The Top 5 Ways to Look Your Best on Video Calls: Letting You Lead Your Teams with Confidence
In this era of days filled with video conferencing, we’ve all been caught off guard with seeing ourselves onscreen and feeling like it is not the most flattering light! “I mean, that cannot be what I look like!” Right? That is actually the quickest way to reduce our self-confidence and distract us from the tasks at hand. When we look and feel our best, that allows our inherent leadership abilities to shine through the screen, resulting in the progress that we want to achieve with our teams and clients. And when we feel more confident, it probably makes us a little more fun on our social zoom happy hours, too!
So how do we accomplish looking and feeling our best when we are on video calls all day, every day?
How can I look professional on zoom
Here are my top 5 tips (with expanded bonus details) to make sure you look your best and feel confident, so that your teams and clients (and friends and family) see only your radiance and ability to deliver shining through.
How to look good on zoom
Makeup Essentials: Everyday makeup and camera-ready makeup are NOT the same thing! Want to know why even men wear makeup on TV? Because the cameras and screens wash you out! So just because you are working from home does not mean that you should be skipping the makeup routine. You can do this in 5 to 10 minutes, and it’s completely worth it. What are the essentials:
Tinted moisturizer and/or Foundation – the camera loves to emphasize our discolorations and make them look worse than they are in real life. Foundation is your friend in front of the camera!
Concealer – see above. If you don’t like to wear a full face of foundation, use a concealer to cover redness around your nose or anywhere that you want to even out.
Eyebrow powder, pencil, or gel – Eyebrows are the picture frame of our face and actually need to be noticeable on camera for a balanced look. Be sure to fill them in to give more definition.
Mascara – preferable two coats! (I also highly recommend eyeliner, but that is debatable on whether or not this is “essential.”)
Blush and/or Bronzer – I love a cream blush and powder bronzer all over! You want some color to light up your face and add that radiance. Dab some on your eyelids to add a quick touch of color there if you are not doing eyeshadow (I would deem eyeshadow not essential, but definitely fun! I always do it when I have time).
Lip color – If you are a “no-makeup” person, this one might be harder for you, but a light nude gloss just washes out on camera. You want to bump it up a notch. Use something with a deeper color that suits you, whether it’s more coral, mauve, raisin, or even red.
Powder – Powder your t-zone, even if you don’t normally wear powder. A beautiful glow in real life does not come across on video in the same way. When you are on-screen, a shiny t-zone looks sweaty, which reads subconsciously as nervousness or a lack of health to your viewers. Even if you think it ages you in real life, I promise you that it approves your appearance onscreen! Powder it!
How to look better on zoom
2. Lighting, Camera Level, and Setup:
Lighting: Hopefully everyone has gotten better at this one. Sitting in front of natural light from a window is great, but that isn’t always feasible and can sometimes be too much. If you are doing this option, make sure you are several feet back from the window so you are not squinting if it is direct sunlight to your face. There are several d-ring lights, cube lights, and other lighting options that are not too expensive and can be clipped directly on to your computer or can be placed on a tripod to shine on your face. Just search through amazon and grab one in your price point. They are definitely worth it. Do you need an immediate hack? If you have a desk light on hand with an adjustable neck, sit near a window that isn’t giving you direct light. Then adjust the lamp to face the window and bounce the light from the window back onto your face. It creates a nice, soft-diffused light – and you won’t be blinded by looking into a direct light!
Camera angle: It’s also super important to have the camera (whether on your phone or computer or stand-along) at eye level or slightly higher. You do not want the camera looking up at you, as this is unflattering angles for the viewer, and results in your angling your chin and neck in a way that is creating those wrinkles and creases! So not only does it look unflattering, it is also not how you want to be positioning your head and neck on a routine basis. Use Tri-pods, boxes, whatever you need… but lift those cameras up!
Set up: Make sure you background is visually appealing to your viewers. It honestly makes a big difference in their interpretation of you on camera. Pictures, bookshelves, plants – those all look great and inviting. You do not want to show off disorganization or chaos in the background. It definitely effects how the viewers develop their image of you.
Wardrobe: Of course, wear the most flattering colors for you. If you are giving a presentation, wear structured clothes like a blazer. Sweaters and t-shirts look extra soft on camera, which is not the professional appearance that you want to be portraying in that scenario. Solid colors are best on camera, although you want to stay away from white, which washes you out on camera. And while red may be a power color in person, it also takes over a screen, and you probably don’t want to make your outfit the star of the show. Go with the best neutral or jewel tone for your skin tone. And don’t forget to accessorize: a cute necklace or the right pair of earrings can take your appearance onscreen to the next level.
Wellness tips while working from home
Skin Care Routines: You may be tempted to skip it or do the minimum, but the investment of taking care of your skin absolutely pays off. Yes, do the basics of cleansing and treating your skin morning and night. But add in the extras: a mask once or twice a week, exfoliating once or twice a week, treating with an extra vitamin C serum several days a week (for brightening!), and facial massage with skin tools or even your hands. Oh – and that disturbing vision of your neck on camera? Start taking care of that, too! Our neck skin is so much thinner that the rest of our face, which is why it shows signs of aging faster. Whether you use a neck cream or just use your face cream, treat it with loving care!
Hydrate: Yes, drink water. All day long. How much? Half your body weight in ounces. I know you’ve heard it and know that you should. And while you don’t see the difference yourself from drinking water, it actually makes an immediate difference! Professional photographers have said that through their HD cameras, they can see a difference in models’ skin after one glass of water! So yes, your radiance on camera is affected by how hydrated you are. Reason number one million and one as to why we should all drink more water. Short term benefits, long term benefits, health benefits. You can do it.
Taking care of yourself offscreen While our careers demand that we show up on camera, we have to be upleveling how we take care of ourselves the rest of the time. This is a new and stressful world that we live in, and nothing is more important than our health and mindset to get us through it. So the additional ways you can nourish your body and soul to make sure you are feeling and looking your best, and therefore being able to show up as the best version of you:
Eat healthy – Eating the rainbow sounds lovely because it is lovely. Radiant skin comes from within. Smoothies are the fastest way to get your greens and berries and start your morning strong. Meal prep on Sunday to set yourself up for success with lunches. This is the positive energy you need to power through your days of video calls and be able to share that positive energy through the screen.
Get your movement in – You really should move a few times a day. I love a morning walk or run to get that fresh air and sunshine first thing. Of course, this is great at lunchtime, too. Find some time to stretch or do a quick yoga practice. Five minutes will make a difference in how you feel on your next call. End your day with something you haven’t done yet, or go on another walk. Movement gets your blood pumping, giving your skin a little glow and your brain a little boost. Everybody needs that.
Meditate – Have you seen the book “Stress Less, Accomplish More” by Emily Journey? Do you think the book is about business and self-improvement? It is a book about meditation. Meditation has been around since ancient history, and yet so many of us are just discovering it’s benefits today. We need it in this crazy world, and especially with the overwhelm of screentime. Turn things off, shut your eyes, and just be. It will create a sense of peace and calm in your life, and yes, that will radiate through the screen on your next video call.
Wellness and Working From Home
Even if you start incorporating a few of these things into your day, it’s going to make a difference. The fastest impactful choice? Makeup. The most important choice? Meditation and mindset.
Be sure to check out my blog for more tips on beauty, wellness, and lifestyle!
What part of this resonates with you the most? What will you add? Please leave me a comment below. I’d love to know! Happy video conference calling!
Kristin- this is wonderful advice! Thank you and congratulations on the new business. It is the perfect blend of your talents and I know your clients are very lucky.
Thank you, Dana! I appreciate you reading this and your kind words!