Holiday (Zoom) Beauty Tips

Invited to a Virtual Holiday Gathering this year? Planning an Extended Family Zoom or two? Going to a Zoom Office Ugly Christmas Sweater Party?

While it seems silly to go all out Holiday Glam this year, especially since most of us have barely worn makeup for 9 months, there are a few things you can do to improve your on-camera look and a few beauty tips for your best zoom face.

Add A Little More Makeup

The camera washes you out. And it “flattens” you out. So you don’t want to go with a super matte or powdery look. Of course, shiny is equally bad. DEWY is the word. Start with a moisturizer for sure, I like one that adds a little color; this UNISEX GLOW by Charlotte Tilbury is my all-time, year-round favorite:

Add foundation for glow, color, pore minimizing and light coverage. While I prefer Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder, people swear by both DiorSkin NUDE AIR for medium coverage with a super light feel, and Dior AirFlash Spray Foundation, which comes in 25 shades. Looking for a “drugstore” brand? Try Almay Skin Perfecting Comfort Matte Foundation in one of 16 shades.

If you don’t really need foundation after your tinted moisturizer, then onto concealer. Which you need, trust us. Concealer is a must for virtual calls, both to cover dark circles & blemishes and make your eyes pop. You need to at least look like you’re awake and paying attention.

Many women use concealers for both spot coverage and a little subtle highlighting. “In addition to its usual uses, concealer can also be used to highlight and contour your face for a little extra oomph in your look. ‘Use a lighter tone to add light on the high points like your cupids bow, your nose, and your cheek and brow bones,  which highlights without shimmer,’ says celebrity makeup artist and Armani Beauty ambassador Tim Quinn. ‘And you can use a darker shade to play with shadows for a take on contouring.’ via Well + Good.

Tarte’s Shape Tape™ concealer is the mack-daddy of concealers, offering incredible coverage and staying power. IRL, I only use it for parties & events, as it is definitely “made up” looking on me. But on a zoom call it is perfection. $27 and 35 shades, and Tarte has an awesome skin color guide / how to use video on their site as well. Also available at ULTA.

Shining bright is not good but powder is not recommended for video. If you are generally “shiny” whether due to oily skin or too much retin-A, this MR.MAT by Givenchy is THE BEST mattifier to touch up areas like your nose, chin, forehead, under eye etc. without the powdery finish. I swear by it but it seems so does everyone else as it is sold out everywhere I looked ~ but you should still wish-list it here. Smashbox Photo Finish is a good alternate, as is the Givenchy Mr Mat Stick at Net-a-Porter.

While normally the Primer goes on before the rest of your makeup, the Givenchy beauty artist at NM advised me to use over my makeup instead of powder. I love this, try it!

Don’t Skip Eyes Cheeks & Lips

Lots of days in the before times, I just used tinted sunscreen moisturizer and concealer to head out, with maybe mascara or lipgloss if I was feeling fancy. Once masks became de rigueur, so did the mascara, but the gloss went away. For video calls & conferencing, it’s good to at least do your brows & mascara, and dash on a little color.

Pro Tip: Do not ignore your brows. Nothing is more aging than pale or thin eyebrows. It only takes a moment to spruce them up with a good pencil and my favorite Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows. (yes, there’s a theme, I am a Tilbury devotee. We make a small commission on anything you happen to buy from this post, so it’s not that. I just really like the brand).

I love Legendary Brows. Shapes, sculpts and adds structure to your brow. Never makes your brows look ‘pencilled in’ or ‘stuck down’. Looks natural, pick a lighter color than your brows.

The best brow pencil for a natural look? Diorshow in Universal Brown. Works on everyone.

Because I don’t want to seem like a TRY-HARD, anytime ever, I love brown mascaras. Yes, glossy black is the thing for occasions and dressy outings, but for a natural, unmade up look that still compliments your eyes, try a brown mascara ~ not a black-brown one.

Add a little color to your cheeks with either a bronzer or blush. People are going all out with the contouring & more, but you know that’s not how we do. However, the camera does wash things out, so adding color back in helps a lot.

Video makeup experts recommend a creme or gel vs a powder, to keep things looking dewy & glowy and not too matte. You’ll be amazed to hear that I prefer Charlotte Tilbury’s BEAUTY LIGHT WAND as it offers color + highlight in one tube, but the pros recommend classics like NARS The Multiple and newish comers like Ciate London. The key is a light buildable color that looks natural so start small and add on, especially with a gel.

Finally, you may think your stay-at-home video call doesn’t merit lipstick, as it seems over-the-top. I get that. But the experts recommend at least a neutral color and everyone says a bright lip can really finish your look on camera. Besides, nothing says Happy Holidays better than a red lip!

NOTE: Your lips are the one thing where matte is better on camera, very glossy & shiny is distracting.

Satin Matte Lip Color TOM FORD $56.00

And you can never go wrong with these or any classic from Revlon, $8.49 each at ULTA and there’s a Buy 2, get 1 FREE going now…

Happy Holidays my friends! I sincerely hope we can celebrate together in 2021!


Retail marketer who loves shopping, fashion, design, travel and dining out. NOLA native, Francophile, and DC-lover living in Charlotte since 1998. Married to a die-hard Wahoo for over 25 years, mother of one Princeton Tiger, a labradoodle and two cats. I'm the creator & editor of scoopcharlotte and scoopthelake - if you think you'd like to join our program, email me at scoopcharlotte [at] today!