Look Good on Zoom or FaceTime In 3 Easy Steps

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Happy and Looking Good On A Zoom Call

Why Don’t I Look Good On Zoom?

Since we’ve all been doing video calls lately, I’ve seen three common things that people do (or don’t do) that detract from the way they look in real life, and can also be distracting to the Zoom Call or any video call. I’m going to refer to them as the 3 L’s

Lighting – Level – Lipstick

The 3 L’s will help you look good on any video call – so that you can show up as your best self and feel confident as you converse with your friends, family, or colleagues.  They are also the 3 things that if ignored, will make you not even look like yourself…hello, up the nostrils!

But first – let me say this, you are beautiful.  If you find yourself apologizing or commenting on how you look every time you get on a video call, cut it out. When you answer a Face Time call from your son, please stop talking about how awful you look, how your hair is weird, how your skin looks saggy.  You are beautiful, as you are!

And what’s more important than your appearance – is your energy flowing through that device, smiling at the person (people) who truly want to see your face.  Saying “it’s so good to see you!” is enough.  Smile, do the things in this article – and just be you!

So, let’s move on to the things that you can do to look good – so YOU can be more confident when you get on that call knowing you look your best.  This has nothing to do with what everyone else thinks…but how you feel.  Because when we feel confident, we show up as our best selves.  We are more engaged, better listeners, and can turn off the negative voices inside our head a little bit easier than when we’re not confident. 

Is it just me, or are you sometimes distracted by how you look or where those shadows are coming from on your face that you miss what the other person is saying??

Whether you’ve got classes to teach, grandchildren to call, conferences to attend, meetings to host – these three L’s will elevate your Zoom Call instantly.  No fancy software or filters needed.  You can use things you already have in your house!  Now, let’s get you feeling confident in front of that camera!

This first video demonstrates why the 3 L’s cause you to not look good on Zoom

Both of these videos were recorded on Zoom so we could really see what it looks and sounds like before and after “leveling up”.  FaceTime or Skype would look similar.

This second video shows the 3 L’s leveled up to look good on Zoom (or FaceTime)

I’m sitting at the same table but in a different chair.  I’m using the same lap top and Zoom meeting so we could see exactly the differences that the 3 L’s make.

Let’s dive into each L with a little detail so you can look good on Zoom or FaceTime with ease. You may already be doing one or two of these things, so unlocking whichever you’re not doing will level you up big time! 

Step 1: Lighting

Demonstrate poor backlight on zoom call
Sitting in front of a window causes awful lighting on your face

The Don’ts: 

  • Don’t have a bright light behind you.  If your only available background is a window, close the blinds and the curtains if possible.
  • Don’t sit in the complete dark
  • Don’t have a bright overhead light on if you also don’t have light to your side or in front of your face

The Do’s: 

  • Do position yourself so that the light (window or lamp) is to the side of your face or in front of your face
  • Do turn on a light in your background if its further away to “light your space”
  • Do use regular lamps to light either side of your face or the front of your face  
Demonstrate how to prop up a laptop for good zoom call level
Put the window either to your side or in front of your face – and get that camera level up to eye level or higher

Step 2: Level of your camera

Demonstrate bad position for iPhone camera on FaceTime
Looking down at the camera + bright backlight = unflattering

The Don’ts:

  • Don’t have the camera of your phone, laptop, or tablet sitting below eye level
  • Don’t have the camera angled up

The Do’s:

  • Do prop your device up on something that raises the camera above eye level
  • Do angle the camera down slightly if possible (this is easiest using a laptop)
Demonstrate using everyday items to prop up iPhone for FaceTime
Use everyday items to get that camera level up!

Step 3: Lipstick

The Don’ts: 

  • Don’t go bare lipped (even if you’re not wearing any other makeup)
  • Don’t wear a super light or nude shade of lipstick

The Do’s:

Show great bold lipstick choice
Bold Lipstick Choice Du Jour: Can’t Be Beet

This last thing isn’t on the official list because I bet we’ve all figured this one out by now.  But see that cute shirt, earrings and necklace I’m wearing in that Leveled Up photos and video? 

Those were donned whilst I was wearing gym shorts and barefoot below the waist.  So, just in case you needed permission to be business on the top, comfy on the bottom – permission granted!

Other Tips For Looking Great On Zoom

Whether you’re wanting to look more professional for business meetings or just talking to friends or family – there’s a couple more things you can do to level up your look.

  1. Wear solid colors, especially if they contrast your background or hair
  2. Wear visible jewelry – it will make you look super pulled together
  3. Look at your background in your video preview – anything you don’t want to be distracted by while on the call, move it where it’s not visible
  4. Light a candle in your background – you’ll be amazed by the zen this brings to you and the people you’re on the phone with
  5. Smile – even if you don’t do any of these other tips – turning your video on and giving a big smile is something we all need to see more of these days! Be the friendly face

If you’re looking for a fabulous new lipstick that’s luxury quality with squeaky clean ingredients – check out our 40+ shades of cruelty free, gluten free lipstick here.

Want a suggestion on which shades would look awesome on you – check out our ever-expanding shopping guide for a great place to start!

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  1. Great article! I particularly love the before and after videos!
    I was recently on a zoom chat with some friends. I was running late, had not showered in several days, was wearing a ratty tshirt, and had thrown on a baseball cap to cover my greasy hair. The only stitch of makeup I had on was some “Appley Ever After” that I threw on at the last minute to make myself feel more presentable. My friends were already chatting when I arrived, but one of them interrupted momentarily to say hi and said, “You look so pretty!” before continuing what they’d been talking about. I sat in disbelief for a minute trying to figure out what in the world would have prompted her saying that considering my generally disheveled appearance. The only logical conclusion was the lipstick! I’m forever a converted believer in wearing brightly colored lipstick (especially online) and am headed to stock up on “Appley Ever After” as we speak!! Thanks for the encouragement, Andrea!

    1. Andrea Harper says:

      I LOVE this story!! It’s so true, there’s nothing like a bright lipstick to make your beauty shine through. I also think it naturally draws people to your smile more, and thus enhances your smile making you look bright and fresh and cheery!
      You should tell your friends to all wear their brightest boldest lipstick to your next zoom chat – no other makeup required!! So fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You are an absolute delight to read and watch- inner glow radiates through your smile!
    Thank you for your constant encouragement!

    1. Andrea Harper says:

      Aww, C! Thank you for that sweet compliment. We all have a bright light inside – open up and let it shine! 🙂

  3. Loved this! I have a meeting in an hour. Thank you!

    1. Ashley Teague says:

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed Andrea’s post. I found it helpful as well. Hope you have a great meeting 🙂

  4. Thank you Andrea for the helpful information for being on zoom. We all want to look nice. Even as we get older. Thank you it is such good advice. And yes I have thought when I am speaking with someone what I look like. I would like my attention to be on those i love. Thank you again. A very happy customer of red apple lipstick

    1. Ashley Teague says:

      Hi Linda, I’m so glad you enjoyed Andrea’s blog post and videos <3

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