Asian woman holding passport at the airport

All the strict guidelines that go into taking a passport photo or any other government-issued ID do not leave you much room to fix yourself up. Do you want to know how to be photogenic for that one photo you're stuck with for the next decade?

Eyelash extensions? Forget it. Angular contouring to highlight your cheekbones? Better bring your makeup remover. Mostly, you're left to work with what your momma gave you – with a few minor and barely noticeable adjustments. Yes, getting a good ID pic is possible with these tips.

Groom Your Brows

Makeup artists put a lot of attention into grooming, shaping, and coloring the eyebrows because they can do so much for your appearance. Well-groomed eyebrows can accentuate the eyes, enhance your face shape, and help you get the look you want. For your passport photo, keep it simple by filling in sparse areas and brushing your brows for a neat look. You may opt to use a light-tinted eyebrow gel to soften dark brows, which can look quite strong in photos.

Highlight the Bridge of Your Nose

Let’s face it. Not everyone has the time or patience to contour their face – or the skill to do it well. If you’re wondering how to look photogenic for this shoot, you can add a bit of highlight on the bridge of your nose. Nothing too defined, sparkly, or over-the-top – just a dab along the bone. You can use champagne-colored eyeshadow on or a metallic bronzer for the out there. It will give your entire face – not just the nose – a brighter, lifted look.

Use an Eyebrow Pen Instead of Eyeliner

If you usually define your eyes with eyeliner, consider switching to an eyebrow pen instead. Use it to enhance your eye shape or even create a subtle cat-eye. The taupe shade of most eyebrow pens looks more natural in photos than eyeliners which can be heavy and dark. You want to look as as possible in your passport photo, or you might get flagged at the airport.

Use White Eyeliner to Look More Awake

Dark eyeliner tends to make the eyes look heavier and even smaller. An alternative is to use white eyeliner instead. You can use it to draw on your lower waterline and help your eyes look refreshed, bigger, and more awake. No white in your eyeliner box? A pearlescent eyeshadow stick will also work.

Stain Your Lips

Overlined lips and overpowering shades can look unnatural on a passport photo. If you want more color to your lips, use a lip stain for a more subdued look. You could also use regular lipstick in a shade closest to your natural lip color (your perfect nude) and dab it on with your finger.

Press Your Tongue Against Your Palate

This old modeling trick does wonders for the bone structure and neckline. A practice known as “mewing,” this hack is a facial restructuring technique popularized by British orthodontist Dr. Mike Mew. Doing it regularly reportedly helps realign the teeth and define the jawline. While not much evidence proves its long-term efficacy, doing it for a photo makes a huge difference.

Work on Your Posture

Unlocking how to be photogenic can be as simple as sitting up straight. Improving your posture, in general, has many health benefits, including increased energy, a healthy spine, properly aligned joints, and decreased muscle fatigue. It also makes you look slimmer and taller. Even if passport photos only show your face, neck, and shoulders, good posture still matters. It can make you look smart, alert, and more put-together.

Smile with Your Eyes

How to be photogenic when not allowed to smile? Use your eyes. Smiling with your eyes is simple: focus on an object, in this case, the lens, and very subtly squint at it. It adds a glint to your face that brings the photo to life.

Even if you’re not smiling, having a healthy mouth is still imperative. Boost your confidence by brushing your teeth with closeup Red Hot Toothpaste, which keeps cavities away and leaves your breath fresh.

Don’t Hesitate to Blot

By the time it's your turn to have your passport photo taken, you’ll likely be oily, haggard, and a little bit over it. But this is not the time to give up! In this moment of truth, don’t hesitate to take the time to blot your face with powder or oil-absorbing paper. The photographer will try to rush you but pay no attention: it takes 15 seconds to do.

Create Flattering Shadows

Are you willing to use bronzer for this occasion? If your answer is yes, use it to create flattering shadows. Don't sweep it across your face like you normally do. Take a fluffy brush and pat it on the bronzer. Tap the brush to get rid of excess product, then sweep it on the sides of your face and under your jawline to create depth and definition.

Powder Lightly

Be careful about applying too much powder at the last minute. You may end up looking too white, too matte, or too flat. Just dab it on your T-zone and other oily areas, such as the sides of your nose and inner cheeks. by spritzing on a face mist.

Go for a Natural Hairstyle

This is not the time to experiment with new hairstyles. Go for a clean and simple look that you’re used to wearing, like a low ponytail, parted in the middle, or a nice blowout. Use TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum to add extra shine and get rid of frizz.

Wear a Dark Neutral

Most passport photos require a plain, white backdrop. Avoid wearing anything too light or you’ll disappear into the background. Do opt for dark neutrals like gray, navy, tan, or even black. Save your Hawaiian shirts and logo tees for another day.

Sanitize Before You Go!

Last but not least, before leaving the photo station. Use Lifebuoy Ethyl Alcohol 70% Solution to get rid of any germs you may have picked up and keep you healthy for your upcoming trips. Knowing how to be photogenic won't mean anything if you're unwell.

Master these tips on how to be photogenic for a passport photo (or any other government-issued ID) by practicing them at home before the big day. Simply sit against a blank wall, prop your phone on a tripod, and activate the self-timer. We know you know how!