How To Be Beautiful: Get the red-carpet ready look


Tonight, another stage in the awards season's red-carpet relay, the Baftas, takes place. Tomorrow, we will pore over the photos, envying flawless complexions and exemplary bone structure.

The trickery involved in creating, or at least finessing, these qualities for the benefit of a camera is of a different cosmetic order to everyday techniques. Triple the quantities of slap involved for a start; what's understated in a photo may well look absurdly artificial in the flesh.

This distinction is lost on some. It figures that reality TV stars tend to favour an exaggerated version of "photo make-up", stubbornly sculpting in higher cheekbones and redrafting lip lines, as if all life were directed towards a lens.

Nonetheless, there are pointers to be cherry-picked. Things that we civilians generally don't bother with because we consider life too short: primers, highlighters and super-fine finishing powders are all essentials in producing camera-worthy skin that also translates happily into a world not bisected by a viewfinder.