Yes, virtual meetings do present some silver linings. For one thing, you can do this right at your own home. For another, you don’t have to dress up totally—just throw on a nice blazer and you’re good to go. You can even skip those trousers and no one will berate you for it. However, the whole experience isn’t perfect. Why? It’s because, believe it or not, continued exposure to our own faces can actually harm our self-image.
According to Dr. Hilary Weingarden, a body dysmorphia expert at Massachusetts General Hospital, because of technology, it’s easy to forget that images we see on screen aren’t really perfect. The result? “It’s likely to set people up to feel self-critical or inadequate.”
Most images have added filters. More often than not, that perfectly flawless face isn’t as clear as it looks, in person.
When you stare at your face too long, you get to notice some of the imperfections—which could result in the loss of confidence. To make sure that you don’t fall into a deep pool of self-consciousness, here are some things you can do to look your best during virtual meetings.
Before you head off to face your co-workers, wipe the remaining sleep off your face through a quick cleanse. Then, use a hydrating moisturizer as a primer to add some luminosity to your skin.
Forget the highlighter.
In real life, a highlighter is a must-have for you to achieve a glowing look. But it doesn’t always translate well on video. If you’ve got light skin, add a little bit of highlighter to your cheekbones to achieve a light glow. However, if you’ve got darker skin, you should avoid using it if you don’t want to look like you’ve got an oily face on video.
Go for a matte finish.
If you’ve got naturally oily skin, lessen the shine with a matte foundation. The matte foundation leaves a powdery finish that makes your skin appear less glossy and is best for video because it makes you look less glary.
Brighten your eyes.
To look more awake and less tired, you can open up your eyes with eye makeup. First, create a more rounded shape with a natural-colored shadow. If you’re going to use eyeliner, avoid your waterline and trace eyeliner just beneath your lashline instead to make your eyes appear wider. Finish your look with a generous coat of mascara.
Wear vibrant blush.
Video meetings can make you look a bit washed out. To avoid looking like you haven’t seen the sun in years, try applying a bit of blush to make your face pop. Choose a shade that’s a bit more vibrant than what you usually wear—if your go-to blush color is pink, try something like a sheer rose instead. This will add a bit of warmth to your cheeks, and make you look more alive.
Use the best lighting.
To ensure that you look great on camera, you have to use the best lighting. You don’t have to use a ring light or other expensive lighting equipment. If your meeting occurs during the day, all you have to do is to sit in front of a window. Sunlight is the best light you can have during the daytime. For night meetings, staying in a well-lit room is your best option. Avoid staying in darker rooms, or using single light sources such as lamps.
Keep your background in check.
You’d want to avoid distractions during these meetings. A messy room is a huge distraction. So, before you begin, clear the space that will be visible on the video. If you don’t have time to clean, you can use virtual backgrounds or place something like a curtain behind you to cover up the mess.
Smiles can do wonders for your looks. It brightens up your face, and it could actually make you look younger. Plus, no one likes to look at a scowling face during virtual meetings.
Show your best angle.
Since you’ll be staring at your face often, make sure you’ll be looking at your best possible angle. Some people look good on their left side, others on their right. Avoid looking down on your camera because this barely results in a good photo. For best results, look up at your camera instead.
As we continue to navigate the new normal of socializing, we also increase our risk of having negative thoughts regarding our self-image. But just because it could happen, doesn’t mean that we should let it happen. Especially if we can avoid these negative thoughts, and do things that can uplift our self-confidence instead.