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How To Take A Good Selfie: 8 Ways To Master The Art Of The Perfect Selfie

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how to take a good selfie
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The picture-perfect selfie is not only limited to ultra-celeberities.

When scrolling through our newsfeeds, it's particularly hard not to spot a selfie or two. Additionally, not only are there selfies, they're most likely of celebrities looking glam and flawless.

While we write it off as insta-magic and an unachievable look, have no fear, because there is a way for us ordinary folks to learn how to take a good selfie and master the art of the much-loved picture-taking.

Whether through our blinding highlight or jawline placement, there's a comfortable and attainable way to capture your best self from the front view camera. In honor of National Selfie Day on June 21st, here's how to take the perfect selfie.

1. The Story

Whether showing off your wicked winged eyeliner, a spectacular sunset, or your favorite little buddy, your picture should tell a story or something about you. Too many times, people will take selfies to show off the perfect background to only cut out the image they're trying to capture, or show off their amazing eye makeup with eyes open and an unflattering angle that doesn't show off the blending that took you twenty minutes to do.

By determining what you're hoping to showcase or showoff in your image, you will set the stage for the remainder of the steps. Just like professional photographers have a brief in hand of what they're trying to demonstrate in their imagery before shooting, we should have the same mind-set. So become storytellers and get creative. 


RELATED: Why People Who Post The Most Selfies Are Happier, More Confident And Attractive


2. The Angles

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Apr 24, 2018 at 8:43pm PDT

While everyone's favorite or flattering angles are personal to them and can't be dictated by a one-and-done formula, there is a universal "picture approach" when taking a selfie that works for most. To our surprise, it's the same iconic head tilt that haunted every picture day at school growing up.

The 3/4ths head tilt is known to be the essential go-to in selfies. Why? This angle gives the appearance of an elongated jawline and an overall slimmer demeanor. However, it is up to you to play around with your face's angles. Only you know yourself well enough to map out your face and decide which features you'd like to showcase.

Spend a couple minutes in the mirror and slowly start to move your head around, working different angles until you find the one that works best for you. 

3. The Makeup

A post shared by Laura Lee (@larlarlee) on Apr 3, 2018 at 6:32pm PDT

Yes, while there are filters that help with mastering the art of the effortless non-makeup makeup look (thanks to the app Perfect365), it's important to know how makeup can play a huge part in your perfect selfie.

First, start off with a primer for your skin. Want pore-less looking skin that blurs even the purest of imperfections? Try Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Even the name tells you, it's the best way to look flawless on camera.

Next is the highlighter. Want to look like the sun is hitting your features just right and giving off the appearance of a soft-lit glow adding dimension to the high points of your face? Try using highlighters like Becca's Champagne Pop, or Maybelline's Master Chrome.

And lastly, the statement piece: the lip. Whether pulling of the nude lip or going bold in a bright color, make your picture stand apart. It's also an easy way to draw attention to your lips (by adding in pops of color), if looking to highlight your lips as a feature.

Another important tip to remember? By licking your lips right before you hit the capture button, it'll look like you've just applied the perfect lip gloss. Additionally, if you're not smiling for your selfie, part your lips (only slightly) when taking the photo to give your lips a fuller appearance. 

4. The Lighting

A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on May 16, 2018 at 9:08am PDT

The lighting can sometimes be one of the most crucial elements for how to take the perfect selfie. Your makeup could be on point, you have the perfect environment around you, and you stand on the wrong side of the room and your face becomes back-lit. No one wants that.

The best way to take selfies is in the natural light rather than using lamps, flashlights, or your office's overhead florescent lights (yes we've all seen those selfies). You'll want to make sure that you're looking into the sun (or light) and taking a selfie with the light hitting your face. Not only will this jazz up any highlight you've applied to your skin, but also enhance your skin's natural beauty by letting the light subtly hit the wonderful features on your face. 


RELATED: What Men REALLY Think About Your Overly Edited Selfies


5. The Accent Piece or Accessory

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on Sep 6, 2017 at 7:15am PDT

Go on and wear those daring and bold earrings, or the choker you've pulled out from your 90s drawer (they're back in style now, it's okay). By adding accessory pieces into your selfie, you're giving your followers even more insight into your personality and setting yourself apart from all the other selfies hitting their newsfeed.

Along with jewelry, try wearing a statement tee, whether supporting March for Our Lives or the Time's Up movement. It may be your way of getting your voice heard. 

6. The Pose

A post shared by Adriana Lima (@adrianalima) on Dec 29, 2017 at 7:10pm PST

Just like the angles, everyone's signature pose or favorite relaxed setting is very personal to the person behind the camera... or in front of it. And please, no duck faces. While poses can refer to one's facial expressions — examples being the signature kissy face, the wide-open smile or the side-eye view — poses can also include other parts of your body as well.

We notice in magazines that models are constantly using their hands to add both dimension as well as a distraction to an image. Using your arm or your hand is a great way to hide any insecurities you're having while taking a picture.

Have a double chin? Gracefully place your hand underneath your mouth to cover up any extra chin you may not be comfortable showing on camera. Maybe you've grown a blemish overnight and want to hide it from the lens, so try placing your hand comfortably on your cheek. The way to capture a great selfie is to have confidence and feel comfortable, and you can use any tool (including your hands) to get you there.

7. The Filter

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on Dec 22, 2017 at 8:49am PST

The day that Snapchat filters came into play, selfies became a game changer. There's a reason that almost every Halloween, Sephora is filled with makeup request asking artist to recreate the looks from their favorite filter. They're extremely flattering (RIP golden butterfly halo — I'll miss your perfect bronzed skin and matched nude lip).

Creating mostly contoured jawlines and baby-doll glossy eyes, filters can help take the hassle and stress of capturing the perfect look on your own. They're there to help you. And if all else fails and you're not feeling any of the new filters, try going to the blushed face filter. It's always reliable to act as an automatic retouch button to any image it sees. 

8. The Tools

A post shared by LuMee (@lumeecase) on May 18, 2018 at 12:09pm PDT

Just like Snapchat, there are other tools on the market to help as you learn how to take a good selfie, and some are more than just apps. The first item worth mentioning is the selfie stick. The selfie stick gets a bad rep, but no one will be laughing when you post a glam and gorgeous selfie to your newsfeed.

A tip when using the selfie stick? Make sure to place a slight zoom onto your phone. While you want to give yourself more space to create a flattering angle, you also don't want the pole taking up a quarter of your picture. If you're dead-set against ever using a selfie stick, you can also try placing your phone on a timer and extending out the phone as far as you can. By having the timer, you're not limited to the positioning or angle you can master with your thumb on the capture button.

Another item every selfie lover should have is a LuMEE case. As a phone case that gives off the perfect and ultra flattering light (even in the darkest places) once you're ready to capture your perfect selfie moment, they also don't compromise on the look or style. A favorite of the Kardashians, these cases come in various colors and phone makes and models. 

If you purchase a product recommended above, YourTango may earn an affiliate commission.


RELATED: This Super-Addicting App Turns Your Photos Into INSANE Works Of Art


Elizabeth Blasi is a New Yorker. A lifestyle & travel writer, who is often seen with a suitcase in hand jet-setting to her next location. But as a true Digital Nomad, her love of writing and romance novels means her laptop is always beside her.

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