Have you ever wondered if you really need a "HD" foundation when having your photo taken? If you are new makeup artist, have you often wondered "Do I need a special HD foundation for my kit?"

When it comes to makeup and foundations, does the term "HD" (High Def) really matter? Or is it a marketing buzz word that the beauty industry and "Youtubers" have created? What does it really mean to have "HD" makeup anyway?

I have rallied up some of my favorite working makeup artists from around the globe to tell us what their favorite foundations are for their "High Def (HD)" camera work. From weddings to movies and everything in between, we are keeping it real here on Glossible.

You may be surprised at some of the replies!


Honestly, the whole HD thing is a scam! Don't believe that nonsense that you need a special foundation for High Def. 

Getting the complexion perfect for camera work is really about the client, the production and the well as me, the artist. Skin should look like it belongs to my talent or client. It should look like it's part of their overall being.

The key is getting the skin to look as natural as possible. No cake face. There is nothing "high def" about cake face. Cake face is bad.



I've been using RCMA on the TV show "Hit the Floor" and that's filmed in HD. It really depends on my subject and what look I am doing.

Recently I've been using Chanel Aqua Lumier on my bigger celebs for their red carpet moments and it looks so natural and photographs beautifully.

Face Atelier is always a fav as well because I can adjust the colors if I need to.


My main goal is to get the complexion to look like second skin.

The right foundation, the right color and the right application method is so important as well as the overall health of the skin...which is why I preach such good skin care routines. Your makeup is as good as your canvas! :)

The look I am trying to achieve, the person's skin tone and a host of other factors play a role in what foundation I reach for. The weather also plays a huge part of the decision making process. If I'm working in a dry, cold climate or a hot and humid one those all play a role in my decision making process. All of these things are important as a professional makeup artist.

What I put under the skin can be just as important...Primers, moisturizers and serums can all affect the overall finish of my complexion. So knowing what use can be impactful to the overall finished product.

Lighting conditions and where they will be photographed play a huge part in the process as well. Choosing the right "HD" type foundation is based on all of these factors. What I use in a photo studio with controlled lighting may be completely different than what I use on a bride's wedding day where the lighting may vary throughout the day.


For wedding days, I use my oil free, water based “Photo Finish Foundation” for brides because it wears like iron on long wedding days. I also like the soft velvet matte finish it gives on digital cameras with low lighting situations on wedding days. It’s also free of "chemical" SPF.


For my darker, Indian skin tones, gal pal Vivian Baker has turned me on to William Tuttle and I am really loving them now.

I like the Graftobian Cream foundations for my kit. There is all kinds of undertones and takes up less space. I love the finish I can get, especially with more mature skin tones.




My go to foundations are MUFE Hi Def – the range of colors is limitless and the coverage is flawless.

For a dewier look I like to add a dab of Laura Mercier Secret Finish.

As a makeup artist I like to work smart, so the Graftobian Cream Palettes can also double as a contour and highlighting kit so you get everything you need in one palette! It saves so much space in my kit AND they work on virtually every skin type.


People like to have options and makeup artists are no different. I used to work for Prescriptives so I have a custom blend background. But when working with HD, the key is to get the skin to look like skin.

For me, any foundation that I use has to have a way for me to customize it to mine and my talents’ needs. I have several options in my kit for foundations and what I use also depends on what I am doing and what type of skin the talent has. I work with a lot of dry and dehydrated skin types due to the type of climate I work in, so most of my foundations of choice are silicone based.


Face Atelier is typically my go-to foundation and I have been using it for at least six years. I started using this foundation because they offered adjusters to customize the foundation. I use Face Atelier for weddings, beauty, editorial and commercial work.

For anything runway and film I gravitate towards Graftobian’s HD Glamour Creams.

For airbrushing, Temptu Pro is my favorite. I mainly use this one for body coverage, bridal, portraits, and special events. I love that I can also apply their S/B formula by hand. Their ranges of colors are endless and they have adjusters for all of my customizing needs.

