Metro Manila is now under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, which means that we’re more likely to say goodbye to on-ground work and hello to working from home. With classes, meetings, and everything in between, many of those require that we show our faces for the camera as a form of etiquette. Other than that, many of us just do it as a step towards being productive.

Web cameras–whether from your phone or your desktop–can be deceptive. The average ones highlight features and dilute colors in ways that human eyes don’t. You may appear fresh and alert in person, but your web camera may be sending a different message.

So how do you slay the work-from-home day?

The first step is to understand how your web camera works. Some people ditch the one that’s built into their personal computer and invest in a separate one that displays your face and its colors more accurately. However, for those who use the default one, you might have to look into this by trying to take a picture of yourself using it. Some cameras put emphasis on shadows (which may highlight dark spots), some are very muted in color (which may not pick up your blushes and tints if you apply them normally), and some haze out the edges (which may not show how sharp your contour is).

Once you know what will and will not accurately show up on your web camera, the next thing you should do is to tweak your standard makeup routine accordingly. Other than color, note that the position of your camera relative to your face changes the angle your it is being looked at.

A common example of what changes is that your lashes not popping out like normal. A simple remedy for that is to use more volumizing mascaras and fan out the lashes on the outer and inner corners of your eyes. That way, they’re more likely to highlight your eye shape. You can also opt to line your lash line with eyeliner.

Other than size, color is a common example of what changes. This could also be remedied by adding more of a product (e.g. blush, concealer) onto the areas you’d normally add them too. Will the add-on reflect in person? Yes. Does it matter? No, because no one’s seeing you in person.

Note, though, that your face–unless you wish to keep an angle for the whole video conference or class–will be faced forward. So if symmetry matters to you, you have to take that into account when doing your makeup. You may also want to adjust your contour, blush, or brow techniques to avoid your face coming off as wider or narrower than it really is.

The third point is more of a reminder than it is a step, but you should never forget to keep your personal goals in mind. You can choose to bring more emphasis to your jawline or add more color to your cheeks, but a makeup look is only as good as how you feel in its final version. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all routine to looking good in video calls because it all depends on what your vision is on top of your camera and your makeup products. 

If you’re someone who uses makeup as armor or a boost in productivity, we hope that these tips can help you combat the aimlessness of being in quarantine. 

You got this, girl!

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