Over the last few weeks most of us have settled into a totally different way of communicating. Instead of conversations around the office water cooler, it’s tea orders shouted down the stairs; in place of long catch-ups down the pub, it’s group WhatsApp chats.
At the start of this, there was one surprise that no one prepared me for – the horror of seeing my face fill my entire computer screen during a Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts video call with my colleagues.
While I imagine I present the perfect picture of professionalism when I go into the office, that screen showed up bed hair, pasty skin and tired-looking eyes across its whole 27 inches.
No one’s expecting immaculate blow dries, precise eyeliner and complex contouring, but here’s how to look your best on screen – and no one needs to know you’re still wearing pyjamas from the waist down…
Know your angles
Holding your phone or laptop low down will always accentuate saggy jowls and eye bags and a double chin. Instead, position the camera at or slightly above eye level, and at arm’s length away.
Go for a natural glow
Nothing makes you look instantly healthier quite like a touch of self tan. No one’s going to fall for a deep mahogany at the moment, but a light layer will certainly perk up the skin. Start by replacing your usual serum withSt Tropez Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Face Serum, £21.99 , which gives skin a subtle glow plus a hit of vitamin D.
Pick a basic base
Unless your device’s camera happens to have the resolution of the Hubble telescope, you don’t need a foundation that masks over every pore; just something that feels nice on, evens out tone and maybe does your skin some good in the meantime. My all-time favourite ‘weekend base’ is BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser, £29 , which feels like skincare and gives a healthy-looking finish, even under the unflattering glare of a computer screen.
Add a pretty flush
If you haven’t yet managed to get out for your allocated one daily session of socially-distanced exercise, a pop of blush will help to disguise the fact that you have been stuck indoors for weeks. PÜR Blushing Act Skin-Perfecting Powder, £22, is a finely-milled, dual-tone powder that also includes added skincare ingredients (vitamin B, ginseng and green tea) that may be lacking in the self-isolating process. Apply a little more to the cheeks than you might normally so it shows up on screen.
Rock a power brow
There’s something about a neat brow that instantly makes a face look ‘done’. Brushing through L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Plump & Set Brow Gel, £7.99, is a five-second job – it lifts, defines and adds volume that’ll help to shape your face through even the grainiest screen.
Create luscious lips
Alongside hand sanitiser and hand cream, lip balm currently makes up my holy trinity of Products That Never Leave My Side. If you feel like your lips look naked without a quick slick of colour, treat yourself to one of the new Lancôme L’Absolu Mademoiselle Balm, £27 , which you can just about pass off as a ‘dry skin essential’.
Don’t skip on skincare
In fact, with extra hours spent at home and less exposure to sunlight and pollution, now’s the perfect time to treat your skin to any extra-pampering products you may have tucked away in your bathroom cabinet. My current favourite is Vichy Minéral 89 Fortifying Instant Recovery Mask, £8 , which drenches your face in moisture and vitamins (like a Berocca for the skin). Just try to avoid applying a face mask around the time your boss normally dials in…
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