some mystery by doing a selfie closeup of your very best feature like your lips and hair or your profile.
Let it Glow. Pay attention to your lighting to maximize the “glowy” look. For the best light, go outside. Ideally, take your selfies during the “golden hour” – at sunrise or sunset – when the light is low and most gorgeous. If you need to take indoor pics, stand by the window to maximize the natural light, and hold the phone between you and the light source. Good lighting will make you look rosy, healthy, and beautiful.
Live it Up. Take pics doing the things that make you truly happy. For some, that means cooking delicious meals. For others, it’s going on a long, sweaty hike. Whether you’re brunching with your boo or playing soccer with your nieces, you’ll look happy in your photos if you’re genuinely happy when you’re taking the photos.
Sense of Place? Show people your amazing vacation, concert, or the beach day you’re enjoying by posing in front of a great background. Try selfies on a dock at the lake, in a field of sunflowers, and in other fun, interesting settings. Beware of photo bombers or anything else in the background that might distract from your stunning face.
Filter Me Attractive. Tons of filter options are available on your smartphone, so experiment to find your faves. Think filters are a waste of time? Certain filters are scientifically proven to make people look more attractive. Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech analyzed millions of Instagram photos and concluded that the most flattering filters for selfies are Mayfair, Valencia, Hefe, Nashville, and Aden.
Just Smile! Think happy or funny thoughts to get an authentic smile. “Forcing” a smile is obvious and will always look fake. Smile naturally for the best photos and ditch the “duck face” – that look is totally over.
Mix It Up! Mix up your looks, backgrounds, outfits, makeup, accessories and hair for an assortment of selfie looks. Try fun colors, oversized sunnies, dramatic extensions from Barely Xtensions, bohemian headwraps, glittery barrettes, elaborate braids, cowboy hats, or graphic tees. Take photos in nature, at a hip café, with your besties, with your pets, and by yourself. Vary it up to add interest to your social feeds. Most importantly, relax. Don’t overthink it. Remember – this is supposed to be fun!