This High School Senior Spent 4 Hours Perfecting His Makeup for Picture Day

When I was in high school, a good yearbook photo meant you didn’t have a giant zit on your cheek or a shiny forehead. But, in the short few years since I graduated high school (OK, it’s been a little longer than a few short years. Let me live!), the kids have become full-blown makeup artists, and I love it.

No one can forget James Charles’s epic yearbook photo in 2016, which led to a contract with CoverGirl.

So I retook my senior photos & brought my ring light with me so my highlight would be poppin. I love being extra ?

Or this cool senior who brought her Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit and fan brush into the frame last year.

@anastasiabeverlyhills is lifeeeeee ? #Gradwaiting ?

A post shared by Janssen Mendoza (@ssenmendoza) on

And for today’s HS grads, the yearbook glam is still going strong. Case in point, senior Kevin Kodra decided not to settle for a basic yearbook portrait; instead, he came prepared with the most beautiful makeup my eyes have ever seen.

Look at that contour! (Kevin uses the Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit.) And cheek highlight! (He credits MAC Extra Dimension Skin Finish.) Incredible. I would drop a screenshot of my own senior portrait from my high school yearbook right here for comparison, but I’d rather not do that to myself. And as it turns out, Kevin says he too struggled with bad photos from picture days in years past, but for graduation, he really turned it out.

“All of my yearbook pictures were really bad, like really bad,” he told “I either had a bad breakout or bad hair color (because I went through a lot of hair color stages), and it was just really bad. So I said, let me just go all out. Let me do what I love doing the most: glam bronzy looks.”

So how did he ensure picture day would go so well this year? Firstly, Kevin says comfort with his identity, which he credits to the support and encouragement from his school community. And secondly, a lot of time and patience. Kevin says he woke up at 4 a.m. and spent three to four hours (!) perfecting the look, but the extra time was totally worth it.

“My main goal was to use my platform to encourage younger kids,” he said. “A man in makeup is normal. I want my positive experience with my identity to become normal and break the stigma against not only men in makeup but also one’s sexuality and identity. And I wanted to have my final hurrah in high school. I wanted to have my makeup on full-glam so that I could [send the message to] people to do whatever you want. No matter what obstacle you have throughout your four years, it’s not going to matter later on. It’s whatever you do that’s going to set your path.”

And that, my friends, is a glow-up.

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