How to Make Your Face Camera-Ready for a Zoom Date

Sure, it’s just online, but that’s no reason not to look your best.


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but unfortunately, life returning to normal is still a few blocks ahead. If you’ve got a hot date lined up, chances are it’s happening at home, one way or another. If you’re lucky enough to have your partner at home, great! If you’re teleconferencing your romantic rendezvous, however, it’s even more important that you look your absolute best — and we’re talking about a lot more than just taking a shower.

Prep Work
Admittedly, taking a shower is the first step. None of the other stuff matters if it looks like you just rolled out of bed. You need to take a shower, not to prevent your B.O. from magically traveling through wifi into your partner’s face, but to exfoliate your skin to make your face look fresh, bright and clean — if you’re planning on shaving, this is something our Prep Scrub can help with (just sayin’). Finally, wash and condition your hair!

Make-Up and Wardrobe
You don’t need to grab a tube of lipstick and some rouge, but now’s the time to do that shaving. Use your preferred Shave Cream or Shave Butter, grab a clean razor and go to work, shaving with the grain and rinsing the blade often. When you’re done, you must use moisturizer, which will not only rehydrate your skin but also give it a healthy glow for the camera. Do whatever you normally do to your hair and put on nice, clean, unwrinkled clothes, including pants. Y’know, for now.

Set Design
Now that you’re looking sharp, it’s time to make sure everything else your partner sees looks good, too. Think about what they’re going to see besides you: Does your computer look out into the rest of your apartment, where your roommate Doug might stumble into the kitchen for chips? That’s not very romantic. Hell, even a shot that gives them a view of that tattered B-movie poster you bought in college and never got rid of can lessen the mood. Try to find an angle where you’re the focus, but the background isn’t distracting, too plain, or just plain ugly. Some people have bought curtains just to hang behind them for teleconferences, just FYI. Whatever you choose, make sure the color of your clothes doesn’t clash with your background!

If it were a sunny day and you could chat by your window, that would be great. Unfortunately, this is February and you’re most likely having a dinner date. You need your lights to be placed in front of you, otherwise you’ll look like an overlarge shadow puppet. It’s also best to have two light sources, one in front on your left and the other on your right, so both sides of your face are illuminated equally. Not everybody has two tall lamps or bright enough light bulbs, so there’s a reason ring lights — the circle of LED strips on a mini-tripod — were such a hot ticket last year. You can find them as cheap as $10.

After all this work, you look fabulous — but now you need to make sure you display all that fabulousness on your partner’s screen. Don’t negate all your hard work by setting your phone on the desk in front of you, giving your loved one a clear view of your nostrils and never-flattering area underneath your chin and jaw. Setting your camera above you is better, but not by much, and could likely hurt your neck. Put the lens at your eye-level. If you’re using your computer’s built-in webcam, either set it on some books to raise it or invest in a portable webcam. After all, can you really put a price on (your) beauty?

Finally, remember to look into the camera, not your screen, so you can look directly at them. Admittedly, this isn’t ideal for you, since you’ll miss seeing their face as it appears on your screen. But the alternative is your camera sending them a livestream of you looking down or off to the side. Not staring at your screen is a hard habit to shake, but imagine them seeing you gaze right into your eyes for the most romantic date Zoom has to offer.

And, scene!