A Pro Makeup Artist’s Fastest Tricks for Looking Great on a Video Call

Make Up tips
I’m a makeup artist and hair stylist, and since my in-person appointments and photoshoots are cancelled thanks to coronavirus, I’ve been doing Facebook Live tutorials to stay busy. One of the top questions I’m getting from clients and viewers? How to look put-together and awake—quickly—for video meetings (or just that new cutie you’ve been FaceTiming with nonstop). Video chat is here to stay for a while, so let’s talk about a step-by-step way to slay that morning meeting or evening phone date. Getty Images


Every good base starts with a moisturized face. My personal favorite face moisturizer is Primerizier from Smashbox. Not only does it prime your skin for makeup, it also sinks in fast and the hyaluronic acid pulls moisture from the air to plump your skin all day long.

Hydrate Your Hair

To tame frizz and flyaways when you’re not in the mood to (or don’t have time to) style your hair, use a leave-in conditioner and pull it back. OUAI Leave-In Multitasking Mist is one of my favorite leave-ins for all hair types. It protects the finest to the thickest hair from heat, smoothes flyaways, adds shine and the scent is a proper mood boost. Even better, it’s free from those pesky sulfates, parabens and phthalates. (Yeah, I said phthalates.)

Darken Your Brows

Web cameras can blur out a lot, but your brows are still on full display, so give them some definition to help frame your eyes. I love the trèStiQue Brow Definer Pencil and Tint Eyebrow Gel because it glides on easily and is forgiving enough for even a brow novice. But if you’re in a hurry, skip the pencil and swipe a gel through your brows instead. If your brows are sparse, the L'Oréal Brow Stylist Brow Plumper has tiny fibers that plump up sparse brows and tints your arches all day long.

Brighten Your Eyes

One of the quickest ways to look more polished is to brighten up the under-eye area and conceal where necessary. I love the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser and recommend it to all my clients. It comes with its own foam applicator and makes dark shadows and puffy eyes magically disappear on camera. It also evens out veiny lids—no eyeshadow or lid primer required. (You can also use it on the tops of the cheekbones to highlight, or blend it down the tip of your nose for an easy reverse contour. Look at you, highlighting away like a YouTube star!)

Swipe On Plenty of Mascara

Now that your brows and under-eyes are on point, let’s freshen up those lashes. If you accidentally overslept for a meeting, a good coat of mascara will open up your eyes—especially if you sweep in an up and outward motion. Grande Cosmetics makes a conditioning peptide mascara that made my lashes grow so lovely and strong, I had to break up with my lash extension girl. If you need more drama than just a swipe of mascara, curl your lashes before applying mascara and consider popping a few of the Ardell Individual Lashes on the outer corners of the eyes. Individual lashes are more natural looking than a full strip, which can cast a dark shadow under your eyes on a web camera.

Optional: Dab on Foundation

Most web cams aren’t sharp enough to show uneven skin tone or dullness clearly. But if you want to put on foundation, my longtime go-to is Graftobian’s HD High-Definition Glamour Creme Palette. You may have not heard of Graftobian because it is geared towards professional makeup artists, but I think it is one of the easiest to use for any level. It comes in a palette of five shades with cool, warm and neutral undertones that can be mixed for a custom color year round, and each shade can also double as a contour or highlight color. Oh, and did I mention it’s under $30? It’s highly pigmented too, so a little goes a long way.

Add Blush

A pretty blush will liven up your face in an instant, whether you’re wearing foundation or not. The Besame Cosmetics Vintage Blusher gives a gorgeous rosy tint to any skin tone. Just be sure to use a light hand—depending on the lighting, your camera might pick up more color than what you see in the mirror.

Try a Bold Lip

A bold lip is a good way to look like you put makeup on even if that's the only thing you did—blame the rest on the bad lighting in your kitchen. Rimmel Provocalips will stay on all day (even through all your midday grazing). Because of its staying power, it can be a little drying, so be sure to prep your pout with lip balm. Or swipe on the Wet n’ Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain, which packs just as much of a colorful punch and provides some much-needed moisture.

Extra Credit: Add Some Eyeshadow

If you have a few extra minutes, let’s get those lids popping. The LORAC Pro Palette Eyeshadow Kit is a great place to start for any skill level. Shimmers can show up differently on camera, so your best bet is to stick with matte neutral shades.Think back to high school art class and remember that light brings things forward and dark makes features recede, so sweep a light color from the palette across the lids and add depth with a darker color along the outer corners and lower lash line.