Working from home has increased the amount of screen time for most people, as current working conditions don’t allow for the same level of collaboration as collective presence in a physical office space would. Everything from monthly staff meetings to inter-departmental project check-ins have to be conducted over Zoom or Google Meet nowadays, since one can’t do a quick drop into a colleague’s office or catch up on projects over a brown bag.
All this time spent looking at faces on screens tends to intensify how much we scrutinize our own and increase how much we worry about how we’re perceived through the eyes of others during all these video calls. You might notice that someone’s skin looks a little dull, or catch a glimpse of the dark circles under your eyes in the gallery view, prompting you to examine your skin under a microscope for any other imperfections. If you feel as though your bare face won’t cut it, or want to transmit a visage that looks radiant and rested, try one or all of these makeup hacks the next time you have to pop into a Zoom meeting.
Puffy Is For Coats, Not Faces
Did you wake up looking like you ate a whole bag of extra-salty pretzels right before bed? Splash on some cold water before you wash your face. The icy temperature will wake you up and counter the inflammation by vasoconstricting the blood vessels in your face. It’s a quicker route than, say, a 15-minute ice roller massage, which makes it great for mornings when you’re running late.
Moisture Is Key
If you’re going to be applying makeup, it’s best to prepare your skin properly to ensure an even, smooth application. There’s no use splurging on foundation that promises the best full coverage and natural finish if you’ll only end up with dollar store-brand results because you didn’t hydrate and prime your skin. Applying a moisturizer under makeup can improve adherence and should prevent the dreaded cakey finish.
Use Your Screen as Your Mirror
It’s well known that cameras tend to translate our faces into versions that are sometimes vastly different from what we see in the mirror. Computer cameras in particular tend to make us look a little washed out and distort our faces in ways that we only pick up when we see ourselves on screen. Try using your Zoom screen as a webcam when you put on makeup for a virtual meeting, as this will provide a better guideline for which areas of your face to highlight, contour, or conceal.
Don’t Neglect Your Undereyes
This is especially important if you’re sleep-deprived and the dark circles under your eyes are extra pronounced. Use a shade of concealer one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone to brighten up the area, and make sure to set with powder to prevent it from creasing. Add a swipe of rosy blush, fill in your eyebrows, and apply some mascara for a minimal look that looks barefaced and luminous.
Find the Right Lighting
Our faces look different depending on which angles they are lit from. Since natural light is always best, position yourself in front of a window so that your entire face catches the light. But don’t forget to put on sunscreen before you do. If you happen to be in a room without access to a natural light source or are taking calls after the sun has gone down, try a ring light positioned directly behind your device, or use a desk lamp with an LED bulb. You may have to play around with it a bit, so conduct a test run before your call.
Try a Filter
If you’re ever running late in the morning, or just can’t be bothered to go through the many steps of makeup application, Zoom has the answer for you. For a little blurring action, navigate to your video settings where you’ll check the box for “Touch Up My Appearance” under the “My Video” section. Simply use the slider bar to adjust for as much or as little digital smoothening as you’d like. For makeup filters, head on over to “Background & Filters,” open the “Video Filters” tab, and click on the blue text at the bottom right of the screen that says “Studio Effects (Beta).” There, you’ll be able to choose eyebrow shapes, lipstick colors, and mustache styles to superimpose over your face during a call.
As with a lot of other things, the more that you experiment with tricks and techniques, the closer you’ll get to your ideal virtual meeting visage. With a long stretch of remote work still ahead of us, you’ve got quite a bit of time to perfect your makeup look on Zoom.