Beauty & Style: How to Create a Killer Facebook Profile Picture

I just got the secret sauce to how to make your Facebook, Twitter and online dating photos turn some heads and get some clicks. Check out the main stuff on Madame Noire here. But because I love you, and saved some insider secrets just for ya’ll. You’re welcome.

Take a look at the two photos below. They are both the same person. Which one would catch your eye…in a GOOD way, and why? Men, your comments are also welcome. And please keep the boobie jokes to a minimum.


*Photo credit, Kimbery Mertz

That’s the difference between what a pocket camera and anyone with a forefinger and one eye can do, and what a professionally-trained photographer can. Which would you pick to be your Facebook, Twitter, or dating site profile? Yeah; that’s what I’d choose too.

I chatted with Paul Gregory, a celebrity photographer who just so happens to be a make-up artist. BOOM. Check; and check. He broke down the elements of what makes black women look good in pictures.


Celebrity make-up artist and photographer, Paul Gregory

Basic Essentials

Choose a foundation that matches YOUR CHEST, not your face, otherwise it looks like you’re wearing a mask. There are usually about three different shades to an African-American woman’s face and the trick is the unify one of them. Watch for yellow and red undertones (remember make-up genius Tanisha Everette gave the great lesson a while back?). If you have red tones and try to use a foundation with yellow undertones, you’re just gonna look gray and chalky.

Focus on your eyebrows. “Your eyebrows define you,” says Gregory. Choose a look and stick with it. If you want perfectly-definite eyebrows (think Janet Jackson) just know you’re going for a high-maintenance look. If your eyebrows are more natural, you look more approachable, easy-going, and less model-ly. Dark, smokey eyes are sexy, so learn how to do them if you’re looking to turn some heads. But if you’re not a make-up maven and you think all the goop is false advertising, you can keep it simple with little touches to make your eyes pop and natural-looking falsies with some strategic liner can work wonders. You can also grow your own. I’ve been using a product called neuLash, and my lashes have never been so long. They need to figure out how to bottle that stuff and make hair conditioner so I can get to waist length already.

If you’re over 40, you can stay natural-looking but you’re better off adding some color to your lips and be especially mindful of evening up your skin tone.

If you have a broad nose, Gregory recommends very, very subtle shadowing around the nose. Use a cream or powder that’s 4-5 shades darker than your primary foundation and LIGHTLY shadow the sides, which creates the illusion of a shadow.

By the way, Paul Gregory did this:

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