The Perfect Instagram Selfie: What They Look Like And How To Take Them In 2021

Handy and useful tips on how to take the perfect selfie for your Instagram

Despite our differences within most of modern culture in society, self-expression is the one sensation we all share. Individually.

Societies have, for centuries, been obsessed with beauty. And any place beauty could be found in. In architecture, art, food, music, and, most importantly, in someone’s face. Symmetry and other ‘’accessories’’ such as hair or makeup, became trends. From one pretty girl to another. 

Soon enough, many artists wanted to display that beauty to others. On a piece of paper, a statue, or later on, in a photograph. But we are not here to talk about Picasso and Jacqueline Roque, a.k.a, the artist and the muse

We are here to talk about a more modern approach to expression. A selfie-expression if you will.

In 2020, the muse completely ditched the artist and replaced him with a dope iPhone 11 camera. 

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“The future is now, old man…Hence came Instagram.”

But don’t be fooled! The concept behind a selfie didn’t originate in this decade…It wasn’t even in this century. Mr. Frank Sinatra – spicing up the Autumn In New York, with some fresh selfies from 1938.

“Extra, extra…Read all about it!”

Although not popularised (nor seen as egoistical) at the time – we referred to these as “self-portraits”. And as art began to grow and develop through the decades – our obsession with beauty never seemed to fade. Even when it strayed away from what would universally be considered “beautiful”.

The point is, self-expression has reached its peak design – expressing your face. That’s how to take a good selfie.

We’ve all stumbled upon a selfie so good – we spent 10 seconds just putting all aspects of the photo together. What makes a selfie that good? What makes it worth a thousand words…Or double-taps? A philosophical question we’ll be answering today. 

But we won’t stop there. We will also be showing you how to make one of these for yourself. Yup, you heard that right. Here at Flock, we believe that behind every face there’s something deeper…Like good lighting and editing tools. So without any further ado…

How to take the perfect selfie

Here is a list of crucial things that will make your selfie Instagram ready:

  • The lighting, (night VS. day).
  • Angles angles angles!
  • Hair, makeup, and everything in between! 
  • Outfit and background. 

First things first. Let’s talk about lighting

Depending on the vibe you’re looking for – selfies can be of good quality both in the nighttime and in broad daylight. If you just want a quick snap, the best time to take a selfie probably is at around 4-6 PM during the Summer. And around 12-3 PM during the Winter

Sunlight is important because it brings out your facial highlights. It brightens your eyes and gives you that “golden hour” tan. Speaking of the golden hour, it’s the “warmest” time of the day. That makes your selfies look something like this:

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A post shared by Kylie 🤍 (@kyliejenner)

It’s a huge trend all over social media. You can even calculate the golden hour in your country. Talk about the effort on how to take a good selfie! 

As for our nightbirds – there are amazing aesthetical perks that come along with taking selfies at night. You can make amazing shots from the comfort of your own room! With the help of, for example, neon lights, fairy lights, a flash, and loads of highlighter!

The neon trick is reminiscent of that early 2000s MySpace vibe. Vividly shown by Instagram starlet, Sahar Luna.

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A post shared by @sahar.luna

But when it comes to flawless makeup after midnight, take it up with the Goddess of highlights, Bianca Ingrosso.

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A post shared by Bianca Ingrosso (@biancaingrosso)

If you want to show off the glitz and the glam at a night out – ALWAYS use a flash! You don’t have to go Las Vegas on it but a little blitz goes a long way.

Angles can make or break your selfie! 

We can’t stress enough how important angles are. And even more importantly, finding yours! How to pose for selfies is half of the job! 

Everyone’s face is different. Instagram strives for diversity and variety when it comes to beauty. But the best selfie angles are a trick that never gets old. The oldest ones in the book!

The queen of Instagram selfies, Kim Kardashian West, has shown us how to do this angle trick. In an interview with Marie Claire in 2016, this is what the starlet had to say:

“I keep my chin down and I hold the camera up a bit higher than my face level, which ensures my features appear more streamlined.”

Get ready for a pinch of the duck face too!

“I love it (the duck lips) because it gives you cheekbones – though it does make people mad,” said Mrs. West when asked about the controversial trend.

You guys do know she has a whole book dedicated to taking selfies, titled Selfish, right? So don’t take it from us…Take it from the expert! 

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A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian)

Hair & Makeup! 

