Feb 28, 2013

FOTD: Driver's License Edition (Tips for a Good Photo)

It's that special time again!  Four years have passed and it's time for me to make the trip to the DMV, stand in line, wait for 30+ minutes, and then finally stand in front of a blank blue wall - under extremely unflattering florescent lighting - to take a picture that will be with me for the next 1,460 days (approximately).  I've had one good ID photo taken my first year at college, and try as I might, apparently I cannot copy it over and over to use on all my other IDs just because I think it's the most flattering.  This year I am determined to take a semi-decent picture.  I'm not looking for miracles or anything, just a good picture that doesn't make me cringe every time I pull out my license.  That's not asking too much, right?

In order to help me accomplish this mission I've compiled a list of tips for taking a good ID photo:

1. A matte finish is the best finish.
Driver's license photos are not the best platform for showing off your luminous, lit-from-within glow...mainly because any shine morphs into blinding oil slick glare - not really the best look.  This goes for lip products as well.  A kick-ass, high shine gloss may look amazing in real life, but just doesn't translate well.  If you're not a foundation fan, then just throw on some mattifying gel/serum/powder (whatever does it for ya), conceal any imperfections, and you're good to go!

2. Use warmer tones (ones that compliment your skin tone) because the lighting and background color at the DMV will wash you out.  If you're really pale and/or have light hair, lightly apply bronzer/blusher to your temples and hairline to add some extra warmth around your face.

3. More is More!  Apply a little more blush, lipstick, and mascara than you usually would.  And don't forget your eyebrows!!!  Don't go crazy or anything but colors get washed out in ID photos so adding a little more will show up better - just make sure you blend really well because you don't want to look like a paint by numbers picture for the next 4 years :)

4. Beware high SPF.  Well, that should really be beware flashback from products with high SPF.  This is kind of negotiable, and should just be taken into consideration.  It's not a hard and fast rule...well, none of these are "rules", more of guidelines really.

Here's what I used:

CK One Color 3-in-1 Face Makeup  in 300 Sand
Benefit Erase Paste in Light
NYX Blush in Taupe (contour)
Benefit Dandelion Blush

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original formula
Lorac Pro Palette - Taupe (lids up to "crease"), Espresso (lid, blended into Taupe), Sable (lower lash line)
L'Oreal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in  Black (tightline/upper waterline), and Brown (lower lash line, outer corner only)
L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara - Black
Anastasia Brow Whiz in Medium Ash

Smashbox MegaTint in Punch

And here is the final result...

I look angry, but I was at the DMV so that's understandable.  Sorry this is so blurry!

As you can see the color got seriously washed out!  It doesn't even look like I have any lipstick on at all, but I'm glad I was wearing it or it would look like I was lipless...which would be creepy. :-/
I hope this post was helpful!  Thanks for taking time to read it and don't forget to subscribe if you liked it, or, you know, didn't find it too painful to read.  It would totally make my day! 

Do you guys have any good ID photo tips or tricks?  Are any of you brave enough to upload your ID photo?  I double-dog dare you to!!! I'd love to see them :)


  1. Hi, Im your newest follower, Your driving licence picture looks amazing! mines terrible!! great post! please check out my blog http://jooolsw.blogspot.co.uk/

    Lots of love Jools xxx

    1. Hi Jools!!! Thanks for following and thanks for all your lovely compliments :) So super glad you liked the post! I can't wait to check out your blog!

  2. great tips, very helpful

    thanks for your lovely comment


    Inspirations Have I None

  3. Wow you have amazing cheekbones! Your ID picture looks lovely, mine's awful! I've just found your blod and have followed you! I'd appreciate if you could check out my blog as I'm fairly new to this blogging scenario, haha! Louise, xo


    1. Thanks Louise :) I have to give credit for my cheekbones to the NYX blush in Taupe haha. I can't wait to check out your blog...gonna take a peek as soon as I finish typing this!

  4. love this post.... love your blog in general

    just followed you looking forward for more posts from you

    please follow back