UrbanBohemian recently dropped me a line to ask a good question: How can you look good in your driver's license photo? That might sound silly, but how many people actually like their ID photos? I rest my case.

Unlike the women on Top Model, you don't get dozens of chances to take the perfect shot. You get one—two, if you're lucky. On top of that, you're likely to be photographed under DMV-standard fluorescent lights, which have the unfortunate effect of zombie-fying just about anybody who enters their cold glare.

But fear not: There are a few pointers for taking good photos. For my list of dos and don'ts, just


  • Wear foundation or a tinted moisturizer. That'll help diffuse the light more evenly, and blemishes won't pop out.
  • Wear blush on your cheeks. I can't stress this one enough. Without a little color in your cheeks, that fluorescent light will make your skin look sallow.
  • Apply neutral eye shadow and mascara to make your eyes stand out. A little black eyeliner on the inner lash line of your top lid will help define them without looking too Amy Winehouse.
  • Wear a flattering, natural lip color. I recommend wearing a rosy pink lipstick with a dab of gloss on the middle of your bottom lip.
  • Groom your brows. It takes five seconds, but you'll be glad you did.
  • Wear your hair in a way that keeps it off of your face. Better to prepare with a style you like than to have an overworked DMV worker insist that you pull your hair back with a rubber band.


  • Go in bare-faced. Seriously, even if you're a sunscreen-and-Chapstick girl, you'll be glad if you use a dab of blush and lipstick just this once.
  • Go overboard with the makeup. Natural is best.
  • Wear a bold lip color like red, unless that's your signature color.
  • Forget to give a little smile. The hint of one—whether on your lips or in your eyes—can keep b***hface at bay.
  • Wear a shirt whose color is close to your skin tone. It'll wash you out.
  • While we're at it, stay away from turtlenecks. (Trust me, I have the horrifying passport photo to prove it.)
  • Change your hairstyle dramatically. If you have naturally curly hair, don't straighten it just for the photo.
  • Freak out too much. It's just a driver license, after all.