I use Temptu’s Dura line, which is alcohol based, for tattoo covering because of its coverage, wear ability and durability. I also love that all of the foundation colors in the S/B line are also in the Dura line.


Getting the skin to look like skin is the key to a beautiful complexion that looks great on any type of camera work.


I like the Graftobian creams because they have nice slip and have a beautiful velvet looking finish. (A little goes a long way). I also love the combination of the creams with their airbrush for extra coverage without looking to heavy.


My main income is movies, so if anything is HD it’s movies. To me, makeup for “HD” is all about the refinement of the foundation as well as the skin of my talent or client.

Pigments in the foundations need to be strong enough to read on camera but it also needs to be “fine” enough to look like skin. Another factor is the lighting tempature of where I am doing makeup and the lighting of where my subject will be.

When I do makeup for movies, my makeup must live and maintain 100+ degree heat for hours. I need the skin to look great for 12-18 hours and have that actor look good in their closeup shots at the end of a long day. That task in itself isn’t always easy. I sometimes mix and combine foundations with other types of special FX products to get the look I need. It really depends on the situation.

My closeups for my movies are not “prints” that can be photoshop’d. My closeups are of a “moving frame” where if I screw up someone’s foundation it’s costly to the film. Continuity is key when working in motion pictures (as well as a host of other problems to overcome) and finding the right texture, color and pigment payoff in my foundation is critical.

“HD” foundation is really about what kind of look I am trying to achieve or what movie I am working on.

Another key factor is usually how long my talent or client can wear it on set. I have clients who can keep everything on their skin and others who cannot because of their skin type or the environment of the working conditions.

When looking for a makeup that is “HD” for my films, I look for superior, sophisticated textures and colors that are as close to my actor’s skin tone as possible. A lot of foundations nowadays run too orange or yellow, so I am always having to correct them with undertone correctors, unfortunately.

When I have limited time on set, I need something that I can work with and have minimal color correcting with toners if I need them. Actors run late, cameras & productions run late so if I am scrambling to do a makeup in 20 minutes, I need something that is going to make my job easier but get the job done right.

Another thing I think is important is finding a foundation where I don’t need to use a powder. Powder texture on the skin in film can read and show up and I don’t like to see that on the screen. Powder is the one thing that can kill the HD “effect”.

Overall getting a real “rawness” to the skin is what HD is about for me.. I have so much makeup in my trailers sometimes because I need so many choices, I’m overwhelmed, LOL! But the key is knowing what to choose in any situation and understanding the texture, color and pigment of the foundation as well as my actors skin.


One of my favorite foundations on my movie sets: Cleau De Peau Fluid Foundation.

One of my latest obsessions are the Becca Ultimate Coverage foundations. I am really enjoying them!

For concealers I use everything, but Cleau De Peau is my standard go to and has been for years. I used that on the movie Amelia with Hillary Swank to give her a “no makeup-makeup” look.


I love foundations with silicone and prefer to use liquid or airbrush for HD.

Products that do “double duty” are super important to me, as well as product that has great pigmentation and a formulation that creates a glow to the skin in a healthy, youthful way.

In HD you can see everything so it is really important to exactly match a skin tone and not cover up or clog up beautiful skin with a ton of unnecessary makeup.


Face Atelier Pro Liquid foundation – great range of color and with their 0+ and 0- formulas you can match any skin tone. It gives the skin an amazing glow, isn’t heavy, blends beautifully and has a build-able coverage.

I love my RCMA Kehoe Palette and use it because it is a wax based formula that is very creamy, blends into the skin and can be sheered out easily. It is great to use for concealer too!

I also carry Make Up For Ever HD in my kit

MAC Face and Body is another product in my kit.

For male grooming I love to use the Temptu Airbrush S/B

Leave a comment below and enter for a chance to win a Graftobian Cream Palette!