6 Tips for Looking Better in Selfies and Boosting Self-Confidence

By: Allan E. Wulc, MD September 17, 2018 Category: General

Before a patient comes in to learn about any sort of aesthetic procedure, we always ask them to bring in photos from various stages of their life. This allows us to analyze the differences in the lines, curves, and contours—and ultimately, it helps us pinpoint areas of concern and turn back the clock in the most natural way possible.

The big issue I’ve noticed lately, however, is that patients—even young ones—are bringing in selfies and pointing out every little thing that they hate about their face. The problem? Selfies, taken incorrectly, can be an unwarranted self-confidence crusher and make you think you need to fix all sorts of flaws, when, in reality, the real flaw is often your cell phone camera!

The thing about phones with wide angle lenses is that they totally distort your face. The lense was made to take pictures of scenery—and when that scenery is you, at arm’s length, there ends up being a tremendous exaggeration in the size of things that are close up (your nose) compared to features that are farther away (your eyes and ears). Because of this, your nose looks enormous, your eyes look like they’re set too close together, and, if you have even subtle jowls, they end up looking like sacks pulling down both sides of your lips—not exactly things you want to feature!

But rest assured, if your goal is to look incredible in selfies, there are simple fixes—both in and out of the aesthetic surgeon’s office—to help you achieve that. Here are my go-to tips for looking younger, more vibrant, and more like you!

1. Get a selfie stick
The best way to take a selfie is at more than 4 feet away—the distance that someone
would normally stand when looking at you. I don’t know about you, but my arms aren’t 4 feet long! That’s why it’s a great idea to invest in a selfie stick, which you can buy for less than $20. This accessory also allows you to easily take selfies with your rear-facing camera, which has better resolution and lense quality than the front-facing camera most people use for selfies.

2. Strike a (natural) pose
Angles matter! And for some reason, when we take selfies, we tend to stick out our chins, unnaturally tilt our heads, or angle the camera from above. The problem: Whatever facial feature is closest to the camera will appear extra large. For a selfie that looks more like the real you, keep your chin and forehead equidistant from the lense. The one exception: If your goal is to downplay a wrinkly neck, long nose, or large chin, angling the camera a bit higher may be more flattering. We love this selfie of Middle Anna.

3. Upgrade your phone, or buy a lense attachment
Cameras on newer phones tend to have less barrel and pincushion distortion—the things that cause your facial features to look out of whack—so upgrading to a newer model will certainly help. Still, it won’t prevent that distortion altogether. If you’re really serious about selfies, you can actually purchase a lense attachment for your phone’s camera. Companies like Moment create a variety of lenses, including a portrait lense (the best option for selfies), that help your phone function like a high-end dSLR camera for a fraction of the cost.

4. Find some natural light
Indoor lighting can be harsh and give your skin a yellowish hue, or highlight imperfections like undereye circles and blemishes. A quick fix for a more natural glow: Turn off the lights and head over to a window (or outside) before you snap your selfie. But make sure the sun’s not shining directly in your face—your best bet is natural, indirect light so you don’t end up squinting or looking washed out. That’s why “golden hour” (the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset) can be perfect. When lighting is less than ideal, opt for a foundation or BB cream (a less-heavy combo of moisturizer and foundation) to help even out skin tone.

5. Smooth skin from the inside out
There are some things that good angles, lighting, and selfie sticks just can’t fix—and that’s okay! We all age, but there are ways to do it more gracefully. A great entry-level aesthetic procedure is an injection of Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin, all of which remove wrinkles by weakening certain muscles and allowing the skin to relax and regain its former wrinkle-free state. For deeper wrinkle folds and thin lips, various facial filler procedures are a perfect way to smooth out or plump up your face.

6. Opt for a natural looking tuck or lift
When gravity is really winning the battle, and camera tricks can’t help, there are a wide range of tucks and lifts that can target your specific trouble spots. For a more youthful neck with a better contour, consider a neck lift. For droopy lids that hide your gorgeous eyes, a brow lift is in order. And for an all-around facial refresh that will really turn back the clock, a midface lift or facelift could be your best bet.

Allan E. Wulc, MD

About the Author

Allan E. Wulc, MD is the lead surgeon at W Cosmetic Surgery and is Quadruple Board Certified with over 25 years experience in cosmetic and plastic surgery. Dr. Wulc is a leader in his field and pioneer of new surgical techniques. His work has been featured in lectures, presentations, and publications worldwide. Find out more about Dr. Wulc.