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The Best Passport Makeup for a Great Travel Photo

A great passport photo starts with a great makeup look.
February 15, 2023


Putting together a makeup look to take selfies or family photos is tough, but deciding on the right makeup for a passport photo sometimes seems downright impossible. Taking a passport photo is stressful enough — you’ll be stuck with the photo for 10 years — and the quickness with which the photo is taken and the often grainy result can be frustrating. 

Naturally, our favorite creators on TikTok have come up with a solution. Aptly dubbed combat the passport makeup trend, meant to make sure you never get a bad passport photo ever again. It’s all about getting a soft glam look that will enhance your features and give you a stunning passport photo — after all, some models have revealed they first got booked by an agency  because they had a runway ready passport photo . If you don’t know where to start, keep reading. Here, all of the steps and products you need for passport makeup. 

What Is Passport Makeup?

Passport makeup is a makeup look that makes you look like a knockout in your passport photo. Makeup is allowed for a passport photo, but it’s important that it looks natural and doesn't distort your features. Soft glam is a great style for this, as the look is similar to no-makeup makeup, but with an extra element of glam and definition.

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How to Get Passport Makeup

Passport makeup is all about enhancing your features, and this guide will help you achieve your best passport photo.

1. Prime Your Skin

Primers are great because they help with the longevity of your makeup, but a primer that also has skin care benefits will help your passport makeup look even better by providing an even base for the rest of your makeup. The L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab Up to 24H Pore Minimizer can help with skin care concerns like redness or large pores. Using clean hands, rub the primer into the skin just like your moisturizer.

2. Apply Foundation

For foundation, you’ll want your skin to look even and smooth, but with a natural finish that'll suit your photo. L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation is a medium-coverage foundation that offers a hydrating finish and precise color match. Each shade comes in a warm, cool and neutral option, so it’ll match your skin tone as well as your undertones. Shake the bottle well, then apply the foundation to your skin using a brush or makeup sponge.

3. Conceal Your Under-Eyes

Concealer is always a key part of a beauty routine, but if you’re heading to an early morning passport photo appointment, it’s even more important. The L’Oréal Paris True Match Eye Cream in a Concealer, 0.5% Hyaluronic Acid provides the coverage you need from a concealer, but it also includes the care of an eye cream. The formula includes hyaluronic acid to hydrate the under-eye area, so you’ll have dark circle coverage and eyes that are less puffy, which is important when you’re taking a photo that’s going to be on your passport for a decade. 

3. Fill In Your Eyebrows 

To fill in and define your brows, try the L’Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel. The formula contains longwear polymers that create a waterproof film so your brows won’t smudge or transfer, which is important if you’re heading to a passport photo location that is far from you and you’re battling heat or humidity on the way there. Apply the product to your eyebrow hairs, working in layers. For more definition, use the enclosed angled brush to outline and define your brow shape with short strokes. Finish by combing through your eyebrows with a spoolie, then allow the brow gel to dry.

4. Contour for Depth

Contouring is important for passport makeup because it’s easy for the straight-on camera angle and unflattering lighting to flatten your features. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage in a shade that’s two or three shades deeper than your skin tone, and place it in the hollows of your cheeks, along your jawline and down your nose. Blend it out with a makeup brush then set with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder.

5. Enhance Your Eyes

An ideal passport makeup eye look will help your eyes pop without being too heavy, so you’ll want to reach for nude, brown and olive tones. Take a palette like the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Boudoir Charme and apply the light brown shade across your lids. Use the darkest shade to define your crease, then apply the lightest shade as inner eye highlight. 

To define your eyes, try the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner. It comes in several shades, including brown and gray, to help with the soft glam effect. Top off your look with the L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara for lifted lashes to compliment your eye makeup and your photo. 

6. Apply Your Lip Color

For your lips, you’ll need a product that will offer color and shine. The L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract is a lightweight lipstick that hydrates with a formula that feels like a balm. You can also add it to your routine after taking your passport photo, as the lipstick will make your lips feel smoother after four weeks of continued use. 

7. Set Your Look 

To make sure your passport makeup lasts through possible long lines and a lot of waiting, lock in your look with a setting powder. Use a makeup brush to dust the powder all over your face for a soft matte finish. 


Then, spray the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray over your face to further keep your makeup in place all day.

Next: 9 Makeup Trends to Keep on Your Radar for Spring


Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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