Don’t get us wrong…you don’t need an entire glam team to take a selfie for Instagram. But what you do need is a bit of effort. Regardless of your gender – having cool hairstyles and makeup looks in your selfies is a must!

If you manage to make other people try to replicate your style – that’s it! You’ve hit the jackpot!

The goal isn’t to always raise the bar and create new trends. It’s to balance out all aspects of your face and everything around it. The visible part of your outfit for example. Make sure it visually goes well together with your makeup.

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A post shared by James Charles (@jamescharles)

If you don’t wear makeup, try matching your T-shirt with the color of your eyes. Such a simple trick can make an ordinary selfie into a scroll-stopping one!

For long hair, try to make it grand and lush in the picture. You can do so by flipping it over to one side. Laying down on your bed or the floor. Or even pushing it against a wall. The more voluminous it looks, the better the outcome! 

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A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry)

For shorter hair, it’s symmetry and sharpness is the best option!

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A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry)

Katy Perry sure knows how to flaunt both!

And as for the makeup, let your face be your canvas and paint away! Nothing like colorful self-expression to spice up your feed. From natural to glam – you go for it! Just remember, whatever you’re wearing, wear it with confidence!

Ditch the frowning, Watch your surrounding

It’s very important to pick a good background for your selfie. Sometimes, the color of your hair, outfit, or makeup doesn’t quite match your surroundings.

The safest choice is always to pick something neutral. A white wall, a dark door, a beige couch, or in nature. But every now and then, it’s pretty cool to get creative with it. See what ex-YouTuber and entrepreneur, Marzia Kjellberg is doing!

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A post shared by Marzia Kjellberg (@itsmarziapie)

Back in May of 2020, Instagram’s owner, Mark Zuckerberg named Miss Selena Gomez “the most influential person” on both Instagram and Facebook! With that much buzz, on that big of a platform…her selfies must be top-notch.

This baby-faced doll never fails to reach at least 10million likes per every selfie. Even though she doesn’t post as much as her peers – there never is a shortage of spotlight on Miss Gomez’s page. 

Her occasional hiatus doesn’t mean the impact isn’t there. Back in June of this year, she completely handed her Instagram account over to amazing black leaders and creators. The goal was to educate the people on the Black Lives Matter movement and everything around it.

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A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)

That inspirational takeover lasted for about two weeks. And it had an enormous impact on her followers. Spreading awareness, raising donations, and signing petitions. You GO-mez!

As for her selfies, we can’t get enough of them quite frankly.

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A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)

Miss Gomez is almost always seen with little to no makeup. Natural and gorgeous locks, with a few highlights here and there. A basic white Tee with her signature diamond cross – shining brighter than the stars under that gorgeous California sun. 

The presentation is simple, yet impactful. Just like Miss Gomez herself. 

The boss-babe, RIHANNA 

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A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri)

There’s a reason Rihanna’s Instagram handle is @badgalriri – in the best way possible. For more than a decade, Rihanna was able to conquer multiple professions. One of them being, how to take a good selfie.

The music industry, a.k.a, one of the biggest artists of the 21st century. The beauty world, a.k.a, her $570million worth Fenty Beaty company. The movie scene, with her amazingly successful “Ocean’s 8” debut. And lastly, her Instagram game is without a doubt at top-level.

All the boys want to be with her, while all the girls want to be her. It’s a beautiful world when you’re Rihanna.

Not to mention her impact on modern street fashion and trends. She is often seen walking out and about on the NY/LA streets – being very bold with her outfits. She’s a trendsetter even when she’s just going out to diner at the celeb-fave, Nice Guy.

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A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri)

Her selfie game is just as excellent. The one we’ve picked out is no different.

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A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri)

The red lip, long black hair, hard-to-miss jewelry – all wrapped up in her deathly yet feminine stare. She is the living and breathing embodiment of a femme fatale! 

Plus, no matter the vibe she’s going for – her green eyes never fail to be the best part of the selfie. 

She often puts selfies on her Story – which is a great trick! Put a selfie from one look on your feed, and one on your Instagram Stories. Make ‘em check out what your page is all about. 

Take a few notes from Riri if you ever want to look this fearless!

