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Selfie Culture Has More Women Seeking to Look Good for Impromptu Photos

Posted: December 19, 2013

Primp, pose, snap … delete? Although it was named word of the year in 2013, Canadian women are not sharing their selfies as often as one might expect. According to a recent CoverGirl survey of Canadian female smartphone users aged 18–49, 59% take two to four pics before landing on one that is share-worthy, and only 13% are actually posting their selfie as their primary profile picture.

Almost half (45%) of women surveyed say that they have, or would, allow a photo to be taken but then would avoid sharing it online. In fact, 28% are actually opting to include someone or something else in their profile pictures, and 19% used a group shot to divert the spotlight.

“Our lives today are documented on screens. From a selfie to the red carpet, all women want to be prepared to transition beautifully from the real to the virtual world,” says Amelie Ducharme, CoverGirl Canada makeup pro. “CoverGirl wants to give women the tools needed to feel on-screen ready, taking the selfie to the next level and turning it into a #covermoment.”

Ducharme explains that a #covermoment is when a person feels their most beautiful and empowered and wants to share the experience with the world. It celebrates the uniqueness in everyone and showcases the times in life when someone feels their most confident, independent and authentic.

And while 45% of women surveyed wish they could have professional stylists to help them with their hair and makeup to get that perfect shot, Ducharme believes women can rock a #covermoment with a few simple tips:

  • Let skin take center stage: Given the opportunity to retouch a profile picture, one third (33%) of women surveyed agreed that “flawless skin” is the most important attribute to showcase. Skip the post-production and create a perfect canvas from the start.
  • Duck face is out, glam smiles are in: According to the survey, when considering which profile picture to post on a dating website, 34% of surveyed women say a casual, natural look is most important while 29% say a great smile will get you noticed. So lose the exaggerated pout (i.e. the “duck face”) and get ready to flash those pearly whites.
  • The eyes have it: From “smizing” to “squinching,” much of the talk around getting the perfect shot focuses on the eyes. In fact, 16% of women surveyed said they adjusted their poses for bigger looking eyes, but Ducharme says there’s no need. “Bold, dark lashes will contrast against the white of your eyes, making them really pop and appear larger,” she notes.

Additionally findings from the CoverGirl survey of Canadian women, which took place from November 25to November 27, 2013, online among 1,014 randomly selected Canadian women aged 18–49 who own a smartphone and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, include:

  • While selfies are most often taken to celebrate a new look (24%) or a new experience (18%), 17% of respondents admit they often or sometimes retouch their selfie photos to enhance the final result.
  • When not feeling on screen ready, one third (32%) of women surveyed have or would move to the back row of a group photo to be less visible, and 31% have or would offer to be the picture taker to stay behind the scenes.
  • Women have more than just one trick up their sleeves to snap that perfect selfie. Eighteen percent of respondents have done the three-quarter pose for a more angular or defined look, while others have adjusted the flash to avoid shine (17%) and dimmed the lighting or used a filter to improve the look of their skin (14%).
  • Nearly half of all women surveyed (46%) are updating their profile pictures at least once every six months, and 21% have adjusted privacy settings on their social media platforms to ensure they have photo approval before it is released unto the digital world.
  • When it comes to video calls, 15% say they have declined a video call because they didn’t feel on-screen ready, 14% have applied or touched up makeup before a video call, and 18% say they have changed locations for more flattering lighting.