The Seven Selfie Commandments

Failing to get a good selfie can lead to anything from mild frustration to quite the spell of insecurity. Wondering how models, celebrities and It-bloggers get these perfect selfies? It’s not just luck. Read on for our 7 tips and tricks that guarantee you a flawless result.

It’s been a wonderfully narcissistic two years since selfies formally came onto the scene and somewhere along the way we’ve stopped seeing them as such, and accepted selfies for what they really are – a chance to take a photo of yourself exactly the way you want, until you’re happy with it, that if executed judiciously, can be a fine piece of work. One that you can use for your profile picture across social media, Whatsapp and so on. With keeping the below principles in mind when you embark on your selfie-taking, you’ll have a bank of perfect selfies in no time.

1. THINK BACKGROUND FIRST
This first point cannot be stressed enough. Start by considering your background before you cruelly end up with the perfect face shot ruined by an overflowing laundry basket in the background, hinting at your lack of domesticity. Bathrooms in general, utilities, bins, appliances, or awkward, unintentional photobombs are all to be avoided. If you aren’t somewhere cool, simply find a stark white wall.

2. GO HEAVY ON SKIN-PERFECTING MAKEUP, BUT LIGHT ON COLOURS
A seamless complexion, like that of blogger Negin Mirsalehi below, is the cornerstone of the perfect selfie, and that requires a good heavy-duty concealer to even out skin tone and hide imperfections that get accentuated by the camera. On the contrary, heavy-made eyes as well as bronzer, heavily pencilled eyebrows and bold lips will look like ‘too much’. It is.

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3.THOU SHALL NOT POUT
Apart from it just being a huge girlie-photo cliché, selfie cliché, and all-around cliché, pouting in photos (aka “duck face”) will always look like you’re trying too hard, which is off-putting. Want some lip volume? Use a bit of gloss. There’s also pouting ever so slightly – let’s say a 5% pout – so that it doesn’t look like you’re pouting, but this requires expert restraint and should only be attempted with practice.   

4. EXPERIMENT WITH LIGHTING
One cannot underestimate the difference lighting makes. There’s a reason that on model shoots, a bevy of different lights are used and the models hold an intrusive light reflector. Bad light – and random haggardising shadows appear on your face. Good light and you look like you’ve just had a very expensive facial.

5. TAKE IT EASY, GIVE IT TIME
A relaxed face is a beautiful face. A tense, my-life-depends-on-the-outcome-of-this-selfie one is not.
Usually, we want to have a selfie sesh in that window of time between when you’ve finished getting ready and have to leave the house. This is when we create our best work. Case in point: give yourself extra time so that you can take enough shots to get the one and that you’re not late to meet your friends. I can testify that being significantly late because you were at home taking selfies will strip you of your dignity.

6. REACH FAR AND WIDE
The farther away your shot, the slimmer your face appears and the less “glaringly obvious selfie” your shot looks. That is all.

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7. LOOK TO A GOOD EDITING APP
If all else fails (lighting was clearly not up to par) you aren’t happy with the quality of your selfie – and even Valencia isn’t capable of evening out your skin tone, fret not. There are apps for that. Popular ones that will instantly rejuvenate and beautify you include Perfect365, Facetune (above) and Photo Wonder.

Lastly, investing in an app and taking the time to produce a good selfie is fine. Those weird-looking arm-extending apparatuses are not. At least for 2014.

*Care to make a £1,000 with your expert selfies? With Debenhams’#foundit Selfie Campaign you can win £1,000 just by uploading your selfie with a gift you found at Debenhams. Find out more here.

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