The Great American Dynasty, THE HADID SISTERS 

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A post shared by Bella 🦋 (@bellahadid)

This half Palestinian, half Dutch power duo, Gigi and Bella Hadid, are Instagram’s royal residents. From their professional Vogue photoshoots to cute selfies. They are trendsetters, beauty-moguls, and forces to be reckoned with, to say the least. 

In the past year or so, the internet became obsessed with that “natural, model-like” makeup look. It was inspired by socialites such as Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and the Hadid sisters, among others.

This is the exact selfie type these sisters show off the most. Let’s examine Bella’s MacBook selfie below.

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A post shared by Bella 🦋 (@bellahadid)

Also, take a look at Bella’s amazingly good Instagram Bio! We cannot stress enough how important Bios are, just look at hers! 

Glossy, almost glass-like skin. A nude lip. Feathered yet arched eyebrows and a fox eye. High and bronzed cheekbones with loads of highlighter. Makeup brands like Milk and Glossier have made that look easy to create! 

Here is Gigi Hadid flaunting that exact same selfie.

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A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

A real-life Doll, ARIANA GRANDE 

Miss Grande is no stranger to absolutely dominating all music charts. Scoring 4 #1 Billboard singles within the last year was no biggie to her. However, her powerful musical vocals and empowering breakup anthems aren’t all she’s known for. 

Her distinctive looks and original hairstyles are what made her one of the most-followed people on Instagram.

She loves to follow one, beautifully-edited aesthetic – a soft, polaroid effect filter or a black and white shot. Often made and edited by her photographer and good friend, Alfredo Flores.

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A post shared by Alfredo Flores (@alfredoflores)

But let’s talk about her own works of art – her selfies. Take a look at the one below.

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A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)

The ponytail is her signature look at this point. A flawless one at that too! Bold winged eyeliner, a nude lip, and a few heart, flower, or star stickers around her eyes. She loves natural colors. Both on herself and around her.

The composition of this selfie is minimalistic in color but bold in execution. It’s an Ikea minimalism meets Barbie kind of mix, and honestly…we are so here for it!

The ethereal baddie, LISA from BLACKPINK 

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A post shared by BLΛƆKPIИK (@blackpinkofficial)

Blackpink is not only one of the biggest K-pop groups in the world. It’s one of the biggest girl groups overall. Completely taking over and influencing the west, one song at a time. 

The music video for their highly-anticipated comeback single “How You Like That”, has raised quite a few eyebrows. Especially when it comes to their influential style.

From that soft yet sexy Korean makeup to the signature Seoul streetwear – Lisa from Blackpink is quite the blueprint. And we can’t get enough! These girls sure do know how to take a selfie. 

Just look at one of her latest selfies on the ‘gram.

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A post shared by LISA (@lalalalisa_m)

K-pop stars are known to change up their hairstyle and color very often. Lisa seems to do it so flawlessly. 

The flaming red fringe and straight style go so well together with the black-winged eyeliner. Neutral lips, a little bit of ice on her ears, bold nails, and a shiny lip gloss. The perfect “just got back from a music video set and am chilling in my lux penthouse” look. 

It’s the effortlessly stunning selfie we all need on our feed.

                                                                               .  .  .

Final Touches On Your Selfie

The finishing touches would be the editing and caption. When it comes to selfie tricks, minimal editing is away best. 

Getting rid of a few red spots here and there. Or brightening up the eyes always does the trick. Apps like FaceTune are great for that sort of thing. Taking a selfie was the harder part, for sure! 

But be careful! 

Overdoing face editing can make you seem fake and simply unrealistic. More is less in these situations.

As for the caption, we all struggle with this part of posting a photo. What really makes a caption so engaging? It all depends on the picture. Sometimes, a pocketbook is being written. Other times, a question or a simple emoji will do you just fine. 

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Most Instagrammers have this one handy trick when it comes to selfie captions. It’s very simple. 

Try combining the color of the selfie with an emoji of the same color. For example, if the most dominant color of your selfie is blue – add that blue butterfly, a wave, or maybe even a dolphin emoji. It doesn’t have to make sense. As long as it looks good!

Voila! You’re all set and ready to go!

Who knew so much could be written about some selfies, huh? It’s a much deeper topic than we thought! How to take a good selfie sure is multifold! 

In all seriousness, expressing yourself through Instagram is the true millennial and gen-z experience. But whatever you do with it, always remember to be creative and have fun. That’s the true trick right there!

Did you like this? Check out what else we’ve been cooking in the lab…

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