Pre-2020, the only time I’d ever been known to “zoom” was when I was rushing from my desk to a happy hour after work. Fast forward a year, however, and Zoom is now very much a part of my daily vocabulary—however reluctantly. A typical day might see me dialling into a Zoom event for a new product launch before joining a Google Hangout with the rest of the Who What Wear editors to brainstorm new content ideas, followed by a video call to interview a celebrity hairdresser for a feature before ending the day with a Zoom catch-up with friends. Yes, it looks as if video calls are here to stay for the foreseeable future, but with no half-price cocktails in sight, I am, quite frankly, over them already.
However, there’s nothing worse than joining a Zoom call only to see my weary face staring back at me, so over the last few weeks, I’ve been testing and trialling a whole array of products to help disguise just how tired of video calls I am—and I think I’ve found the perfect formula.
One of the biggest skincare trends for 2021 is eyecare, and it’s really no surprise when we’re all spending more time than ever sat in front of a screen. My eyes are definitely feeling the strain, and it’s showing in the form of puffiness and dark shadows. While I can rarely be bothered to apply a full face of foundation these days, concealer is an absolute essential for me and makes the biggest difference in how awake I look on-screen. In fact, if I could only pick one product to wear on Zoom video calls, it would be concealer.
I am devastated to admit that a professional hasn’t been near my brows since 2019, and they are now in dire need of some expert help. However, no matter how unruly they are right now, I never feel truly put-together if I haven’t done my brows. It might sound like a bit of a faff, but trust me. My face always looks so much more lifted and awake on a video call when I’ve spent a minute or so filling in sparse patches and brushing up brow hairs. Plus, there are some brilliant tinted brow gels on the market right now that are a cinch to use.
On my first video call back at work after maternity leave, I made the mistake of not applying any highlighter at all. In fact, with a busy day of Zoom meetings ahead of me, I opted for a full face of powder products in the hope that my oily skin would be kept in check for the entire day. What an error. My skin looked dull, flat, and tired on every call that day, and ever since, I have liberally applied highlighter to my face each morning. Opt for cream or liquid formulations if you really want the radiance to translate on camera.
I am categorically not a bronzer girl, but video calls have the ability to totally wash out my already pasty complexion and leave me looking totally shattered. A generous dusting of bronzer over my cheeks helps my complexion to look a little more lively on Zoom, even if I’m feeling exhausted.
Finally, our lips are often the last thing we think of when it comes to faking a wide-awake look, but dry, chapped lips are one of the telltale signs that I’m feeling shattered. I miss wearing a proper lipstick day-to-day, but it feels a little too high-maintenance for me when I’m just sat at home. However, I now swear by tinted lip balms. They provide just enough colour to look like you’ve made an effort but look wonderfully sheeny on camera. Plus, they’re actually looking after your lips.