Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!!
Where will you find me on a typical Saturday or Sunday morning?? Sitting on the sidewalk & grass area outside my apartment in my PJ’s, with a bag full of makeup, ready to spend the next couple hours under the gorgeous California morning sunshine, swatching makeup and taking pictures for my blog and Instagram! 😉
This post is for anyone who is interested in starting a beauty blog or Instagram account! Keep reading below for a list of the top 7 items I use to take flatlays and pictures of swatches!
1) Simple Background
I’ve researched all the different backgrounds that bloggers use for their pictures & flatlays and they all have one common piece of advice: keep it simple!
I’ve tried a few different backgrounds and I found that a plain white foamboard works really well when taking pictures in natural light, which is my preferred choice of light to take pictures in! The board I use is Elmer’s White Foamboard from Michael’s.
Other backgrounds I’ve used for flatlays include bedsheets, rugs or fabric with interesting textures (I use small swatches of fabric from the craft store), scrapbook paper, decorative boxes, or anything in nature such as grass, flowers, trees etc!
2) Camera of choice
I’m currently using an LG G4 phone for my camera and I LOVE the quality of phots I get. I tried using a point & shoot camera to take pictures of swatches but I personally found that the camera on my phone most accurately captures the way shade of makeup looks and it makes it easy for me to upload directly on IG or my blog. I suggest trying out different cameras to see what your favorite one to use and what works best for your blog and purpose 🙂
It’s amazing how good ol’ Scotch tape makes such a big difference when taking pictures of makeup swatches on your arm/hand! There are a lot of times that I spontaneously swatch makeup on my arm and in these cases, I won’t take the time to use tape to frame the swatches. But, I find that using tape when swatching makeup makes the edges much cleaner and helps space the swatches evenly on your arm. See the difference below between swatches done freehand and swatches done using tape.
(makeup swatches done freehand)
(using tape to frame the makeup swatches)
4) Makeup Wipes.
Makeup wipes are a must-have to clean in between swatching different makeup products and can also be used to clean your products so that they’re photo ready. I typically use Target’s Up&Up make up wipes to erase makeup swatches on my arm. These wipes work well, smell great, and are super affordable at 50 wipes for $3.59! I save my Neutrogena makeup remover wipes to use on my face or for harder to remove makeup swatches. Other good items to have around for cleaning your makeup/swatches are paper towels, water, and hand sanitizer!
One big piece of advice: take notes to keep track of what pictures you’re taking! It can be really difficult to distinguish the brand and shade of the makeup you took pictures of unless you take note of it. The notebook also comes in handy to take down your thoughts on how the color looks, consistency, texture, your first impression of the product, and anything else that may be hard to remember after the fact.
I like to keep my pictures very minimal and simple but a few props are always good to have at hand. Some of my favorite props I recommend are: flowers (both real or fake), jewelry, ceramic bowls or plates, anything from the scrapbook section in a craftstore, and any little trinkets you have.
Be sure to use all the beautiful and natural items you find outside! Flowers, trees, lakes, mountains, beaches, the sky, etc all make amazing backgrounds!
And last but not least, makeup!! Old makeup, new makeup, anything you have! Just grab a handful from your stash and go swatch crazy! 🙂
Someday I hope to have a beautiful makeup room to take pictures of my makeup and swatches, but for now, I love my little spot on the sidewalk outside my apartment. 🙂
Now I want to hear from you!
What are your favorite items to use when taking pictures for your blog?