As so many are fortunate enough to be working or dating remotely from home these days, video conferences and chats are now “gam zoom letovah.” The following tips will help you create a professional and flattering image for the camera.

  1. Good lighting. Natural light is certainly more flattering than fluorescent or artificial light. Sit facing a window, so that the light source is in front of you but not directly in the sun. A room with windows on all sides of you is ideal. Avoid overhead lighting, which will create harsh shadows on your face.  For evening, you can buy a ring light, which can help distribute the light evenly, eliminate harsh shadows, and make you appear more eye pleasing. 
  2. Positioning the camera. Keep your phone, laptop or device at eye-level or slightly above so you can look straight into the camera. To achieve this, you can place books or a box underneath your laptop. If the camera is below you, your appearance will be enlarged and a double chin or neck wrinkles will be showcased. When the camera is slightly above you, it lifts your chin and your eyes look more open. Also, position yourself in middle of the shot and have some distance behind you so that you are not necessarily propped against a wall. 
  3. Pay attention to the background. Make sure your area is tidy and clean without clutter, which may reflect poorly on you. If you must resort to using a virtual background, you can find one on Shutterstock or Zoom in a pinch. You can place a do not disturb sign on your door and remind your family that you will be doing an important video conference, for which you do not wish to be disturbed. Also, be sure to mute the microphone while you are listening, so that the background noise is not audible.  
  4. Details count. Be mindful of your posture and pay attention to what you’re doing, so that your mannerisms are not distracting. It’s always good to put a smile on your face and look alive, as well as enthusiastic. This will help you appear asthough you›re actually pleased to be working, despite your mood.
  5. Dress for success. Wearing a solid and vibrant-colored top that flatters your complexion and eyes is the paramount. Avoid white, which can wash you out or black, which makes you look like a blob. It’s also best to stay away from large or busy prints, as they are not only distracting but can make you look heavier. What you wear on the bottom really does not matter, unless you need to get up while on camera. To avoid such, make sure you have everything you need prepared and in front of you. You can add a piece of jewelry, like earrings, as long as they’re not overpowering. This will add some polish to your outfit and make you look like you care and pay attention to details. 
  6. Hair and makeup. Hair should look pretty, neat, and clean. You don’t need glamorous curls but you need to appear well-groomed and professional. If your hair needs a quick washing, you can always try using a dry shampoo or opt for a low bun, which instantly gives you a neat and professional appearance. 

Makeup should look natural, flattering, and professional, but not over the top. This is not the time for experimenting or to look unrecognizable, nor is it the time to opt for dramatic, smoky eyes. If you barely wear makeup to works, keep it simple and natural. Be sure to prep your skin and apply some moisturizer or hydrating primer to soften your complexion. Foundation and concealer are necessary to even out your complexion and avoid distractions on camera. Also apply a light dusting of powder to set your base, in order to combat shine for the camera, which can be distracting as well as enlarge your features. To soften or sculpt your face, you can use a bit of bronzer applied strategically. Be sure to pay attention to your eyebrows, and fill in the sparse spots. Choose soft and flattering eye makeup just to define your eyes. Wearing a vibrant and flattering natural shade of lipstick will instantly add a pop of color to your lips, while giving you a professional image. 

Looking good on video is actually easier than in print, because you are animated. By incorporating some of the above tips, you can gain the confidence to feel and project well for the camera. You may just like what you see.

Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.