13 Driver’s License Makeup Tips You Need To Know

Plus a bonus tip you can’t ignore!


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This post is all about driver’s license makeup tips you can use for your ID photo.

girl applying drivers license makeup

Makeup isn’t a must for a pretty driver’s license photo, but a good makeup look can definitely make a difference.

Related: This Is How To Take A Good Driver’s License Photo, Plus 6 More Tips For The Perfect ID

I studied some of the best-looking driver’s licenses, passports, and ID photos and noticed some makeup similarities.

Many girls were using the same colors and techniques in their makeup.

Coincidence? I think not!

These girls know what they’re doing and now you will too!

So, without further ado, here are 13 driver’s license makeup tips to help you look even better in your driver’s license photo.

Driver’s License Makeup Tips

1. Natural glam is the way to go

One of the most obvious makeup similarities among the best ID photos is a natural makeup look.

Nothing too glam, nothing over-the-top.

A natural and simple look will enhance your looks without making you look like a different person.

This is so important for any ID photo!

Here are some tips to achieve a natural makeup look for your ID:

  • Avoid bright, flashy colors
  • Go for more subtle and neutral tones like browns and dusty pinks
  • Stay far, far away from glitter
  • Remember you want to enhance your features, not change them

2. Avoid raccoon eyes

Directly related to our last driver’s license makeup tip is this: avoid raccoon eyes.

How do you get raccoon eyes?

When you wear too much eyeliner!

While eyeliner is a good way to make your eyes look more interesting, you need to be super careful with it.

Too much eyeliner, particularly black eyeliner on your waterline can make your eyes look much smaller (source).

To avoid this, try a simple winged eyeliner instead, or use a color other than black on your waterline.

Here are some eyeliner tips for your ID:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of a simple winged eyeliner
  • If you need to wear eyeliner in your waterline, go for a dark brown instead of black
  • Beige eyeliner can really help to open up your eyes (white may look too obvious)

3. Say YES to BOLD brows

Another similarity I noticed among the best IDs and driver’s license photos, is strong, bold brows.

But not sharpie brows.

There’s a difference!

Here are some tips for achieving the perfect brows:

  • Don’t over pluck your brows
  • Follow your natural brow shape — a dramatic arch can make you look surprised or even angry
  • Use a brow gel to help your eyebrows stay in place
  • Try soap brows for a fuller look

4. Go easy on the highlight

Tip number 4 for your driver’s license makeup is to go easy in the highlight.

As in, very easy.

Too much highlighter can quickly make you look like a disco ball in your photo… which is never a good look.

Check out this photo Bretman Rock posted showing why too much highlighter is a bad choice for an ID:

You’ve been warned!

5. Shine be gone!

If your skin tends to be oily, there’s another kind of highlighter you need to worry about — the natural kind.

That’s why tip number 5 is to keep shine under control.

Luckily, you can do this easily with oil-absorbing sheets that you can pick up from your local beauty supply store.

I tried these sheets in my teen years and I was horrified (and satisfied) by just how much oil they picked up.

They’re super effective and your makeup won’t smudge when you use them.

In a post about the best makeup for passport photos, experts Colette Casher and Kierra Lanice recommend applying translucent setting powder to your T-zone to reduce shine by absorbing any excess oil. You can read more on Passport-photo.online.

6. Use the RIGHT kind of lashes

In many of the driver’s license photos I looked at, it was obvious that the girls were wearing false lashes.

This is a smart trick because natural eyelashes don’t show up easily in ID photos.

Using false eyelashes is an easy way to get around this problem and make your eyes pop.

Just be sure you choose the right ones!

Here are some tips for choosing the right kind of lashes:

  • Don’t choose lashes that are too dramatic — these can easily make your eyes look much smaller
  • Wispy lashes can make your eyes look really pretty
  • Use this guide to help you figure out which kind of lashes are best for your eye shape
  • If you aren’t using falsies, apply enough mascara so your eyelashes actually show up on camera.


Another great driver’s license makeup tip is to go for a nude/neutral lip.

You might be tempted to go for a bold lip color, but this can draw too much attention to your lips and away from the rest of your look.

Instead, a nude/neutral color will make your lips look nice without being too much.

Gloss is a great idea because it’ll give your lips shine even if your photo is black and white.

But, if you really want to add color to your lips, choose a nude/neutral-colored lipstick, a tinted gloss, or a lip stain.

8. Add a tiny bit of shimmer

Driver’s license makeup tip number 8 is to add a tiny bit of shimmer to the inner corners of your eyes.

This is a subtle, but really pretty touch that’ll instantly brighten up your look.

9. Blush is a plus

Blush is a great way to add a healthy glow to your face.

Don’t be afraid to include it in your makeup look!

Here are some tips for applying blush:

  • Be light-handed, too much blush can give you a clown-like look
  • Choose the right color for your complexion — this makes a world of a difference!
  • Apply blush in the right place. Follow this tutorial for blush application tips.

10. Conceal Your Eye Bags

In this post, we talk about the importance of sleep for a good driver’s license photo.

But if you absolutely could not get enough sleep the night before your photo, concealer will be your best friend.

Apply concealer to hide your eye bags and make it look like you slept peacefully for hours!

Sleeping beauty who??

Eye gels and creams are also really helpful for reducing puffiness from your eyes and making you look more awake.

Check out this highly-rated one from Good Molecules.

11. Swipe Up!

Applying your makeup in upward strokes is one of the many techniques to give you a more lifted look for your driver’s license picture.

Here are some other makeup tips to give yourself a mini facelift (according to Instyle.com):

  • blend your contour upwards
  • focus on putting mascara on the center of your lashes
  • don’t contour your forehead too much

12. Beware of ghosts

As with any kind of flash photography, you want to avoid flashback at all costs.

Flashback is the white cast you see on your face (typically under your eyes) when you take a photo with flash.

This gives you a ghost-like appearance and will instantly ruin your license photo.

The worst part is that you won’t know your makeup will give you flashback until you take your photo — and then it’s too late. (That’s why this tip is so important).

So how do you avoid flashback?

Here are some tips:

  • don’t use sunscreen with a white cast: I use this one from Amazon which has literally no white cast and kinda smells like citrus 🙂
  • avoid translucent setting powder: using a colored powder instead can help to reduce flashback
  • choose your concealer carefully: be sure your concealer isn’t too light or you’re going to have some problems

13. Say Cheese! 😀

This may sound cheesy, but it’s really true — a smile is the best makeup a girl can wear.

So, as long as you’re allowed to smile in your driver’s license photo, don’t be afraid to!

A smile will brighten up your photo and instantly make you look, and even feel better.

Besides, you’re getting your driver’s license/ permit!

That’s definitely something worth smiling about.

BONUS TIP: Practice before the big day

As we talk about in this post, you should always practice your driver’s license look before the big day!

This is so so important, especially for your driver’s license makeup.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a makeup look turn out completely different from what I planned in my head.

In a bad way.

Practicing your makeup look helps you see what works and what doesn’t BEFORE the big day.

This is a great time to try out different colors and techniques, and test for flashback.

That way, you can make changes and choose the look that’s best for you.

This is a tip you can’t ignore!

To help you practice, we created a cute driver’s license template that you can get for free!

Just enter your name and email and we’ll send two versions right to your inbox!


You don’t need makeup to have a pretty driver’s license photo, but it can definitely make a difference.

In this post, you’ll learn 13 helpful driver’s license makeup tips to help you take a prettier driver’s license photo.

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