It’s a natty night out with your #bae and you’re feeling fabulous and fly, which can only mean one thing – time to indulge in some Instagram spamming. You swivel the smartphone screen around and … wait, hold up, what’s with the pockmarks pitting your cheeks? It’s like the pores have been magnified three-fold or more. Nobody’s double-tapping on that.

Thankfully, this scary scenario is a beauty blunder that’s easily circumvented with these tricks that should snag you the patch-free and picture-perfect skin worthy of an Instagram #CelebCouple on the calibre of say, Kylie and Tyga:

Massage the truth. Remember, puffiness does not a pretty picture make, so you really do need to prep your face an hour or two prior to a date. To that end, you can’t find a more enthusiastic endorser of so-called sculpting serums than yours truly, which works like magic in ridding me of water retention.

Most of these next-gen serums have been carefully calibrated to be used in conjunction with massaging motions to provide a “lifting” effect – no needles needed. Ask the counter staff for the specifics, but in general the idea is to drain away bulges and bloatedness by pressing up along the jawline, always taking care to smooth upwards against the forces of gravity. Beauty bonus: This mini massage boosts blood circulation for a flirty flush in your cheeks, which means you’re getting a headstart in your makeup.

Matte is bad. A #wefie taken a few inches away from the camera will pick up all the terrible telltale signs of shall we say, exuberantly applied makeup – and nothing screams “fake!” as loudly as the heavily Kontoured cheeks favoured by the Kardashian clan. (Unless that’s the look you’re going for, of course, in which case please proceed.)

For the rest of us who don’t want to look pale, pasty and overly powdered next to our paramours, the trick to a “natural” wefie is to stick with liquids or creams, as these translate better in close-up shots. You want to find a foundation that’s sort of like the Goldilocks of makeup – sheer enough to read as “real” skin, yet sturdy enough to hold up to snuff until you’ve stumbled back into bed. A tall order, we know, but check out this list of our favourite fluid foundies to see if anything catches your fancy.

Pair your fluid foundation with say, a coral blusher in cream form, so there’s no jarring juxtaposition between the textures of the tints on your face. (Layering a powdered blush over a liquid base and vice versa is also a sure-fire recipe for “pilling”, and we want to avoid flakiness as far as possible.)

Mineral makeup makes for poor photos. By the same token, skip “natural” powder formulas fortified with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (yup, you’ll probably recognise this dynamic duo on the labels of your sunscreen). Against the fierce flare of flash photography, the ray-reflective properties of said sunscreen ingredients can read as bleached and blotchy on film.

That being said, of course there’s a place in the sun for mineral makeup powders; they’re especially useful as an additional buffer against UV rays during the day. All you need to do is to whip out your compact of choice whenever you feel shine creeping up, press the puff liberally all over your face, and you’ll be recharging your skin’s defence against the sun at the same time. Remember: Good for daytime use, not so neat for night.

Right, then. Congrats on successfully laying the “foundation” of your makeup regime. With any luck, you’ll be pretty as a picture. Say cheese!

Want more? Get more bang for your beauty buck with these top tips to enhancing the efficacy of your lunchtime appointment with a facialist, and purge your pores by mixing your very own DIY rinse-off face mask – using a most unexpected ingredient indeed. Get your daily dose of beauty at