For those of you who have been following the glamorous Cannes Film Festival closely, you may have noticed a few things besides the mega-watt celebrities (Julia! George!) and the stunning gowns that have been hitting red carpet after red carpet—like how damn good these movie stars and models look in pictures. Sure, it’s these A-listers's jobs to look fabulous at all times, but hair, make-up, and styling teams aside, there is something about knowing your angles and working them to your advantage when the light bulbs flash. We spoke to celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson, who works with Chrissy Teigen, Chanel Iman, Julianne Hough, and Olivia Culpo, on exactly what you need to do to look your best in pictures.
Pull Your Arms Back
You may have noticed the bevy of woman, who put their hands on their hips in your Instagram feed, and while it may look silly, there is something to this trick, explains Patrickson. "Angle your arm away from your body, so that it’s not squished and kind of pushing all the skin flat," she says.
If you’re unclear how to do this, follow the silhouette of your outfit. "If you’re wearing something with an empire waist, don't put your hand on your hip because you would be cutting off the floating bottom of the dress; instead, just pull your arm back and let it fall on your side,” Patrickson advises (see: Iman, above). "If you're wearing a dress or pants with a natural waist, then the hand on the hip works, but if it's lower, then put your hand in a lower spot or in a pocket (see: Lily Aldridge). Still, don’t try to look too pose-y because "if you feel really uncomfortable, you can usually tell, and there’s nothing worse than that," Patrickson adds.
Pay Attention to What You Do with Your Legs
"Standing at a slight angle and bending one leg is a very flattering," says Patrickson. Another option? Cross your legs, but "make sure that when you cross your feet, you have a bit of a space between your legs, not too much where it looks like you have to wee, but enough; otherwise, you do sort of look like a flamingo"(see: Iman). If you happen to be sitting, Patrickson suggests "slightly lifting up on your toes a little, so that you"re not squishing your thighs." Also, she says remember to "move your legs to one side because no one wants to see up your dress or skirt."
Raise Your Chin
To get rid of what Patrickson calls a turkey chin, "tilt your head up and sideways," she says. Choose your side based on which you like best—test pictures help. Still not convinced you look like a swan? "Some of my girls lift their tongue to the roof of their mouth to pull everything taut. It absolutely gets rid of the double chin."
Frame Your Face
If you are someone who likes wearing their hair down, be careful about "hair curtains." "When you are doing a straight-on shot, a few pieces of hair around your face are lovely, but you don't want to have so much that you can literally just see the tip of your nose," she says.
"Personality and a smile always, always make a picture look like it’s got some life in it," she says. "Of everyone out there, I actually love Julia Roberts because I don't think I've ever seen her on a red carpet, where she's not bursting out laughing. She's not taking herself too seriously. Yes, she's on a red carpet and it is a fabulously glamorous moment, but it's also a big world out there and that is way more important."