From lighting to makeup tips, here's how to look presentable, stat.

By Hana Hong
March 26, 2020
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With everyone quarantined inside their homes, my most-opened apps have quickly switched over to Webex and Zoom as we all try to get face time with friends and coworkers from afar. Whether your virtual call is for business or pleasure, you want to look your best...which is hard to do when you’ve been sitting around in your loungewear all day. If you need to look presentable pronto, here are some beauty tips you can do to make sure you look alive and well over camera (and not like you’ve been sprawled in bed for several hours). 

RELATED: Hit Snooze: These Time-Saving Beauty Products Will Streamline Your Morning Routine

1
Face natural light.

In order to make sure you’re getting the best lighting possible, make sure you’re facing a natural light source and the light is coming from behind the camera. If you don’t have that option, you can angle and redirect a desk lamp so the light is bouncing off a nearby wall. Avoid pointing the lamp straight at your face because this can cause an unflattering yellow cast.

2
Apply a Zoom filter.

If you don’t have time to do your makeup, Zoom has an option that allows you to apply a filter to your video display that smooths over your face. First, download the Zoom desktop app for your computer (the layout is much simpler), click on the settings icon in the top-right corner, and go to the video tab. You'll find a checkbox next to the option to "touch up my appearance." You can toggle this box on and off. Once ticked, a magical smoothing effect will blur over imperfections and make you look airbrushed. 

Now, let's say your background is a mess too. If you haven't had a chance to spring clean your house yet, you can also add a virtual background to your video cam. We’re not talking about those cheesy panoramic stock images like in old Apple Photo Booth days—brands like Behr and West Elm have realistic bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and more that look like they came straight out of a dream house ad. To get them on Zoom, save the photos to your desktop. Then, click the gear settings in the upper right corner, “Virtual Background” from the bar on the left, and the plus sign to upload the photo of your choice. Voila! Just don’t move around too quickly and nobody will be the wiser.

3
Depuff your face.

If you had too much salt (or wine) the previous night, you might find yourself waking up with a bloated face come morning. Solution: A quick roll with some ice-cold facial rollers can quickly de-puff your face before you hop on a video chat. Make sure to pop your roller in the fridge or freezer the night before, and glide it on your face in an upward motion to give yourself a quick lymphatic drainage massage.

4
Correct your complexion.

According to Millie Morales, a celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist for Garnier in Miami, it’s important to prep skin with a moisturizer before beginning your makeup routine. If you’re suffering from redness or an overall dull complexion, use a color-correcting cream to even out your skin tone. If you need some more coverage, go in with a concealer to hide undereye bags and dark circles

5
Apply some eyeshadow to create more dimension.

Tired eyes can look sunken over camera. To prevent this, apply a light shimmery shade to your lids, and a darker color in your crease. Use a blending brush to really meld the two colors together and avoid obvious demarcation lines. I recommend the Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeshadow sticks ($29; sephora.com)—they’re super-pigmented and the creamy formula doesn’t crease throughout the day. 

6
Curl your lashes before applying mascara. 

Ask any makeup artist and they'll tell you that curling your eyelashes is a non-negotiable step. It can make your eyes look wider and more awake, and it takes all of a few seconds. After curling your lashes, use a lash primer to prevent your mascara from looking clumpy and spidery over camera.

RELATED: These Are The Best Eyelash Curlers For Every Lash Type

7
Add a touch of blush.

Just a few swipes (or drops) of blush can instantly bring some life back to your face and make your overall complexion look healthier and more youthful. I’m a fan of cream blushes over powder blushes for camera because they look less “done-up” and more natural. My go-to is Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk ($18; glossier.com); a little really goes a long way, so use the tiniest amount on the apples of your cheeks and use your fingers to tap in the pigment. 

8
Put some highlighter in the inner corners of your eye and above the cheekbones.

A dab of highlighter in your inner corners can instantly help you look more awake. Apply some above your cheekbones too to give yourself an instant highlighted facelift. On camera, this will look like the sun is hitting your face in all the right places. 

9
Inject a bit of color to your lips.

Pale lips can make you look corpse-like, so use your favorite lip color to bring back some life. Opt for tinted lip balms over lip glosses—glosses can come across looking too gloopy and shiny over camera, while lipsticks might look overly matte. My everyday favorite is Nars Lip Balm in the shade Orgasm (28; sephora.com), which I like to describe as "your lips but better." 

10
Give your hair some love.

According to Ashley Streicher, a celebrity hairstylist for Garnier in Los Angeles, “My biggest tip is to zhoosh the hair a bit before getting on a video conference call. It’s very easy to make unwashed ‘bed head’ hair great again! Just spray a bit of dry shampoo (I recommend the Garnier Fructis Invisible Dry Shampoo) into the roots of your hair and give yourself a little head massage, getting all your roots moving to help absorb any oil. Then, section out the front of your hair, mostly the hairline. Take a small round brush and smooth out your roots to get some volume—this gives the illusion that you have a fresh blowout.”

RELATED: 10 Dry Shampoos That Will Keep Your Hair Looking Fresh in Between Washes

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