Why do you look different in the mirror than in pictures? 6 Tips

You’ve probably experienced it before: you look great in the mirror, but when you see a picture of yourself, you’re disappointed. Why is there such a big difference between how we look in the mirror and in pictures? In this article we will answer this question and provide some practical advice to look better in pictures.


The image you see in the mirror is a familiar, mirrored version of yourself that you have become accustomed to on a daily basis. Pictures, on the other hand, show your face as others see it, which can sometimes be awkward because it is not the familiar view you are used to.

Cameras, especially those with wide-angle lenses, tend to distort faces. This can result in a wider-looking face, a larger-looking nose, and other distortions that differ from your “real” appearance.

Lighting also plays an important role. Different lighting conditions can affect your face in different ways. For example, shadows can emphasize unwanted wrinkles or blemishes, while too much light can overexpose your face and blur details.

In addition, you have less control over your pose and expression in pictures than when you look at yourself in the mirror. You may unconsciously adopt a less flattering pose or have an uncomfortable expression, resulting in a less favorable portrayal of yourself.

Mirror Vs Pictures
  1. Use a camera with a normal lens: Wide-angle lenses can distort your face. Choose a camera with a normal lens (about 50 mm) to get a more natural image.
  2. Pay attention to lighting: Ensure good lighting to avoid shadows and too much light. Natural light is often best.
  3. Practice your pose and expression: Experiment in the mirror with different poses and expressions to see what looks best on you.
  4. Relax your facial expression: Exaggerated facial expressions can look unnatural in photos. Try to relax and maintain a natural expression. Stand tall and keep your shoulders back for a confident appearance. Also try out different facial expressions to see which one suits you best.
  5. Take selfies from a distance: By taking selfies from a distance, you avoid having your face appear too large in the frame.
  6. Edit your pictures sparingly: Photo editing apps allow you to correct minor imperfections and adjust exposure. However, do this in moderation, because too much editing can make your pictures unnatural.

The question of whether a mirror or a camera is more real is an interesting and actually a philosophical issue. Both reflect reality in a different way.

A mirror shows you a mirrored version of your face. This is what your eyes see when you look at yourself. However, it is not the way others see you. The mirror can also distort depending on the shape and quality of the glass.

A camera captures a snapshot of your face. This is a more objective representation of what you look like, but it is also static and cannot capture emotion or movement. Cameras can also distort depending on the lens and lighting.

If you want to see yourself the way you see yourself, a mirror is the best option. If you want a more objective view of your face, a camera is the better choice. It is important to note that neither is perfect. So beauty, however, is in the eye of the beholder.

Iconic Elements can help you look good by offering solutions for various skin issues. If you suffer from pigment spots, our Spotreducer cream and Targeted Pigment Serum are suitable. These products contain ingredients that help fade pigment spots and promote a more even complexion.

If you’re more focused on reducing fine lines and wrinkles, our Anti-aging cream and Firming Booster serum are ideal. These products are formulated with ingredients that firm the skin and reduce the signs of aging.

It is certainly possible to combine the serums and creams for an even more effective skin care routine. First apply the serum to cleansed skin and let it absorb for a while. You can then apply the cream to improve hydration and nourish the skin. By combining both products, you benefit from a comprehensive approach for radiant and healthy skin.

Is beauty an objective concept, or a kaleidoscope of perspectives that shifts with every glance?

French researchers decided to investigate the fascinating question: how do women think about beauty and what remedies do they use to combat skin aging? With a thousand-strong, diverse group of women between 25 and 70 years old, they unravel the nuances of the beauty experience. From injectables to lasers and skincare products, the research explores the different methods women use to approach their beauty ideals.

Curious about the findings? Click here to read more!

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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