Be Insta-Chic: How To Look Good On Social Media

Chances you or at least one of your friends and family members is addicted to Instagram, Twitter, Vine or generally loves to post pictures of themselves and anyone they happen to be with on various social media sites. And that’s generally great – for them. You may not be thrilled if the pics they post are less than flattering, so here’s how to look great in digital snaps no matter what (even without a filter) at any age!

INSTA-GLAM ENSEMBLES

Add A Scarf. Having a complementary color by your face is absolutely key when it comes to looking your best on film. Rich jewel tones and saturated pastels look good on nearly everyone, and while you can pick up various colorful scarves at any store or price point, we like this border print jacquard scarf from ASOS for a casual look, or this Bajra satin weave scarf in any hue for a more formal luxe look.

Solids Are Better Than Prints. Even if you love a good pattern, you can’t deny that solids in dark shades tend to look the best in pictures, since prints can confuse the eye and light colors may highlight areas you want to minimize. V or scoop necks also work better than crewnecks or similar high necklines, and vertical or diagonal lines are preferable to horizontal. This streamlined deep blue Karen Millen sheath with a notched v neckline is just about ideal for most situations.

Keep It Structured. Flowy dresses and drapey tops might keep you cool in the summer, but they also can look like tents on camera, even if you are svelte. A little structure is your friend when you’ve got your social media image in mind, like this black and white striped Alexander Wang tank, which also has the structured lines we recommend – just add a pencil skirt or skinny pants and you’re more than ready to take a perfect pic.

GET AN INSTA-FLAWLESS FACE

Get Some Color On Those Cheeks. Speaking of color, a little blush or bronzer goes a long way towards making you look alive and awake in pictures. Matte is typically better than anything dewy, luminizing, or otherwise shiny, and avoid going overboard with the highlighter and contouring unless you have some serious blending skills. We think the Tom Ford Soleil compact is a worthy splurge perfect for maintaining a photo-ready visage.

Curl Those Lashes. On the same note, curling your lashes and using a great mascara might be the number one way to open up your eyes and take more flattering pictures. Get ready for your close-up with Dior’s Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara for lashes that go on for days.

THE ART OF INSTA-POSING

Unrelated to wardrobe, hair, or makeup – how you pose and where you are in the picture can also make a big difference. If someone has to hold the camera at arm’s length, don’t let it be you! If you’re not tethered to the device taking the image you have a lot more control over your pose and the angle at which you’re being captured. Also, try to step back or get slightly behind someone else or a prop to look smaller – use your handbag if you’re in the picture solo and don’t have anything else to put the focus on e.g. scenery, food or a cute animal – hey this is the internet, after all. Oh and never shoot with the camera low, you want it as high as your arm will allow.

INSTA-PERFECT EDITING: OUR FAVORITE FILTERS

There are also plenty of filters and editing options available, including apps that are one step below magazine style Photoshop if you’ve got the skills. For the purposes of this article, however, we’re limiting our advice to things you can control yourself, since you can’t always rely on the owner of the smartphone or camera to make you look your best. But if you are in control, we love YouCam – it’s free too.

Mayfair is another great free option we like because it warms up your skin with natural blush tones and brings out definition with subtle sharpening – think of it as digital contouring. Or try going black and white with another popular free filter like Inkwell – the major contrast adds definition. And of course, there’s blogger and celebrity favorite Facetune ($3.99 for iOS and Android) that might as well be digital photoshop, or VSCOCam if you want to do some more complex editing (it comes with 10 free filters, 38 more for $6.00).

Other good editors include LINE camera (which was endorsed by Vogue, so you know its good) and Snapseed, both of which let you blur, smooth, and re-touch images to your heart’s content. Finally, for those who want to get creative, there’s Layout ($3.99) allows you to add text and artwork over your images, and there’s Boomerang that lets you create fun short videos from a “burst” of ten images.

Pictured Above (from left to right):

ASOS New Look Border Print Jacquard Scarf, $17

Bajra Frame Satin Weave Scarf, $325

Tom Ford ‘Soleil’ Contouring Compact (Limited Edition), $108

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara, $29.50

Karen Millen Notched V-Neck Dress, $380

Alexander Wang Peplum Tank With Belt Cutout, $575

–Jacqueline Zenn

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