What Is TikTok’s Passport Makeup Trend?October 23, 2023
Ten years ago, just after my 17th birthday, I was urgently in need of a new passport photo to be able to go on a family trip planned for later that year. When the day of my appointment came around, I was feeling (and looking, TBH) a tad under the weather, but if I didn’t take my photo and renew my passport ASAP, it wouldn’t be valid for my vacation. And so, I was doomed to a fate of flashing TSA agents an embarrassing, makeup-free picture of my teenage self for an entire decade.
When it came time to renew my passport this year, I was not going to let history repeat itself. Enter: TikTok’s passport makeup trend. The concept of passport makeup took off when TikTok user Georgia Barratt shared a viral tutorial of the soft glam look she rocked when she went to get her passport photo taken. Ahead, we’re breaking down how to try the passport makeup trend yourself, so you’ll have a passport photo you’ll actually be proud of.
What Is Passport Makeup?
As mentioned above, passport makeup refers to a TikTok trend based on a viral soft glam makeup tutorial one user shared ahead of taking her passport photo. Barratt’s multi-step routine consisted of sculpting her face with contour makeup, grooming her brows, overlining her lips and more. The result was a makeup look that looked striking with the head-on angle and flash lighting of a passport photo.
How to Get the Passport Makeup Look
Step 1: Prep With Primer
Like any good makeup look, passport makeup starts with giving yourself a base of primer to guarantee that your makeup goes on smooth and stays looking flawless. Try the NYX Professional Makeup Face Freezie Cooling Primer + Moisturizer for a hydrating formula that will help combat winter dryness.
Step 2: Apply Foundation
Next, reach for a full-coverage foundation with a soft matte finish to even out your skin and control shine while still looking natural. We love the newly updated Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation. Available in 50 shades, it is enriched with nourishing skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
Step 3: Add Concealer
Concealer, such as the YSL Beauty All Hours Precise Angles Longwear Concealer, plays an important role in highlighting and sculpting your face, which is essential given the straight-on angle of a passport photo. You can dab concealer anywhere you’d like, but generally, opting for a slightly lighter shade to conceal your under-eyes is a good place to start. You can also use it to define your eyebrows and highlight the bridge of your nose. If you have any blemishes or spots you want to cover up, try a shade that matches your foundation.
Step 4: Contour
Contouring may just be the most important step in a passport makeup tutorial, since the light and the angle of the photo can flatten your features. For a full sculpted contour look, apply makeup to the high points of your cheeks, above your temples, your nose, your chin and your jawline. Then, blend everything with a makeup brush or sponge. The NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick Contour and Highlight Stick makes this step a breeze.
Step 5: Apply Blush and Bronzer
Once you’re done with your base makeup, you’re going to add in blush and, if you want, bronzer to warm up your complexion. Barratt recommends starting with a liquid blush, then setting it with a powder blush (our fave is the Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Blush). You can also add even more warmth and depth to your face by applying bronzer in the spots where you contoured.
Step 6: Groom and Fill In Your Brows
Defined brows frame your face and are another important element of a strong passport makeup look. Opt for an all-in one product that helps you fill in, groom and set your brows, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Volumizing 24H Wear Brow Mascara.
Step 7: Do Your Eye Makeup
You have some flexibility with your eye makeup — you can do any look you’d like, just try to consider what will enhance your eyes and make them pop on camera. The siren eye trend is a popular choice for passport makeup, or you can always go with a timeless wing. Finish with a swipe of mascara, like the Valentino Beauty Magnificent Mascara.
Step 8: Overline Your Lips and Top With Gloss
Pump up the fullness of your lips by overlining them, a classic makeup artist trick. One of our go-to lip liners is the Urban Decay 24/6 Glide-On Waterproof Lip Liner. Once you’ve applied your lip liner and blended it out, top it off with a coat of shiny gloss, such as the INN Beauty Project Cinnamon Bun Glaze Lip Oil.