Top Tips to Looking Good on Zoom Calls
Like it or loath it, Zoom meetings or screen socials are here to stay. Days filled with face-to-face meetings are a thing of the past, resigned to the same fate as faxes and sending physical letters. Now there is no excuse not to connect; stay in touch when your best friend moves down under, have regular virtual quiz nights with your family living on Aran Island or have an interview for your dream job without meeting your potential boss in the flesh.
There are so many positives to meeting on screen; comfy clothing from the waist down, no commute and somehow the calls are generally more efficient with less chit chat.
If you have watched the news or any current affairs programs recently you will have seen the enormous difference between how good you can look on the screen when dialing in on a webcam, or how bad you can look. Being well presented is not about vanity, looking good face-to-face or virtually makes a good impression and gives you confidence and increases your credibility.
Here are some hints and tips to make sure you are looking your best for Zoom calls.
The Best Lighting for Zoom
The right light makes the difference between glowing skin and a dull grey complexion. Natural light is the most flattering, and it should be directly on your face to even out your colouring and make the picture sharper. If the light is behind you, your body will become a silhouette. If it is on the side, it will light up one side of your face and the other will be in shadow. If the light is from above your head, your eyes will be in shadow which can make you look haggard.
If you are not able to use natural light, then place a few lamps on each side of your laptop or tablet to create the same effect. The lamps shouldn’t be too big or glaring. Light bulbs which mimic natural light are best.
It’s important to have the best skin you can regardless of whether it’s a virtual meet up or face-to-face. Blemishes and acne can damage your self-esteem and can be a symptom of other underlying health issues. Ensure that you are using the correct products for your skin type and having regular facials and exfoliation treatments. If you have broken capillaries, rosacea or scars then laser treatments or peels can help reduce these and generally brighten up your skin. Zoom can be unkind to deep frown lines too so either look at options to eradicate these with botox and fillers or remember to smile all the way through the meeting.
The Perfect Makeup for Zoom
Cover up any blemishes with a concealer and don’t worry if it is a lighter tone than your natural colouring. You can apply more than normal as it won’t be seen on screen and will give you better coverage. Focus on any dark circles under your eyes as Zoom can emphasis these. Use some illuminating foundation for your face, jawline and neck and highlighter on your cheekbones. Most importantly use some powder as the camera emphasizes oil. Apply some blush or some bronzer to give your skin a glow. Remember to sweep it on your forehead, down your nose and a touch on your chin as well as the apple of your cheeks.
For your eyes define the crease of your lid in the socket, but keep to your natural shape, don’t be tempted to elongate them at the sides as if you go too wide Zoom can actually make them appear smaller. Use eye liner at the bottom just under your lashes and apply lashings and lashings of mascara.
High sheen lipstick or lip gloss looks fantastic on Zoom, it makes lips look full and plump.
You can get away with a lot on Zoom, dry shampoo was literally made for this medium however if you make a little time for styling you can create a sleek and impactful look. Half buns, chignons and slick ponies work well, or a glossy, full volume blow dry. Silk scarfs and on trend Alice bands can create some instant style too.
Coloured varnished nails will always add an extra element and complete the look.
What to Wear on a Zoom Call
Remember to wear appropriate clothing from the waist up at least. If there is any possibility at all that you might need to stand up, then avoid tracksuit bottoms or pyjamas. For professional Zoom calls wear something similar to your usual attire for a face-to-face meeting. Avoid busy small patterns and distracting prints including thin stripes. Plain, cheerful colours work well. Avoid shiny, sheer and glittery fabrics for work calls as they will be exaggerated on screen, however these are great for social catch ups. Don’t choose something too low cut however do make sure there is some skin showing between the chin and the clavicle. If the neck is covered your head can be emphasized unnaturally and look like it’s floating on the screen.
Medium sized earrings or a statement necklace works well on screen, don’t ear both as it will be over the top. Also avoid jingly jangly pieces which are distracting when you move.
Webcam Set Up for Zoom
Find a comfortable position for your call and then use furniture, books or whatever you can find to build up the camera height to just above eye level. This means that your face and shoulders will be in the frame and you can sit in a relaxed, upright and ever so slightly tilted forward position without hunching over the laptop with the camera pointing up your nose. If you find it difficult to maintain this position, pop a small cushion behind the base of your back. The overall effect will make you face look a little bigger and your body slimmer. You should be at least an arm’s length from the screen.
We like to think we have the full attention of everyone in the Zoom meeting or screen social but actually everyone else is having a really good look at your background too. Ideally find a plain backdrop with one interesting feature like a contemporary art piece, interior accessory or beautifully arranged bookcase or shelf. If you just can’t find or create the right background, then use a picture however for work calls pick your image with great care.
It might take a few tries to achieve the perfect set up for Zoom meetings and screen socials, make sure you allow enough time to tweak the lights and camera height so that you are happy with the result. Once you have found a good formula you can easily roll this out each time so that you look like an absolute pro.