POSTED BY: REVAIR GUEST BLOGGER JULIE HOWARD
We are all adapting to a new normal as we face this strange and challenging time. And I put the emphasis on face. Whether for work, study, socialising or family catch-ups that new normal probably means facing the world via Zoom, Teams, HouseParty or any one of the popular meeting apps. For many of us, this will be our first experience facing a screen of talking heads, including our own.
Let's be honest, what you see – of yourself and your co-screeners – sometimes isn't all that pleasing. Unfortunately, many people show up to these calls looking considerably less than put-together or professional. While it might wash with close friends and family, this lack of attention to one’s appearance can and often is perceived to be a lack of respect for those dialing in and perhaps, most importantly, yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a struggle to look one’s best amid lockdown – I miss my hairdresser dearly. And I’m not suggesting that you put the same effort in getting ready that you would if you were actually going to work or to a social event. But here are 10 quick tips that will not only let you look better and more professional on screen, they also will likely make you feel better about your day and yourself.
Before I start, I am going to assume you are bathing regularly. If not, that’s step one. Oh, and please feel free to wash your hair, too.
1. Brush your hair!
a. If it’s a bit dirty, try a dry shampoo. I recommend using these a couple of hours before starting your calls. Dry shampoo takes a bit of time to soak up the oil and you want to avoid the just-sprayed, powdered-wig look.
b. If dry shampoo is not your thing, try wetting a comb (add some hairspray if you have it) and running it through your hair. Repeat this until your hair is under control. This will give you a smooth, just-got-out-of-the-shower look that will translate as clean and cared for even if you are not.
c. If you just need a bit of zhushing, go for a quick, dry Rev. Using RevAir on dry hair in between washes helps to distribute oils, clean off surface residue, re-smooth hair and inject volume.
2. Brush your teeth before a call. Do not eat while on the call. It is both visually and auditorily unappealing for many people. Drinking is okay but be sure to sip politely and silently.
3. If you are inclined to go a couple of steps further, I suggest, in order of effort from least to most, the following:
a. Brushing/combing your eyebrows so they are neat and well-shaped.
b. Applying moisturiser to your face (tinted moisturiser is ideal) and hands (they show too)
c. Wearing some lip balm
d. Curling your eyelashes
e. Adding some blush and/or tinted lip product
4. Choose a clean top that fits well, in a flattering colour, without any pictures or sayings. T-shirts are okay as long as they are in good shape and fit. Bonus points for wearing a different one every day!
5. Refrain from personal grooming of any kind during the calls – no teeth picking or nail filing or cuticle chewing – remember: THEY CAN SEE YOU.
Your Set Up
1. Set your laptop on some books so that the camera is roughly level with the top of your head.
2. Make sure the light source is in front of you or better yet, in front but just off to one side.
3. Tilt the screen so it’s at a 90° angle to the keyboard and about 18” from your face. Test this and play with the angle to be sure it is flattering – not too much forehead or chin.
4. Choose a comfortable chair with a back and lean back in it.
5. When you are speaking, it's okay to lean in if it comes naturally but do not get too close to the camera. Try to speak directly into the camera rather than at the screen and avoid looking at yourself if you can.
If you do these things, I can almost guarantee you will not only look and feel better, but you may even start a trend and well, that would be better for everyone.
Julie Howard is a 30-year veteran of the Beauty Industry having worked in Marketing and Product Development with brands such as Clinique, Estee Lauder, MAC, Bath and Body Works, and more. She is also the author of school-age relevant novels. Living in New York, Julie has been married for over 25 years and is mum to two university-aged daughters and two screen-worthy, rambunctious pups, Bo and Otis.