As we spend more and more time on video conference calls — for work, for socialising, or even for interviewing — it’s important to make sure you look your best! While getting ready for work or for socialising could take an age, in the world before the global pandemic, now it can be much, much, quicker. That’s because you only need to consider your top half! So, while video calls can be annoying sometimes, and working from home can be challenging, knowing that you’re ready for whatever life (or your laptop) throws at you makes life that little bit easier. So, follow these steps and nail your video conference call look. (and also this works for Youtubers! If you haven’t noticed, I am doing much more youtube videos right now, and most of them looking good from my top half while wearing my pj shorts!)
Step One: Lighting
If you’re interested in looking good on your cool, it’s time to fix up the lighting in the room. You’re not expected to have your very own LED ring light (although they are great), but the right lighting can make all the differences. (I bought mine more than 6 years ago!) If you can, position yourself in front of a window, because natural light makes people look best. It will brighten your face, helping your skin look more even and healthy.
If you can’t sit opposite a window, put a lamp in front of you instead. This will still make your face look clearer. Whatever you do, don’t sit with light coming in behind you (no one will be able to see your face!) or have the lighting coming in from an odd side angle (this can cast some seriously unflattering shadows).
Step Two: Outfit
Now it’s getting fun! There are only a couple of hard and fast rules here; the rest is up to you. When you’re on calls, avoid wearing strapless tops that may make it look like you’re not wearing anything at all — especially when you’re having professional calls! Make sure there are no visible stains or tears and consider staying away from tops that are black or white because these can look like the absence of colour on a webcam.
So, now the rules are out of the way, it’s time to consider your wardrobe. Choose shirts in flattering colours that will make your colouring look fresh and your eyes pop. Now’s a great time to wear something that might not be flattering, but from the shoulders up looks absolutely gorgeous.
Step Three: Complexion
This is a simple one. Prepare your face appropriately, as that’s almost the only thing people will see! That doesn’t mean you need to slap on an inch of foundation and do a bold lip, but it means taking a few steps to make you look a little bit put together.
Having a fresh base helps, so follow your normal cleansing and moisturising routine. Next, you can go ahead and apply any base products you usually use, and mascara or even eye shadow if you feel like it. What’s really key here is to sit in front of your laptop, open your webcam and take a look at how your skin looks on the screen. Take your bronzer with you, and apply a layer of bronzer across your temples, cheeks and jawline in a motion of three. If you need a bit more colour, try doing a similar thing with your blusher.
Step Four: Accessorise your face
Video calls can be a drag, but they’re a great time to play with accessories. You can dress up the upper half of your body with your favourite earrings, necklace or headband. Own the fact that you wear glasses and choose a simple shape that will frame your face nicely.
Step Five: Background
The background of your calls can be make or break. After you’ve been to all the effort positioning your laptop, getting ready and preparing for the call, it would be such a shame for it to be ruined by a basket of dirty laundry! Of course, it can be hard at home — you might not have a dedicated office, or you might be sharing a workspace with three other housemates — but there are some simple tips and tricks.
Make sure your background is clean and tidy. Even if you’re taking a call in front of your kitchen counter or wardrobe, make sure everything is neat. Tuck away anything personal that you wouldn’t want a work colleague to see, and get rid of any distractions, be that dirty dishes or a messy bed.
Remember: you don’t need to colour-code your bookshelf or buy fresh flowers for your backdrop every day. Just make sure it’s neutral, not distracting, and makes it clear that you’re well put together.
Step Six: Check your angles
Now that you’re all ready, and you’re sat in front of your light source, it’s time to check the angles. Calls can be ruined in one fell swoop if you’re looking down on your laptop screen and all the person on the other end of the call can see is your nostrils. So, try and position your laptop so it’s eye level with you (this will mean no bad nose shots) and will be more comfortable for you if the call lasts for a long time. You can buy a specific laptop stand, or just stack books underneath until it’s at the right level.
Make sure to sit back on your chair, allowing the viewer to see your head and some of your shoulders. If you sit too close to the camera, you will look distorted.
Step Seven: Tech Test
If you’re prepping for a serious call or just a chat with friends & family, make sure your tech is all ready to go, so you’re not running around the house looking for a charger. It’s really simple to do, takes five minutes and can save a lot of hassle. So, do a quick test call, and then you’re ready to go!
And what are your best tips guys?