Six Quick And Easy Tips For Looking Your Best On Zoom
With COVID cases climbing, it doesn’t look like the world is returning to normal anytime soon. What that means is video calls, virtual meetings and online classrooms are the new normal.
Staying safe doesn’t have to mean giving up, though. Sacrificing your self-image doesn’t help anyone, least of all you, so here are a few ways you can boost your spirits AND your appearance in the Zoom room. We’re calling it “Zhuzh Up Your Zoom”…
Smooth out the edges
The Touch Up My Appearance option on Zoom retouches your video display like a face filter on a photograph. Just go into your Zoom settings, tap the meeting tab, check the box for Touch up my appearance and suddenly you’re in soft focus. Voila!
Here comes the sun
Set your computer up so that you are facing a window. According to photographer Khalid Farqharson (@lord.farqu), natural light is king. Sunlight, he says, is stronger than any regular light bulb. “But it’s diffused by the environment, so it’s bright without being harsh.” And let’s face it, all want that golden glow.
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Put a ring on it
If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to invest in a ring light. Developed for dentistry and once the secret weapon of the professional photographer, a ring light encircles the camera on your computer or phone and evenly illuminates your face, minimizes unsightly shadows and focuses the viewer’s attention on your eyes, making you appear more alert and engaged. I’ve been hosting literary events from my room during quarantine, and the ring light is a must, especially when you’re online and the sun goes down.
Four eyes are better than two
Adding a funky pair of glasses can switch up your look, hide tired eyes and wrinkles, and might even help with eye strain (though not proven.) That being said, you’ll have to make a choice between frames and your ring light–try both and the reflection in your lenses will give you away!
Put your face on
As in life, so in Zoom. “I have three tips to make your face come alive,” says actor and makeup artist Veleeta Dahlia DaCosta (@veesmakeupandphotos). She recommends a tinted moisturizer or light coverage foundation like Makeup Forever’s Reboot, a little brightening concealer under your eyes, and a few coats of mascara (no one will be able to tell how thick any of it is through the screen). Top it off with a lipstick that pops and you’re good to go.
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Oh, this old thing
No one wants to see your bed in the background, least of all you. Your room is a sacred space, so do what you can to curate your backdrop. Add framed photos or original artwork to the wall behind you, but remember the ring light reflection! I am a postcard fanatic, so I frame them and hang them in clusters, creating meaningful collages from the people and places I love. If there is only open space behind you, try hanging plants or rearranging your furniture to create a barrier between your work and living space so no one knows it’s all happening in one room. Maybe even pull a bookshelf away from the wall and create a rainbow of color with the titles.
Whatever you choose–whether it’s something from this list, full Falsies at noon, or your high-school prom dress–just remember that this is your show and you are the star. Ultimately you should do what makes you happy. And, I choose staring at my virtual meeting monitor in happiness over horror any day of the week.