What is HD makeup?

What is HD makeup?

Digital photography and high definition video, film and television demand a revolutionised approach to makeup application. The shift has made makeup artists change their techniques to suit the more vivid way we see images of actors, models, performance artists and brides on our laptops, smartphones, cinema and television. As a result, the makeup industry is now being saturated with products labeled as ‘HD,’ heralding another clever marketing ploy to bring in the sales. In reality, creating the HD look is more about the right technique, than spending big on HD labels.

What’s the big deal?

High definition makeup in film and photography is really about ensuring what you are seeing is as natural as possible. Before the digital age, film and television makeup artists used to be able to get away with piling on heavy foundation to hide flaws. Think Marilyn Monroe, or Audrey Hepburn. The thick layer of makeup was never noticeable on screen.

But with today’s technology, gone are the days of pancaked foundation and grease paint. The new HD makeup needs to be as flawless and ‘makeup free’ looking as possible, because it has to capture reality.

It is a technique, not a product

There is a lot of confusion out there that HD makeup contains some sort of magic ingredient that sets it apart from other brands. But HD makeup is a technique. It is a technique that makeup artists are trained to achieve to ensure their clients are camera ready. Beware of some brands claiming they are ‘studio’, ‘camera’ and ‘HD’ ready. Just because you use products with the word ‘HD’ in the label doesn’t mean you will be camera ready. The reality is very few department store brands live up to the name and there are a plethora of products that do a lot better to create a HD-ready face, without the ‘HD’ label.

6 tips for creating a high definition look:

HD makeup needs to look like real skin, with pores that are not noticeable. Blemishes are hidden carefully, the base is blended and contoured and all shades are true to the skin. There is no settling into fine lines or small hairs and powder is translucent and carefully applied to create a shine free yet glowing finish.

1. Use a stippling motion with a large, flat buffer brush to apply your foundation. The more you work it into your skin, the more it will look like a second-skin.

Lucy top1

2. Contour for on-screen dimension: Contouring is key for HD makeup, so that the natural contours of the face are enhanced. Set contour with a matching contour powder or bronzer. Cream contouring can be intensified for the camera by dusting on a contour sculpting powder over the areas that require more definition. This not only sets the contour, but defines it. Opt for natural shades that do not contain shimmer or sparkle. Use a non-shimmery, matte contour and bronzing product like the Williamspro Sculpting Powder.

Williamspromakeup top makeup artist hair beauty Sydney fashion editorial bridal weddings

3. Concealer tricks: Concealer is a fine art when it comes to HD makeup. Depending on the type of skin flaw you wish to cover up, your skin type and ethnicity, you need to choose the right concealer for the job. Under eye formulas need to be creamy and easy to blend, but even the hardest working concealers can crease. With a small buffer brush, apply a setting powder like the Williamspro Zero Powder in Superfine to the under-eye area to set concealer for a natural finish.

4. Sparkling camera eyes:  Keep shadows matte or semi-matte. Avoid shine, sparkle or shimmer as it will give camera flash-back and look like a mirror ball. If you really do love your shimmer, just add a dash of #Selfieglo for an ambient glow.


5. Mascara needs to be budgeproof, so invest in a great waterproof mascara. You may need to apply two or more layers for the camera, but ensure lashes are clump free by separating with a disposable lash brush. A few individual lashes on the outer corners won’t hurt either for a more complete look.

6. Fine-tuned powder: A good HD powder needs to be so finely milled that it does not settle into fine lines or cause camera flashback. If in doubt, avoid setting powders containing silica as this has the highest risk of creating the dreaded ‘cocaine face’.

Avoid the dreaded cocaine face

Finally, if in doubt, enlist the trusted expertise of a makeup artist who has specialised experience working with flash photography, studio lights and production environments. A makeup artist who is skilled with this technique can create the look for you, or teach you how to achieve it.

Feature Image credits: Photographer @beachmodelphotography, Model @gabriellabjersland, Makeup Artist @williamspromakeup

Authored by: Azzi Williams

Want to write for us? Contact us to be a Williamspro News contributor!

Like what you read? Sign up to our newsletter to receive a $10 gift voucher plus all the latest news!

Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart