If you use your hands in your photos or videos, you’re a hand model. Congrats! So let’s make sure your hands are at their most awesome for Instagram and all your photos.
I get a lot of compliments on how I use my hands in my images. Which sometimes amazes me, because I’ve not been incredibly kind to my hands. I grew up cleaning animal cages, then spent two years running around Puget Sound with machetes before starting grad school. Heck, my left hand, while you can’t see it in most pictures, has a wax burn scar on the top. (Lesson: blow really carefully on your ski wax to put it out, or you’ll get splash back.)
To get confident with my hands, I did two things: I practiced a lot, and upped my skin regimen game. And the skin prep does matter; I can see the difference now when I shoot. So today I’m detailing my prep stuff below so you can try what feels right to you, and next week I’ll talk poses. Because really, having happy hands will make you feel more confident in front of the lens, even if you’re beating your hands up on a regular basis for work.
Also, in this, I try out a face mask – on my hands. (They gave me one; I had to test it.) All for you, dear reader. Let’s do this!
When I started out, I researched hand model tactics. The standard recommendations are basically:
- All the sunscreen, all the time
- Wear gloves outside
- Avoid washing hands as much as possible
- Cover your hands in moisturizer/oil
While I’ve yet to find gloves I like, here’s what I’m using instead so far:
- Elta MD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen. It’s water resistant, lightweight, and not too grody. And, by Elta standards, on the cheap side.
- Atopalm MLE Intensive Moisturizing Cream. I’ve been pretty much living in this stuff ever since it was recommended to me by my medical aesthetician. It’s lightweight, goes on fast, and with little to no smell. It’s fancy intro moisturizer for people who are scared of Sephora.
- Shea butter blends. This is the good stuff. You will be greasy – and you won’t care. If I’m splurging and want a purse-safe option, I get Foxie Cosmetics’s Softer, Softest. If I want a loaded up version, this one’s great, and there are a bunch running around etsy.
- Poetic Blend’s hero oil. My current favorite skin oil, and a little goes a long way. (Also, if possible, get the sample size bottle – it’s not cheap, but then you have a small version for travel without risking your entire freaking $50 purchase.) Yes, it’s not cheap, so I totally get searching around; this is just my current favorite. (There are a billion out there, and Petit Vour has some great sales if you want to stay cruelty free.)
- Bliss Kiss’s unscented nail oil pen. The pen is much easier to use than hero oil, so I can keep one in my purse. Basically, I want oil on my dang hands.
I also was given a face mask by Savannah Bee Company to try out, so of course my immediate reaction was to see if it works on hands.
Short answer: it does. Long answer: it does, but not as well as I’d like.
Savannah Bee Company has a reusable face mask, the White Hibiscus and Royal Jelly Facial Mask Infuser. Basically this was big at the Winter Fancy Food Show; they never had any in stock. (Which you wouldn’t exactly expect at a food show, but it was seriously popular.) I love that it’s dry, so I don’t have to clear it off my face later. (In fact, that’s discouraged. You need to leave it to set in.) It was especially popular as while it was expensive for a DIY face mask at $29, it was reusable five times.
First impression was it’s really pretty! And then you try to put it on your hand.
There is no way to make this less awkward. Because of the holes, there will be gaps – or you’re rearranging things as you go.
Would I get this for my face? Sure! I tried it on my face as well, and my skin felt great the next day. My hands didn’t feel as soft, but I blame having to wash my hands so soon after taking it off. I do wish they had a glove version for hands, though, since this is really hard to keep steady. You’re basically stuck holding your hand super still for the time it’s meant to soak in. And at $29, I’d rather use it for its intended purpose.
Lesson of the day: try stuff, see what works, and drink water. Your photos will thank you.
Savannah Bee Company provided me with free product to test out, and I already owned everything else. All opinions are my own.