To no one's surprise, Zoom has been named by many the "King of the Quarantine Economy".
The number of its users increased this year from 10 million people before March 13 to 200 million by April 2.
I am the mother of a fifth grader, a wife, a head of household, a daughter to my elderly mom who constantly needs medical attention, a fashion designer, and a business owner; and to help me run my multiple roles Zoom has been my best friend since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Between staying connected with my Femprenuers moms' group, attending Quarantea meetings on Tuesdays, attending doctor consultations, and helping raise funds for PPE masks and other medical equipment production, attending three or four video calls per week has been my regular practice lately.
Surely our society norms and trends changed quickly, if not overnight.
It's now OK to bring your kid to the "office".
And it's OK to present from your bedroom, while your husband is talking in the background to a group of his colleagues, since you are both sharing it as a work space now. LOL!
All are welcome! So much so, that even our four legged friends have been humanized and their presence at the meetings is requested rather than discouraged for emotional support. More smiles.
With that said, does it mean that all restrictions are gone, and anything goes nowadays? I don't think so...
There are boundaries that mankind will never override and your personal appearance is one of them, because humans by nature want to show their best side when it comes to appearing in public.
Therefore, going onto a video call in your wrinkled pajamas and greasy hair is comparable to being caught half naked in bed - nearly a violation of privacy, in other words!
This article is not to imply or encourage all Zoomers to cut their sleep short and spend hours making themselves up before the call.
Instead, it is to say that looking good on a video chat is possible without aggravation and a big investment of time.
Practice the following tips, one at a time or all at once and count your compliments:
1. NO MORE HAIR IN THE AIR!
Yeah, put your hair up, or at least tuck it behind your ears!
It will help you achieve a more sleek professional look, make your neck appear longer, display the beautiful jewelry that you like to wear, and you will hear better.
In addition, no one would guess that you slept in again and didn't have time for a wash.
2. " A MOUTH WITHOUT LIPSTICK IS LIKE A CAKE WITHOUT FROSTING."
It's possible that your lip cover alone can replace the need for full makeup, as long as you pick the right color.
If only we had a crystal ball, we'd have all rushed to BITE Beauty to custom order our best color just in time for Zoom era. Maybe later...
For now, any lip product in a brighter tone will do. It may be an outside the box choice for most women, but just keep in mind that neutral shades blend with your skin tone and make you look washed out, even sleepy and tired on the screen.
Colors in the plum family have been voted the most popular due to the balance of color intensity just enough for your lips to stand out and help you look awake without looking too inappropriate.
3. DO SCARF AND CHARM RHYME?
They do, indeed!
Any fabric piece whether it's a long silk scarf, shawl, or a small playful kerchief wrapped around your neck completes the look.
Wearing one may be the easiest, yet the quickest way to appear chic and well put together, no need to match it with the rest of your outfit.
Neck scarves, due to their burst of color, tend to look brisk and empower you with style.
4. IT'S ALL IN THE STRUCTURE.
Ask any fashionista about how to achieve good style, and she will tell you right away that it's all in the structure.
It's for a reason we tend to like and trust people dressed up in well tailored and fitted clothes, the weather girl look, if you will, instead of a person in loose sluggish looking garments.
Not to impose tight dresses and suits for everyone while in front of the computer at home, however a small, easy, and nothing too serious cropped jacket over your leisure attire will do the trick, no need to change.
5. EARRINGS INTERFERINGS.
Don't be afraid to put a pair of colorful statement earrings on.
They will brighten up your look and give it a freaky touch, as well as draw attention, which may be a positive thing in case your brows are not touched up.
Besides, wearing jewelry is an emotionally uplifting experience that puts you in a better mood instantly, whether you are working from home or getting ready to go out.
6. BLUE IS NEW BLACK!
Treat those Zoom sessions the same way you treat your holiday card shoot.
One of the easiest ways to control how you look is by picking what you wear.
Looking good doesn't automatically mean black clothes are the only choice.
And, looking happy and fresh doesn't necessarily mean wearing prints.
Solids are your best choice, just remember that neutral colors may cause you look pale.
Go with deep reds or earthy, brown colors.
Deep shades of the blueish-green family, as well as rose and coral tones are universally flattering of all!
Avoid strong contrasts like the combination of white and black, it's distracting.
7. WHAT'S IN A BACKGROUND?
When you log into your live meeting, remember that your background is a part of your image.
Busy and cluttered backgrounds are distracting not only visually for your call partners, but also psychologically for you.
A wall with a nice framed artwork always looks neat, so does a live plant with its green foliage in the background.
If you are tight with space and moving around is not an option, there is a choice of a background drop in the application itself.
Go to your profile in the top right corner of the app and click Settings.
On the menu to the left, click Virtual Background and pick the one that works best from a few default background options.
Uploading your own photo as a background is also available in the application.
8. YOU CAN ALWAYS MAKE IT BETTER.
If you took selfies in the past, I bet your appreciated a special filter feature.
Thankfully there is a filter for video-conferencing you can use to look better while working from home.
In Settings check off the box "touch up my appearance", and it will help you look pretty, even if you haven't put in any effort in your appearance.
I know, it sounds magical; although, it won't snap out your pajamas or work out clothes.
9. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?
True, being on Zoom can be challenging in the beginning, especially if you are not a formal TV persona, and your very first experience of being live in front of the camera is only now.
Keep in mind that it's important to look straight into the camera not at the other face(s).
Otherwise, your eyes appear wandering around, especially when it's your turn to share information, and no eye contact is established among participants, which is a no-no.
Consider adjusting your monitor accordingly to help the process.
10. LET IT GO.
In order to look good on screen, there are a few other essential things to keep in mind.
Relax, drop your shoulders down and lean forward, especially if you are a presenting speaker.
It will help to remove tension from your shoulders and neck as well as any nervousness you might have, and help your thoughts flow better.
And always remember to pause, smile, repeat!
Happy Zooming, ladies!
Do you have tips to share?
Inga Goodman, Creative Director for her namesake fashion brand. @fashionbyinga
BITE Beauty - Custom built lipstick colors at lip lab to capture your individuality.
Who What Wear - This Is the Worst Color to Wear in Photos.
Fashion By Inga - Shop your Zoom cropped easy jackets here.
BUSINESS INSIDER - "There's a filter on Zoom you can use to look better on video calls while working from home. Here's how to turn on the setting."