5 Tips on a PERFECT Passport Photo | Passport Makeup

Traveling is an eye opening experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where we can carelessly travel everywhere without the need of official paperwork. The passport application process can sometimes be overwhelming, especially taking the photo. Here are my 5 tips to a perfect passport photo!

Passport | Important Details

Before I start talking about passport makeup tips, I want to remind you that you should order your passport way ahead in advance. Make sure you have all the required paperwork and documentations and understand the photo requirements in your country (here’s the U.S. website on Passport FAQ that is very helpful on answering all my questions!). It’s also important to allow sufficient time to process your application. Processing a passport can take from 6-8 weeks normally and 2-3 weeks when expedited. I almost missed my international trip because of this and had to pay for overnight delivery. SUPER STRESSFUL, EXPENSIVE, AND NOT FUN. Don’t make the same mistake like me and plan ahead!

Tip #1: Look like yourself, but enhanced

Your photos can be rejected for technical reasons (such as quality, size or creasing of photo), but can also be rejected for excessive makeup and jewelry depending on the country. Therefore, use makeup to enhance your natural features. Avoid dark lip and heavy eye makeup, even if you rock that look everyday. I personally would avoid applying eyeliner on the waterline because there is lot of room for smudging and making the look less natural. My personal favorite trick I like to use is lining my lips with a nude or pink lip liner and applying chapstick. I also like applying a small bit of eyeliner, waterproof mascara, and curling my lashes after they’ve dried for an all-day curl.

See what I did there 😉

Tip #2: Cover Dark circles

The best way to go from mugshot to hot is to cover the dark under eyes. This is especially important to make sure you look fresh and awake. Color correct with the appropriate color and apply high coverage concealer. Don’t go too overboard with the concealer (I know I do sometimes), but use enough to cover the color corrector and under eye area. If you want, you can also color correct other areas of your face (such as using green for redness) to minimize imperfections.

Here are some of my favorite concealers:


I’m not 100% if this is everywhere, but as of November 2016 U.S. citizens are not allowed to wear glasses in their passport photos. BUMMER. But if you are allowed to wear glasses in your country, I would definitely use these tips to minimize that tired look. If you want an in-depth post on color-correcting and glasses makeup tips, please check out my previous blog post here [Makeup Tips for Glasses].

3. Set, Set, Set

If I could go back and change one thing about my passport makeup, it would be to make sure to set the face with powder. In my passport photo I look shiny in my T-zone, especially on the center of my forehead. Apply powder anywhere you tend to get oily and you’ll be ready for the camera! If you have dry skin, you can totally skip this step!

4. Avoid anything with Flashback Ingredients

Make sure to avoid powders that have Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Silica, Mica, and shimmer. These ingredients are flash photography nightmares and will guarantee flashback which is no bueno. With that being said, also avoid SPF because this ingredient will also cause intense flashback. Stick to a shimmery and SPF free makeup for passport photo day.

5. Avoid getting washed out

Sometimes the flash in photos can cause you to look washed out. To avoid that apply back some color with bronzer and blush for a more lively look. Again, we are trying to aim for a natural look so don’t go overboard and stick to a light hand. Also, I’d try to stick to cream bronzers and blushes that make the look more natural. And always remember to blend.

What I Wore on Picture Day

Products Mentioned 

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer
Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder
e.l.f. Cosmetics Cream Blush Palette
Bareminerals 5-In-1 Bb Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow – Barely Nude
Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel – Dark Brown
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
Benefit Cosmetics they’re real! lengthening mascara
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25



Annnnd that’s a wrap! Those are my tips for capturing the best passport photo. Comment below if you have any essential passport photo tips or if you’re traveling anywhere this summer!

  • The Gud Trybe July 6, 2017 at 3:41 am

    I love these tips. I am going to get my passport soon and will definitely be applying some of these tips so I don’t look like the walking dead kkkk. Thank you

  • charrise July 12, 2017 at 2:48 am

    I love these tips I take my photo soon so I am definitely going to use these
    thanks for the helpful information