How To Look Your Best On Video Calls- Tips From Hollywood Make-Up Artist

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom has been the go-to for countless gathering types from videoconferencing, virtual happy hours, work meetings, celebrations, teacher conferences, and more.

There is no doubt that this communication tool is not going anywhere soon. In fact, there will soon be many other video conferencing platforms to choose from. 

With this in mind, no matter what video platform you use, for business or pleasure, you want to look your best…which is hard to do when you’ve been sitting around in your loungewear all day. The following are styling and make-up application tips from Debra Carey, a professional stylist in Hollywood. Lighting, camera angles, video settings and make-up tips ensure you look your best on your next call. 


Meet Debra Carey

After Debra graduated from WSU, she moved to LA where she earned a degree at MUD (Make-Up Designory, Los Angeles) and worked as the primary artist for Bravo’s hit reality show, “Flipping Out.” Debbie, as well as a variety of films and shows in her career, “Million Dollar Listing,” “Goodtime Golf,” “T-Rex Ranch,” commercials, music videos, Disney productions, bands, and photoshoots. She’s the real thing, ladies! You can find Debbie @debbiecareyartistry on Instagram.

We are so lucky to have Debbie as part of our Gal Pal tribe. She’s going to provide professional styling tips, hacks, and lessons on Gal Pal. Yeah! We are thrilled! 

Debra has provided a quick and simple styling guide for video conferences. 

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Make-up & Styling Tutorial For Video Calls-  Four Simple Tricks You Need To Know


As a make-up artist and professional stylist, Carey has some easy make-up tricks for a natural look.  Quick make-up hacks for lips, eyes, and face.  A.  EYES

Tired eyes can look sunken over the camera. Tired eyes can look sunken over the camera. To prevent this, apply a light shimmery shade to your lids and a darker color in your crease. Use a blending brush to really meld the two colors together and avoid prominent demarcation lines.

Coat the lashes with a primer before adding mascara. I like the Lancôme primer.

Brush through your lashes with your favorite mascara. Three of my favorite mascaras are Lancôme, MAC -Extended Play Gigablack Lash, and IT -Lash Blow Out


Give the mouth some definition and color using a rose or shades of nude. I like to use a stain, so it lasts hours before having to reapply. I love MAC, NYX, and STILA.


For a natural “no makeup” makeup look- follow the following seven (7) steps:

A. Exfoliate to awaken and brighten up the skin. You can create a simple homemade recipe that works by mixing sugar and a small amount of coconut oil. Massage it into the skin vigorously and then rinse. Uncovering new skin allows your moisturizers and other serums to penetrate the skin more effectively and leaves you with a more even skin tone.

B. When deciding on a foundation color, default to using a yellow-based foundation will warm up the skin and give a more youthful appearance. MAC Strobe is an ideal highlighter to mix with your foundation.

I like the drug store brand True Match by L’Oreal. It gives the skin a youthful and  radiant glow.

C. Next, apply concealer to lighten and brighten under the eyes, the eyelids, around the nose and around the lips to sharpen the lip line. Be sure to blend well using your favorite tools such as a sponge, a brush, or even the warmth of your fingers is very effective. For a list of clean beauty products go here. 

I like Bye Bye Concealer by It Cosmetics. 

D. Set with powder, to keep all of your hard work in place all day long.

I use Laura Mercier translucent powder. Sephora.com

E. Lightly fill in the brows to shape and frame the face. If you are blessed with full brows, simply brush them with a mascara wand or a toothbrush.

F. Warm up the skin with a bronzer applying it to the contour of your cheeks, the temples, and the hairline to give the appearance of a radiant glow. 

G. Pop a bit of color to the apples of your cheeks. MAC, NARS, and Milk cosmetics make beautiful colors.  

And there you have, a natural, no fuss, zoomtastic face


D. Highlighter – Put some highlighter above cheekbones etc

A dab of highlighter in your inner corners can instantly help you look more awake. Apply some above your cheekbones too to give yourself an instant highlighted facelift. On camera, this will look like the sun is hitting your face in all the right places.  


Lighting is essential, according to Debbie Carey. Debbie  suggests starting with lighting because it will dictate how you will apply your makeup. 

To make sure you’re getting the best lighting possible, make sure you’re facing a natural light source, and the light is coming from behind the camera. If you don’t have that option, you can angle and redirect a desk lamp, so the light is bouncing off a nearby wall. Avoid pointing the lamp straight at your face because this can cause an unflattering yellow cast.

If you are near a window, open your shades and let the natural light pour in, but don’t let all that light hit your back. 

Be aware that your screen can be a significant source of light, so adjust your screen brightness, too, especially if you are taking a call without natural light. A bright screen can blow the highlights on your face out, making you look like white and washed out. 


There is one, and only one, acceptable camera angle: head-on and at eye level says Carey. Your table is almost certainly going to be lower than your face, which means you may result in an unflattering appearance. Use a set of books, a stool, or a higher table to make sure your camera is at the same level as your eyes. You don’t want people to feel like they are looking up or down at you.



Zoom has an option that allows you to apply a filter to your video display that smooths over your face. First, download the Zoom desktop app for your computer (the layout is much simpler), click on the Settings icon in the top-right corner, and go to the video tab. You’ll find a checkbox next to the option to “touch up my appearance.” You can toggle this box on and off. Once ticked, a magical smoothing effect will blur over imperfections and make you look airbrushed. 

 If you don’t want to show your room as a background, you can add a virtual backdrop to your video cam. To get them on Zoom, save the photos to your desktop. Then, click the gear settings in the upper right corner, “Virtual Background” from the bar on the left, and the plus sign to upload the photo of your choice. Voila! Just don’t move around too quickly, and nobody will be the wiser. If you like any of these backgrounds, just drag and drop to your desktop then upload to zoom.

I hope you find these tips very helpful! 


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