How to look good in zoom calls in under 5 seconds

It’s not groundbreaking, but it sure as hell makes me feel better.
How to look good in zoom calls in under 5 seconds
CosmoBy Cosmo -

If you’ve had the privilege of working from home these last few months, you’ve already figured out the major upside to quarantine: looking wrecked 24/7. Whether that means skipping makeup for the first time in years or wearing your hair in a greasy bun for days or just not showering for longer than society deems appropriate, you’ve probably explored the depths of how much you can really, truly let yourself go and still do your job effectively. And that’s great! That’s magical! That’s a shining pro in long list of cons! ...Or it would be, if freaking Zoom didn’t exist.

Listen, Zoom, I know you mean well, but you’re completely ruining my goals of looking like a dumpster fire on days when I just wanna let it all buuuurn. There’s no hiding your choices when you’re forced to confront them during a 45-minute video call. And although I’ve found that a blast of dry shampoo, some quick braids, and some face-obscuring blue-light glasses help me look more human, sometimes I feel like my pale moon face needs a bit more.

And thus I have devised a two-step, very simple, not-at-all-brilliant trick to making me look more awake/alive/clean, and it involves blush, bronzer, and a very low bar—because, just a warning, this won’t look that great in person. Or, really, anywhere that isn’t a low-res, video-conference screen.


1. Turn on your webcam, whether that’s Zoom, Photo Booth, whatever. You’re going to be doing your makeup in your webcam, not the mirror. Your computer’s camera tends to wash you out and flatten your face, so you need to see your handwork in real time to get the full effect.

2. Grab your bronzer and a big fluffy brush (or, like, any biggish brush. Again, we’re not going for perfection here). Swirl the brush over your bronzer, tap off the excess, and blend it across your cheeks—where you’d normally apply blush—then over your nose. Load up again and blend more bronzer over your temples, around the edges of your forehead, and across your eyelids. If your face barely looks different in the camera, you didn’t apply enough—do it again.

3. Get your blush, and with the same brush (or a different brush—again, nothing matters in quarantine), blend it across your cheeks, nose, eyelids, and around the edges of your forehead. Load that on like a tipsy college girl whose Uber just arrived. Go, go, go!

Your bronzer + blush BFFs:


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant


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Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer in Medium Brunettes


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Make-up Honest Beauty Teint Crème Cheek Blush Rouge


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Nars Blush in Exhibit A


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And then…just…don’t look in the mirror. You’re done. Easy. Like I said—this hack is for Zoom only. The combo of bronzer and blush will give your camera face a really bright, warm glow, as if you are living your best life and maybe even ate a vegetable for lunch. But in person? You’ve got yourself some questionable makeup, erring on the side of sunburned.

Now, is this hack easier/better than applying some concealer or curling your lashes or swiping on some blush? No! Yes! Maybe! It’s all personal preference in the end. I’m pale as hell, which means without some colour on my face, I feel extra blah. Or you can just say whatever for the millionth time and lean even harder into your blaa vibes. I approve of either.

Via Cosmopolitan US