boudoir makeup

Boudoir Makeup Tips

Boudoir is all about expressing the beauty of an individual. It isn’t about being perfect, like having a supermodel’s body or being the sexiest woman alive. It is about celebrating how beautiful you are and having photos put together either for yourself or your significant other that help reminds you of that.

When doing a boudoir photography shoot, the right outfit, the best photographer, and some boudoir makeup tips can help you feel your best. Most common areas for makeup to be applied for a boudoir photography session are explained below.

Brow Shaping

Hair removal is one of the top things done for a photo shoot, especially for a boudoir shoot that tends to involve little to no clothing.

Particular areas of importance will be underarms, your bikini line or all over pubic area, and facial hair.

While this isn’t technically makeup, it will help provide a crisper, cleaner subject for better photos, and, when working on facial makeup, can make it so that you don’t end up with lines or funky creases due to facial hair.

The hair can retain oil, and everyone knows that applying makeup to an oily face, or trying to combat either oily or dry skin is a challenge in and of itself, not even accounting for a boudoir makeup session.

Even if what you want is a more natural appearance for your brows, which is very on trend right now, tweezing away any stray hairs that have cropped up around the main shape of the brow will do wonders for a polished look.

If you desire a style that is more dramatic, you could visit a salon the day before for professional brow shaping. However, doing them at home is easy, so long as you take your time and remember to not over-tweeze.

Utilize a magnifying mirror and plenty of light to create symmetrical brows. While you will find guidelines on just how far apart they should be or the best shape, you know your face, and you know the proportions of your features best.

Even if you do accidentally over-tweeze, you can use a brow pencil to either fill in a brow or add depth to a brow that might appear on the thinner side.

Begin with a Clean Face

Any previous makeup should be removed before applying makeup for your photo session.

Any exfoliation tools, such as a pore strip or face peel ought to be done a day previously.

Otherwise, you will notice that makeup will become accentuated and caught in the newly exfoliated pores.

Utilizing an exfoliation device on your face and, really, all over any major areas of exposed skin, will help your skin’s appearance and texture as well.


Moisturizing is incredibly important.

Moisturizing after you clean your face, regularly, will help keep the proper balance of oils in your skin while keeping it clear from blackheads and pimples, but a good moisturizer will also aid in anchoring your makeup to your face.

No one (most, very rarely anyway) wants raccoon eyes due to smudged eyeliner, or an out of shape brow that was enhanced by now fading pencil.

If you struggle with makeup that moves on its own already due to oily skin, you can go a step further and go for a primer. Either of these should be applied the day of your boudoir shoot.


Concealer sticks, powders, creams or any other forms are perfect for on the go touch-ups.

They are especially useful for camouflaging dark circles that may have been caused by excitement induced sleepless nights before your shoot.

Concealer sticks can also help even out the tone of your skin, whether that be because of a little too much sun exposure or too much translucence on a particular area.

Although boudoir isn’t as face focused as headshot photography, your face will be featured, so makeup can help balance out or enhance features that may not be your favorite.

Keep in mind, however, that concealer should not be used over scars as it will actually heighten their appearance.

Scars are far easier to fix after production by your photographer than by you with makeup.


For an all-over smoothing finish, light powder is highly recommended in your boudoir makeup kit.

Although foundations and bases can give you more coverage, they can result in a cakey finish in a boudoir photo.

Boudoir photos also feature a lot of skin, so if your face is a different color than the rest of you, your photo might look fairly odd.


Once you’ve enhanced and shaped your brows, your eyes can be found a little lacking.

This is an easy fix with some liner and shadow. How heavily this is applied will depend on your preferred style, or whatever style you are having your photos done in.

Something like a wingtip or a cat eye line are traditional looks, but also easy to do imbalanced unless you are practiced at them.

A little-known tip is that adding a liner to the inner upper lid will add an illusion of depth and length to your lashes, regardless of their original length.

Eyes are one of the easiest areas to smudge, so splurging a bit on the brand of makeup used here will save you much time in the end. Waterproof is highly recommended as well.

As far as eyeshadow goes, a palette with a number of colors will serve you best.

This will give you plenty of options for whatever outfit is next on the list.

A waterproof powder is best to use, as you can get a cakey look that creases far too easily with liquid shadows.

Makeup Remover

This is a must in your makeup kit, boudoir or not.

However, depending on the number of outfits you’ll be going through, being able to clean off makeup for a new look thoroughly is imperative.

Invest in a quality makeup remover both for makeup prior to boudoir shoot day and during the day of the shoot.

Although makeup isn’t a necessary tool, it can be used to greatly enhance your features, even ones that you may want to downplay and make for more confident photos.

Keep in mind that most professional photographers will have the ability to adjust the images after shooting, but most people feel more confident with a little bit of help from makeup for their boudoir photography shoots.

While the above are tips for applying your own boudoir makeup, most professional brands such as PMAI will often have a professional makeup artist on site to help with quick applications for different outfits, or for creating a specific look.

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