Q: Why does my foundation look pale in photos? It looked fine in the mirror! Help!

A: This is a problem with most liquid foundations containing SPF. The reason for this is that they contain a natural mineral called Titanium Dioxide which provides the SPF.

Titanium Dioxide reflects UV rays and other light particles which makes it a great natural sunscreen. However, when wearing make-up containing titanium dioxide, the light particles from the camera flash will also be reflected. This is what gives you a paler face, or ‘ghostface’ in photos.

You may notice that professional photos don’t have the ‘ghostface’ look. This is because professional photographers don’t aim the flashlight directly onto the face of the subject. The either ask the subject to turn their head so the natural light reflects off their skin, or they will aim their flashlight onto a plain surface/ wall so that it the flashlight bounces off the surface and onto the subject, thus imitating natural light hitting the subjects face.

So you may be asking “How do I avoid ‘ghostface’?”

You can either try to find a liquid foundation without SPF or without Titanium Dioxide (ingredients are always listed on the box or other packaging), or use a stick foundation or foundation compact (these usually have a lower SPF).

Also note that many face powders contain titanium dioxide and so if you use too much face powder, you will also get ‘ghostfaced’.

Here’s a list of tried and tested flashback-free foundation:
MAC Full Cover foundation (the full coverage concealers are the same formula and so are also flashback free)
Illamasqua Skin Base
Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation
Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse foundation
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme foundation

I hope that you found this useful, and I look forward to seeing less ghost-faced photos in future!