It’s 8.45am and you just got out of bed. Your video call meeting begins at 9am. After brushing your teeth, hopping into the shower, and dressing from the waist up, you’re left with five minutes to deal with your face and hair. Before you’ve managed to put some concealer on, your laptop is pinging.
If you’ve been struggling to look presentable for video calls ever since you started working from home, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you put your best face forward. You may not have time to do every step, but incorporating a few of them into your beauty routine will leave a good impression on your boss or client.
1. Apply eye drops
Red and pink tones are accentuated on camera, so you’ll look even more tired if your eyes are bloodshot. Pick up a bottle of brightening eye drops, such as the Rohto Cooling Eye Drops Max Redness Reliever (S$11.08). The eye drops constrict the veins on the surface of your eyes fast to reduce redness, keeping the whites of your eyes brighter for up to eight hours.
2. Use a tinted moisturiser
If you don’t have time to apply foundation to your skin with a brush or sponge, perhaps it’s time to bust out a tinted moisturiser or BB cream. You can massage either product on your skin quickly to blur imperfections and even out your skin tone for a healthier complexion.
One of the most popular tinted moisturisers on the market is the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 PA+++ (S$77). This reformulated classic has macadamia and kukui seed oils whisked into it to hydrate your skin and leave a dewy finish. The tinted moisturiser also provides some sun protection, which is ideal if you’re seated next to a window. There’s an oil-free version for those with oilier, acne-prone skin too.
You can also try the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (S$47.95). Compared to Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser, BareMinerals’ version has slightly higher coverage and a lighter, whipped texture. The oil-free formula uses squalane to quench dry areas for glowing skin.
3. Brighten up your eyes and hide spots with concealer
For those with more obvious dark eye circles or angry zits, hide them with a high coverage concealer. Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Light Capturing Self-Setting Concealer (S$50) is one with buildable coverage. After using your fingers to pat it under your eyes or on pimples, the cream formula settles down to a second-skin finish.
4. Apply bronzer for a sun-kissed glow
Ever since working from home became the new norm, web searches for bronzers went up by 220%. It’s no surprise that people want a subtle glow and facial definition on camera.
To look a little less like an egg in video calls, try a cream bronzer. Tower 28’s new Bronzino Illuminating Bronzer (S$28.34) adds a post-vacation glow to your complexion and gives your cheekbones a little more definition. The light-reflective formula is easy to blend in with your fingers too, so you can look put together, stat.
If you want to darken the shade of your tinted moisturiser, mix it with a bit of Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops Booster & Bronzer (S$50). The liquid bronzer contains cocoa powder (please don’t eat it) and peptides to strengthen your skin, all while blessing it with a flattering faux tan.
5. Touch up your appearance sans makeup
If you want to take a break from makeup and go barefaced for a meeting, Zoom has your back. The video conferencing platform has a feature that allows you to soften the look of your skin, much like a Meitu app.
It works well to mask small spots, but don’t expect it to cover large pimples and discolouration. To enable this feature, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Video’, and select ‘Touch up my appearance’.
6. Refresh your hair with dry shampoo
No one has the time to wash their hair in the morning, so consider having a dry shampoo on hand. Before dousing your hair with it, brush your locks to get rid of knots for a neater appearance. Then, spritz the dry shampoo on your roots to refresh your mane instantly.
Ouai’s Dry Shampoo Foam (S$45) removes oil and buildup as you work it into your scalp. The waterless cleansing foam conditions your hair and gives it a boost in volume too.
7. Tame flyaways with body lotion
If you don’t have a hair styling product lying around, try using a regular body lotion. Most body lotions on the market contain the same emollients used in cream hair stylers. Dispense a tiny amount and work the lotion through the length of your hair to tame any frizz.
For those with a sensitive scalp, make sure the body lotion doesn’t contain any irritating fragrances or essential oils.
8. Find your light
A ring light is not something we all own. This is why natural light is our best friend here. In beauty YouTuber Tina Yong’s recent video, she shares her tips on how to look good in video calls. “Try to avoid backlighting or top-down lights as those are not flattering. If you can, look for a big window with natural lighting. But make sure you’re not directly in the sun,” Tina advises.
If you can’t find a suitable spot with natural light in the house, Tina suggests using a lamp or your TV screen. A Smart TV should be able to access YouTube. There, you can search for a video that shows ten or 24 hours of white screen, which you can use as an alternative light source.
Another thing to be aware of is the light coming from your laptop screen. If it’s too bright, it can blow out the highlights on your face, making you look more like a ghost. Adjust your screen brightness before the call so that all your facial features are visible.
9. Adjust your laptop screen
Apart from lighting, the height and angle of your laptop screen make a huge difference too. If your laptop is positioned too low, the person on the other end will get a good glimpse of your double chin — that’s not something you want, right?
If you can, grab a box, a stool, or a set of books to prop your laptop up so that the camera meets your eye level. This helps to frame your face and make you look more professional for video calls.
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