Photographing Used Beauty Products In A Beautiful Way

Whilst some might think it's beauty blogger blasphemy not to photograph a product before using it, it's not a practice that I partake in. Because I like to give my products a good test before featuring them that means I've had to find a way of photographing them in an aesthetically pleasing way. Whilst still getting a lot of use out of them because we all know that a smeared lipstick top might say well loved. It doesn't always scream photograph me. However, I'd rather see things looking a little less pristine because when there are powder remnants on the side of a palette I know that it's actually been used as I can't help but be sceptical when I see people holding up products that haven't been touched and they're telling me how amazing they are. Anyway here are my best tips for photographing well-loved beauty products in a beautiful way. 


Photographing beauty products takes a lot of styling anyway, there is absolutely no denying that. But when you're working with products that have finger prints, smushed tops, aren't full to the top and generally a little messy. You have to be creative with your styling and go the extra mile to make them look appealing. This is something that does take a lot of time and practice but once you get the hang of it then it comes almost naturally. 


When you're using products every day it's almost inevitable that they're going to get grubby with fingerprints and product fall out. Cleaning your products might seem like a hassle but it makes all the difference in the world to how they photograph. Especially if what you're capturing has a mirror. Dust is something that I think can ruin an image and it's a complete nightmare to edit out but it's so easy to remove. 


Angles are important anyway in photography, it guides and helps the viewer to view your image in a way that feels good to the eye and the mind. If you know that one of your palettes has a giant nail dent in or you use your lip products on one certain side then face that away from the camera. It's something that I always try to do with palettes and powders if they're well loved. is face Facing them towards the light helps to bleach out any brush strokes or fingerprints. 


When you've been using things like foundations, nail polishes and hair products they obviously will no longer be full to the top. A quick and easy little cheat to making them look full so there aren't streaks all down the side of the bottle is to simply shake them up. You have to do this right before you take the shot as things settle back down pretty quickly but it's something that works wonders. 


Not only are things like styling and angles important but so is your background choice, here are a few of my favourites; 

  • Magazines.
  • Books.
  • Tiles.
  • Scarves. 
  • Wallpaper samples. 
  • Different coloured pieces of card. 
  • Fabric samples. 
  • Woollen blankets and throws. 
  • Ironed duvet covers. 
  • Jumpers. 
  • Trays.
  • Wooden flooring samples.
  • Marble.
  • Notepads.


Whilst I think styling something nicely is important there is no way that we can ever make things perfect and that's fine. Even brand new products still have marks and imperfections. When you're photographing something and looking at it in great detail for hours on end it's all too easy to get hung up on those imperfections, when in reality 99% of people won't even notice or care. 


What's your best advice for photographing used beauty products?

R x

Check out: Rhyme & Ribbons

Rebecca WarrinerPhotography