It’s been a year shaped by change — one of which is that most of us have spent an inordinate amount of time staring at our own faces on video calls (and the second wave of lockdowns is here!). Peering at our grainy, unflattering digitized reflections for hours on end has prompted a wave of new beauty concerns: Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are reporting a rise in requests for injectables and procedures, a “Zoom boom” fueled by our sudden increase in screen time.
But injectables aren’t the only solution. “Zoom has for sure changed my makeup routine,” says Danessa Myricks, a makeup artist and founder of Danessa Myricks Beauty. “It’s so easy to start obsessing about all the little imperfections and how you can address them before the next call.”
Overall, less is more when it comes to Zoom. “No one is expected to look glam,” says Sébastien Tardif, celebrity makeup artist and co-founder of Veil Cosmetics. “You want to look polished but not too overdone. You want to look professional but still reflect the effortlessness that should come from working from home,” Myricks adds.
You want to look polished but not too overdone.
But effortlessness doesn’t always translate, especially if you’re dealing with bad lighting. “Overhead lighting can be very unflattering even if your makeup is perfect,” says Myricks. Sit in front of a window or place a small light behind your computer screen to help eliminate aging shadows — brighter is better.
If you’re prepping for a big Zoom appearance and want to look especially on point, snap a photo of yourself — one with flash and one without — before you log on, celebrity makeup artist Fredrick Sanders. “This way, you will always know what everyone else will see.”
Here’s how to adapt your makeup routine for video calls, according to the pros.
“Effortless, fresh radiance is a rock-solid go-to for video calls,” says Myricks. That “I woke up like this” glow can be archived through three key pillars, she says: skincare, color correction, and lighting.
Skincare: “Spend a little extra time early morning or right before bed using hydrating masks or deeply penetrating, hydrating oils,” Myricks says. “Well-hydrated skin looks healthier and happier on the screen.” A facial roller (especially if it’s been chilled) can help promote blood flow and reduce puffiness.
Right before you apply your makeup, “prep your skin with moisturizer and eye cream and exfoliate if needed,” adds Sanders.
Color correct: “Address any redness or sallowness to the skin using lightweight correcting primers,” says Myricks. (She recommends Makeup Forever’s Color Correcting Palette or her own Prism FX Hydrating Lotion “to lift and brighten the complexion.”)
For darker skin tones, she recommends a little highlighter. “When we aren’t catching the beautiful bonus of the Golden Hour through our window, adding a little life to the skin using highlighting oils, creams or a light dusting of highlight powder helps bring out the richness of deeper skin tones,” she says. “A hint of a golden or bronzed tone highlight and unleash all of that melanin magic and bring the skin to life.”
Address shadows: Dark circles tend to pop in the unflattering glow of a screen. “Take a little extra time to focus on a bit of coverage and correction under the eyes, especially if you wear glasses which create even more shadowing,” Myricks says.
When you’re trying to connect digitally, eye contact is key — so you want your eyes to pop. “Adding contrast to the area surrounding the eye is the easiest way to accomplish that,” says Myricks.
Skip the shadow and false lashes to avoid looking overdone, Tardif says. For a natural look, sweep on a healthy coat of mascara and dab a highlighter into the corners of the eyes and across the lid. “This will instantly open the eyes,” Myricks says. One of Tardif’s favorite on-camera hacks: “Use a bit of face oil or a balm on the brow bone. It will instantly reflect the light and look so fresh,” he says.
If you do want a bolder eye, Sanders suggests a thin dark liner with a kohl pencil and heavy mascara to really show up on the camera.
“Since the brows frame the face, focusing on curating a manicured brow before a call can be all you need to look polished and put together,” says Myricks. Here’s her simple trick: brush your brow hairs up rather than to the side. “Brushed up brow hairs, especially at the start of the brow, lift and sculpt the face while making the eyes look more open and alive,” she says. Tardif recommends Glossier’s Boy Brow for hold and a little extra tint.
Lips & Cheeks
Cheeks and lips should be all about a nice warm glow to contrast the cold hue that comes from the blue light of your screen. “Try to find a nice gel-like multitasking lip and cheek product you can simply dab using your fingertips. It takes no time and truly adds that flush of color that tends to disappear when the light [from the screen] washes you out,” says Tardif. He recommends Veil Cosmetics Velvet Lip & Cheek Palette or Tarte’s cheek stains, which come in a variety of shades that work for all skin tones.
Sanders recommends looking for a coral shade (he likes TEMPTU’s Sunset Glow pod), which tend to read well on camera. “Simply layer this color the same way you would your bronzer,” he says. For lips, “I’m a strong believer that just a light wash of color to stain the lips does the trick,” he says.
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