If you’re lucky, your passport photo won’t scare you when a TSA agent asks to check it. But for most of us, the reality is that it’s not a glamorous photo. The good news is this. One of the biggest social media crazes of the moment is the viral passport makeup trend, the secret to looking your best in a photo, even when it’s devoid of expression and in a crazy lousy light.
“The passport makeup trend blew up on TikTok when creator Georgia Barret did a softer, more glamorous version of her passport photo,” explains makeup artist Kasey Spickard.” This trend defines and enhances natural features by contouring and highlighting.”
Enhancing your features is essential because “more subtle highlights and contours tend to get washed out in front of the camera,” the expert adds. Ahead, he joins Too Faced makeup artist Elyse Reneau to outline the right way to nail the passport makeup trend so your passport photo can be glamorous.
The first step in the passport makeup process is outlining.” Whenever you’re in a situation where you have to take explicit photos, you can’t use your usual angles; you have to create your grades with contouring,” says Reno.
How to do that? Spickard suggests using a cream contour like Danessa Myricks Cream Bronzer ($26; sephora.com), choosing two to three shades darker than your skin tone. Use it to sculpt the following areas of your face—the hollows of your cheekbones, your chin, your nose, and the creases of your eyes. Then, experts say to intensify those areas with Charlotte Tilbury Matte Bronzer ($56; charlottetilbury.com) powder in the same shade.
A warning from Reneau. Be wary of using contour lines that need to be higher on the cheekbones. Otherwise, you won’t get a well-contoured facial to sculpt. Barrat’s video shows that the sweet spot is the top of your cheekbones.
Next, use a high-coverage concealer, such as Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Longwear Concealer ($34; sephora.com), to highlight under the eyes, in the center of the forehead and under the chin, one or two shades lighter than your foundation. Then, set your makeup with a brightening setting powder. Finish with a cream blush, such as TikTok’s famous Charlotte Tilbury Pinkgasm ($40; sephora.com), applied to the cheekbones, blended onto the temples, and set with blush powder.
Once your face makeup is done, it’s time to focus on your eyes. The key here is to do another TikTok trend: the siren eye. (Don’t worry; it’s not complicated). Spikenard says the first step to achieving this look is to “intensify your crease with a cream and powder bronzer, then brighten your lids with a light nude eyeshadow.”
After that, you must apply “a super-subtle black winged eyeliner to the outer corner of your eye” and a small section to the inner corner of your eye to further elongate it. He recommends the Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner ($23; sephora.com), which has a thin, marker-like tip that should make it very easy to complete the look.
Then, finish your eye makeup by curling your lashes, focusing on the outer corners of your eyes. This expert likes Maybelline Falsies Pushup Angel Mascara ($12; maybelline.com), but you can also opt for fluttery lashes here if you’d like.
As Barrett says, the final step in completing the passport look is “a big outline of the lips.” TikTok outlined her lips with brown eyeliner and filled them with a mauve lip gloss. To get a similar look, Spickard suggests using a cork or stone-colored lip pencil from MAC Cosmetics, followed by HUDA Beauty Cream Glow Bullet lipsticks, which he likes because they come in “tons of pinky nudes for all skin tones.