How to Look Great on Skype

Before Skype Beauty TipsTrue story.  In late June I got a call from a TV producer who was developing a syndicated beauty show.  He “loved” my blog and wanted me to interview as a co-host for the show. There were going to be four hosts and I would be the “boomer beauty expert”  Since they were in LA and I was in NYC, the interview would be on Skype.

No problem.   I had done quite a bit of TV for  book promotion so I knew the drill.  I got my hair blown  out and applied the usual pancake  make-up, contouring  and eye liner.  I sat down confidently in front of my laptop and dialed into the interview.   But when I saw myself on the little pix in the corner, I knew  it was all over.  I looked like a cranky troll and unless it was going to be a beauty show for trolls, I was not a contender.  I was not surprised that I never heard from the producer again.

Te Best  Skype Beauty Tips

I began looking at other people on Skype.  Some  looked as bad as I did while others appeared polished and radiant.  Clearly there were  tricks I needed to learn.  For tech support I turned to one of the smartest people I know Miral Sattar, founder of Bibliocrunch.  A graduate of Columbia Engineering, Miral has a depth of knowledge   that  seemed to answer  any technical question.   In one afternoon  she showed me what I was doing wrong and the right way to  light and set up  for Skype. 

1.  Find a spot in your apartment with a wall or bookcase in the background and a sunny window to one side. This is your Skype sweet spot.

2. Raise the laptop until the web cam is at eye level.  Depending  on your height and the height of the table, this can take one or two phone books.  When the eye of the camera is level with  yours, tilt  it  down slightly.

3. Push the computer back until its at least 12 inches from your body.

4.  Try to keep your head straight when you talk.  Avoid the temptation to lean in  and keep  smiling.  Not a  a big giddy grin  but just a pleasant expression  on your face.

Make-up for Skype is  All About Light

For   make-up advice, I turned to  celebrity  stylist Dex Phillips.  According to  New York based Dex,   traditional  TV pancake make-up  is what gave me that pasty  look on Skype.   The challenge for Skype  is bring light, radiance and definition  to the face despite a fairly unflattering camera system.  His  make-up plan is distinctly different from the primer, contouring and shading of traditional  on-camera application.

Skype Make-up According to Dex

1. Even out the  skin tone with a tinted moisturizer, using it all ove the face  including the eyelids.

2. Use a concealer under the eyes and to cover blemishes

3. Apply a neutral tone matte eye shadow all over the lid  for a fresh and natural clean eye.  No smokey eye!

4. Apply two coats of mscara  for further eye definition.  Apply one coat, wait a minute to allow it to dry, then apply another coat.

5. Apply bronzer on cheeks and temples for a warm, healthy glow.

6. Using a lip brush, carefully line and fill in lips with a neutral  color.

And here is the final result.  No more troll– just me.After Skype Makeover

Please try out these tips and let me know  how they work for you.  And I’d love to hear  if you have any suggestions for hair  or clothing options for Skype.


12 thoughts on “How to Look Great on Skype

  1. I LOVE your tips on makeup and will check out Dex New York make up for that tinted moisturizer you mentioned. Not only did you look natural, it made you look fresh and glowing too!

    I also learned that daylight is best! When you can’t use daylight, I usually bounce the light off the walls so that they fall softly on my face. It helps to get a test video shot of oneself too.

    • Doing Skype at night is my next challenge. What lights do you use to get light? Dex works with a photographer who has some great lighting tips for Skype at night and I will be testing them out next week and posting the results.

  2. You are too funny. And certainly not a troll by any stretch of the imagination.

    Love the tips! So far I Skype mostly just with the grandsons, but one day I just may be called on for something and these tips will certainly come in handy. I’ll be practicing them with the kids. 😀

  3. Much better! I think taking off the glasses was a good idea too – they looked like a barrier between you and the viewer as they have quite prominant frames.

    In terms of clothes, I’d say unfussy but reasonably bright colour or contrast near your face (like what you’re wearing in the second pic). I’m not sure if Skype doesn’t like small patterns like TV doesn’t, but I wouldn’t risk it. I guess for something important you could always test it out with a friend first.

  4. What a difference — it made me a believer in your tips! Like Lisa I just use Skype for conversations with my grandson but I know people who’ve done interviews with it.

  5. We stopped wearing the thick pancake type foundation on TV years ago, I normally use a light liquid foundation but even a tinted moisterizer like Garnier BB Cream is great with a little dusting of loose powder but not too much. And as far the eyes go, blend, blend blend. A few individual lashes in outer corners are helpful too. These are such great tips, Deborah I’m going to try them out for two upcoming Google Hangouts.. I assume the lighting problems will be a lot like Skype?

  6. This is so helpful. I have been aghast at the way I look on Google+ hangouts or Skype, so I will definitely try these tips next time. Thanks!

  7. I’m so glad pancake is no longer required. It always wrecked my skin. Individual lashes is a great tip. I actually saw a well done Youtube video on how to apply individual lashes that was so easy I could follow it.
    Yes, Google hangouts have the same beauty issues as Skype. Would love to see a screen shot of you using these tips.

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