Make-up for pass / leg / driving license

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It is very rare that you are satisfied with your photo that you have on the passport / identification / driving license, we have probably all been through that.

To succeed reasonably, you must first and foremost prepare in the right way. It's not just about looking good in reality, the trick is to look good on a black and white card!

Update: Click here to see my updated post about this.

1. Skip the blush.
If you have pink blush on your cheeks, this will only be a gray shadow in the picture, and your cheeks will then sag.

2. Shading and highlighter
In order not to look flat and wide in the picture, shading and highlighter are important. Light up places that bulge outwards, such as the nose bone, cheekbones, forehead and chin. And put a darker shadow on deep parts such as the sides of the nasal bone, under the cheekbone, in the temples and along the jawbone / sides of the chin.

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3. Concealer
All small defects (eg pimples, lines, pits, pigment spots) are much more visible if you have light skin and take black and white photos. The skin turns white while all blemishes turn gray and black. Cover / light up the bags under the eyes or whatever it is you have that will be visible in the picture.

4. Avoid a lot of eye shadow
Different shades and color changes are just like a big gray spot in the picture. In addition, these black and white images often become a bit shady, and then the make-up looks slightly uneven as well. A black sweep goes home on a black and white fashion shoot, but you will only look criminal if you have it on your passport / leg / driver's license.

5. Visible eyes
The eyes tend to disappear a bit on black and white cards if you do not make them up. Paint the waterline light and mark the lash lines with black eyeliner / a little eye shadow so your eyes immediately look bigger and sharper! You can also add a little brown eye shadow in the globe line and lighten up in the corner of the eye and under the brow, for a more "popping" effect.

6. Neutral lips
Red lips look dark gray in a black and white image, it can be a bit cool, but if you want more discreet lips, I recommend not painting them at all.

7. Eyebrows
Do not forget to put a little extra care on the eyebrows this day, they usually look pretty good on this type of card and if you are also discreetly made up, they take up even more space. Well-shaped eyebrows with a little brow wax on so that they are kept in place, is what I recommend!

Here is today's simple make-up, as I looked today when I took my picture before the theory test:


White eyeliner along the waterline.
Black smoky eyeliner along the upper and lower lash lines.
A little brown shadow along the globe line and at the end of the lower lash line.
Neutral lips, filled eyebrows and no blush, just sun powder and a light concealer that I had instead of highlighter.

makeup-black and white photo


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A rather dull look in color, but it does well in black and white. The basic make-up plays a big role!

I also had about this face, you should preferably not smile, so I just pulled minimally on the smiley face to look a little nice;)

Speaking of which, I actually have a make-up that is completely contrary to all these principles on my passport! I had not prepared before, but worked right opposite the police station and spontaneously went there after work to get a new passport.

Then I had a colorful party sweep around the eyes, quite a lot of blush and also I was tired and the basic makeup did not sit as well after a day in the classy restaurant kitchen. I look like a really tired gangster on that card haha!


By the way, I passed the test too! :)

Now there is only the last (and most difficult) part left, the drive-up. So keep your fingers crossed for a while longer!

Hugs to you and thank you for all the good luck greetings!

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Helena Amiley
I write mostly about beauty but also offer glimpses from the entrepreneurial life and the construction of our own camper van. Vanlife here we come!


  1. Oh what I wish I had found here and read this before I had to retake my passport photo last spring / summer !! The shadows around my nostrils and around my nose ruined the whole picture so it looks like I have a GIANT nose and had chosen a little extra makeup around my eyes too! :( The ID card looks exactly the same… unfortunately

  2. Know this is an old post but saw it on the side here on the blog and had to click me in here! Great and thought-provoking tips - even though I always get really damn (excuse the language) on ID cards and passport cards, it's something I've never tested and this gives me liiiiite hope that my driver's license can maybe be saved haha. By the way, I think you looked incredibly cute and a little younger here! Kind of like you were still in high school haha (positively). Very cute in blonde hair simply! ^^ (hope you don't mind)

    Hug Miss 22

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