Coined almost two decades ago in Australia, officially added to the Oxford Dictionary 8 years ago, and the first thought to have been taken way back in the 1800s…
…it’s the “selfie” of course.
With the influx of smart technology and social media in our everyday lives, selfie culture has become an integral part of our society. The average person is said to take around 450 photos of themselves each year, with tens, if not hundreds, of millions being uploaded to social media.
So, it’s safe to say that selfies have been around for a while and aren’t set to disappear any time soon. So much so there’s even a National Selfie Day, celebrated on 21st June each year. If you still haven’t got the hang of it, or are looking for some inspiration, check out our top tricks and tips below:
Natural light is the undisputed, most flattering source of light available for your selfie. If you can, try waiting until “golden hour” – the time of day when the sun is just beginning to set – flooding your room with warm light, making your selfies look soft and glowing. Be mindful not to stare directly towards the sun as it’ll be tricky not to squint and may cast some shadows, so tilt your phone down slightly and post to the side to avoid this. Newly-popular “sunset lamps” can achieve this effect all year round.
Bright white light can wash you out, think bathroom and kitchen spotlights – but don’t discount artificial lighting completely. You can pick up ring lights as inexpensive as £15, to as much as £200, and even ones that clip on the top of your phone. Ring lights provide a direct and balanced light source, with a range of brightness and tones to make your selfies stand out.
Finding your best angle does come with some experimenting and trial-and-error. Try taking a photo of yourself from your left, right, front and so on to find out which is your “best side”, and be sure to lead with said side when snapping your selfies. One failsafe tip is to always hold your phone slightly higher than eye level, complimenting your features.
Gadgets can play an integral part in the art of the selfie. Don’t write off the selfie stick just yet – they’re frowned upon in public, but in private could provide you with a better angle and reach. Did you also know you can use your Apple Watch as a self-timer for your iPhone camera if you’re snapping some hands-free selfies? If you’re not part of the Apple gang, you can pick up Bluetooth camera shutter remotes for the same effect.
And, have you heard of “mewing”? The common practice amongst red-carpet goers is their secret to a popping jawline in pictures. Flatten your tongue against the roof of your mouth for some serious definition.
If you’re wanting that cohesive and clean-looking Insta grid, you’ll want as simple a background as possible. Photo retouch apps like Snapseed allow you to scrub out unwanted background items and the “expand” tool allows you to add extra space to your photo. Try brushing the “teeth whitening” feature over your background if you’re aiming for that whitewashed wall look.
You could also try recording a video, striking a few poses and then screen-shotting the best frames. “Remini” gives you the chance to turn any blurred or low-quality images into clear and defined portraits, and “Lightroom” gives you a professional editing studio in your pocket. But try not to over-edit, less is definitely more and we’re embracing that this year!
After so much time spent at home, more attention paid to our skincare and health, natural and dewy make-up has made a comeback that is perfect for selfies (think fluffy brows, dewy skin). If you choose to wear face products like concealer, bronzer and highlight… blend, blend, blend! As any harsh lines and stripes will show up. Try splashing water or some beauty oil on your face, and standing in the sunlight with a mirror. Look for the areas on your face that pick up and reflect the light, and aim to place your highlight here.
When applying products, apply slightly above your natural features. For example, swap the old trend of applying concealer in a triangle underneath your eye to sweeping it from the edge of your eye up to your temple and blend. This will add a subtle lift to your face.
That’s where we come in – discover the latest in luxury skincare and beauty with Cohorted’s monthly curated beauty boxes, which will guarantee to take your selfie game up a notch!
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