Celebrating pregnancy and the future birth of a child is a spectacular experience that changes lives. Archiving a mother’s time of carrying a baby through maternity portraits seals the special moment in time for mothers, parents, and your future child. Today’s maternity portrait aesthetic is incredibly free-flowing and can take many forms depending on the style of the photographer and mom to be. When it comes to hair and makeup for shoots, less is more should be a rule of thumb.
The most essential component of a great hairstyle for maternity shoots is a style that flatters mothers and makes them feel the most comfortable and beautiful. That said, effortless looking hairstyles are never actually effortless, and great looking hair always requires planning, styling, and professional-grade tools. It’s also important to blend your hairstyle of choice with your wardrobe. Soft flowing curls work well and can be worn down at the start of the photoshoot.
The option for a quick up-do should also be planned in advance, especially if you have a high-necked top or dress. An up-do is the best way to go if you are doing a milk bath or water photoshoot. Soft long dresses with a rounded neckline and off-the-shoulder dresses are popular styles for maternity shoots, and flowing hairstyles are stunning companions to these types of wardrobe choices.
If you have a shorter hairstyle, think volume and texture. Flower crowns or a simple beaded headpiece add a nice flair and help to frame the face. No matter what the length or texture of your hair is, pumping up the shine will be captured well in your photos. Getting a trim and deep conditioning with a hair mask will eliminate dead ends and provide your hair with much-needed nourishment that will give it bounce and shine when you style it.
Making an all-natural hair mask could also do the trick. Mixing together a banana or avocado with an egg and a teaspoon of honey supplies hair with natural vitamins. Lightweight finishing serums will give your hair a kick of shine once your hair is styled and will help manage frizz and flyaways.
If your photoshoot is outside or near water, make sure to pack a travel hair kit and choose a style that will also function well in potential heat and humidity. Keep in mind that working with your natural hair will prevent frustration. For example, naturally curly hair may not hold a bone straight look for an entire day of shooting outside or in a pool. Considering a look with curls will likely hold up better under those conditions. For straighter looks that may flatten, bringing along a volumizer will keep hair plumped for an entire day. Hairspray, bobby pins, hair ties, hair sheen, and pomade are a few other essentials that are a must-have onsite at your shoot.
In keeping with the less is more theme, makeup for maternity shoots should ultimately be fresh, natural and bring out the natural glow of your skin. Good skincare will bring out your best assets, and going the extra mile to nourish your skin before the photoshoot will enhance your natural glow.
On the day of your shoot, going the extra mile when it comes to your skincare routine and makeup application will produce a stunning end result.
Step 1) Prep: Exfoliation should not be done on the day of your photoshoot. If you have a regular exfoliator that you commonly use, this can be done the night before. The morning of your shoot, use a lighter face wash and make sure to moisturize. If you’re shooting outside, be sure to add sunscreen to your prep routine.
When using multiple products, remember to layer on lightly and give each layer a minute or two to set. Your last layer should be a primer that will hold your makeup in place and create a smoother finish.
Step 2) Application: Once you’ve prepped your skin, you’ll be ready to apply makeup. Keep in mind that a natural look still requires coverage. Using a concealer, foundation, and then following up with powder will give you a sleek look and still leave your skin looking fresh. Natural earth tones for cheeks, eyes, and lips will accentuate features without being too overbearing. Think rosy cheeks, pink hues for lips, and a bronzer.
Your eyeshadow can be simple yet play up your eyes by doing a slightly darker crease color and a natural flesh color underneath the eyebrow. Your regular eyeliner and brow colors should work well, but it might also be time to reevaluate colors to create a more subtle effect. Waterproof eyeliner and mascara is an absolute must.
Step 3) Seal: After your makeup is fully applied, a setting spray will hold your makeup in place. If you have dry skin and want a dewy look, then a small spritz of toner will give you a beachy glow. Forego the toner if you have oily skin, and be sure to take your makeup with you so that you can touch up your look throughout your shoot.
Maternity photoshoots are truly a celebration of motherhood, rebirth, and life. Taking the time to reflect and enjoy the beauty of pregnancy is one of the most enjoyable parts of photoshoots. Have fun with the experience, and your happiness will shine through.
Abigail Baker is a writer for American Beauty School, a New York-based cosmetology school.