Look Your Virtual Best

a person on a video conference on a computer

Students and employees around the province are heading back out into the world, but working from home – meetings, interviews, classes –  is likely here to stay somewhat. And that means putting your best face forward!

We turned to the experts! Makeup artist Gregory Graveline and freelance stylist Shmila Afzal share their top virtual beauty tips, with photographer Nasroullah Dinally weighing in with the tech angle.


When trying to look professional, foundation is always a yes, says Afzal. It evens out your face, making it look clean and smooth.

makeup bag with makeup inside
Image Credit: Liubov Ilchuk

Next, mascara. Maybelline’s Lash Sensation Sky High mascara is a personal favourite of hers for adding volume and making eyes look open and bold.

For some colour, a soft touch of blush is perfect. Nothing too defining like contouring – we want to look awake and alert! Careful with the highlighter, though – it can be distracting, depending on lighting and angles.

For the finishing touches, Afzal says the last thing to add is a soft lip. “Nothing too bold, dark or distracting, she says. “ I usually go for a tan or pink shade on my lips.” NYX Soft Matte lip creams are a great go-to when you need to quickly throw something on.


Graveline gave us all the insights into what to wear – and what not to wear – on camera.

Image Credit: Liza Summer

Foundation, powder, mascara, touch of blush and throw on a lip. You’re good to go!

Gregory Graveline: MAKEUP ARTIST

For men, it’s important to ensure that your face is not sweaty or oily. Your clothing should not have too many patterns, be too graphic or take attention away from the face.


“My go-to style is a sleek, low ponytail,” says Afzal. “This way there is no distraction that my hair is causing. It’s clean and smooth, while complimenting the rest of the face and clothing.”

hair products laid out on blanket
Image Credit: Nataliya Vaitkevich

According to Graveline, you want to ensure that the person you’re speaking to is not focusing on your hair, makeup and clothes – rather, these features should complement and enhance your presentation.


Graveline says that natural lighting is best: “The best place you could be is sitting in front of a bright window. You won’t get any shadows this way,” he says

Image Credit: Diva Plavalaguna

The best place you could be is sitting in front of a bright window. You won’t get any shadows this way.

According to Dinally, it’s important to position your laptop where you’ll be able to use your hands, but keep them an arms length away as whatever is closer to the camera will appear bigger. If your laptop is angled too close to you, whatever is in the center of the camera will appear the largest. This often ends up being the chest and chin area – you want to avoid this. Instead, angle the laptop upwards a bit, focusing the attention to the center of your face.

Never have the camera below you. It’s unprofessional, but having to look down at the camera (and the person you’re speaking to) is not flattering or inviting.

Avoid sitting directly below pot lights or recessed lighting, as it creates an uneven shading to the skin. Try sitting under bulbs with cooler tones, as yellow light casts an unrealistic golden glow that clashes with natural window light.

Graveline also says that ring lights are perfect for ensuring perfect lighting wherever you are. Placing it above eye level and hitting the center of your face will create the ideal effect.

If you don’t have one, the best way to mimic this feature is to use a lamp or sit in front of a window. Dinally says this should be done with a clean backdrop such as plain walls. Gray is neutral and the best colour to have behind you.

Image Credit: Pexels Image

Nowadays on Zoom, there are ways to change your background, but this can be very distracting. The most Gregory suggests is to blur the area behind you. Backgrounds are essential. What’s behind you matters, the plainer the better.

Featured Image Credit: Los Muertos

CategoriesCareer COVID-19