Thanks to pandemic conditions, Zoom use has exploded over the last two years. In 2020 alone, the number of people using Zoom increased by over 470%. Last year was no different, with Zoom usage increasing another 36%.
Now, Zoom has become the go-to tool for meetings, classes, family catchups, etc.
Although Zoom is a handy tool, it also has some negative spin-offs, including a rise in body dysmorphia, a mental health phenomenon dubbed “zoom dysmorphia.”
Pretty much all of us have gotten tired of looking at our undereye bags and double chins on Zoom.
If you’re wondering how to look good on Zoom, the first thing to know is that webcams are not flattering, and you are not your “Zoom face”.
The second thing to know is that there are some simple tips you can implement to achieve a more flattering look on camera. Ready to start looking good on Zoom?
Keep reading for our top tips for using Zoom in a way that won’t make you dread seeing your face.
Table of Contents
Use Natural Lighting if You Can
One of the first tips for using Zoom in a way that doesn’t make one look like a sleep-deprived zombie is to utilize natural lighting when you can.
Natural lighting is the most flattering and will make your skin look healthier and your eyes brighter.
If you can, try positioning your computer in front of a window so the natural light coming in shines onto your face.
Avoid setting up your computer the other way around, with the window behind you. If you do this, it can blow out the screen, resulting in an overly bright background and not enough light on your face.
Instead of being nicely illuminated, your face will be cast in shadow (or lit by the harsh light of your screen) and your silhouette will be thrown into relief. People might struggle to read your facial expressions, which can hinder communication and non-visual cues.
Avoid Harsh Overhead Lighting
Of course, there will likely be those times when you can’t use natural light. If your Zoom call is at night, then you’ll be forced to use artificial lighting.
However, there are still some effective Zoom lighting tips you can use for artificial lights.
The first tip for artificial lighting is to turn off your overhead lights if you can. Overhead lighting is one of the most universally unflattering lighting types, both “IRL” and on a Zoom camera.
The reason for this is that overhead lighting creates shadows under your eyes. Instead of illuminating your face equally, overhead lighting tends to hit the forehead, and the brows then cast shadows around our eyes.
If you’ve been wondering why you look like you haven’t slept in days the moment you turn on your Zoom camera, harsh overhead lighting could be what’s to blame.
Speaking of harsh, this is another reason why overhead lighting is so unflattering. Overhead lighting is meant to cast light over large spaces. Unlike mood lighting, overhead lighting is usually quite bright.
Very bright light, especially from above, usually leaches one’s face of color and throws every line into sharp relief.
So if overheard lighting is so unflattering, what lighting should one use? The best artificial lighting for a Zoom call is probably lamp and mood lighting.
Do you have a lamp on your desk? If so, try positioning it behind your computer. If you need more light, you can also add a second lamp onto your desk, and a third or fourth behind you in the background of your space to create a warm glow.
Adjust Your Screen Brightness
Another thing to be aware of when it comes to lighting is your screen brightness. If your screen is very bright, this can wash out your face and make you look pale and tired.
If you wear glasses, a bright screen can also cast a lot of light and reflection onto the lenses. Instead of being able to see your eyes, the other participants on a Zoom call will get a reflected image of themselves in your glasses.
Not being able to see people’s eyes during a Zoom call can negatively impact communication and create a feeling of disconnection.
To make sure your screen’s light doesn’t destroy your efforts to look good on Zoom (and the quality of communication), check your brightness settings before you get started on a call.
Elevate Your Zoom Camera
If you’re wondering how to look good on zoom, one of the most important things to do is adjust your camera height to a flattering level.
It doesn’t matter how many Zoom lighting tips you follow, if your Zoom camera is too low you will probably look like the very worst version of yourself.
Have you ever accidentally turned on your phone camera while holding it in your lap, only to catch the most unflattering view of your face? This same effect is what a low zoom camera position will do.
If you are working on a laptop, the camera will by default be too low. The best position for a flattering camera angle is either directly at eye level, or slightly above.
If you are looking down at your webcam, this will highlight the bottom of your face and make it look larger. If you have neck rolls, looking down will accentuate them. Even if you don’t have neck rolls, looking downward can create the illusion of a double chin.
By positioning your camera higher, you can erase the double chin effect. Higher camera angles also work to accentuate one’s eyes and cheekbones, which is a more flattering look.
If you are doing a Zoom call on a laptop, the easiest way to elevate the camera is to place your laptop on top of a stack of books or a box.
Put Some Distance Between You and the Camera
Another powerful tip for looking good on Zoom is to put some distance between your face and the Zoom camera.
A lot of phone cameras and webcams have a slight fisheye lens. This helps the camera capture a wider angle, but it doesn’t do any favors for our faces when filming up close.
Fisheye and wide-angle lenses slightly magnify whatever is in the center field, especially if it’s in close proximity. If your face is too close to your Zoom camera, it will magnify your nose, which is the last thing that most of us want.
Even if you have a small nose, this false magnification can make your face look awkward and camel-like.
Don’t believe us? Research shows that noses appear 30% larger on average in photos from less than 12 inches away vs. a standard portrait distance.
This has resulted in the phenomena of the “selfie-nose” where every time you try to take a flattering selfie, you end up looking bulbous-nosed and slightly cross-eyed.
The best way to remedy “selfie-nose” in a Zoom call is to position your webcam at least one arm’s length away from you. Two is even better.
Dress for Success
Whether you want to learn how to look good on Zoom, or just feel confident in everyday life, dressing for success is key.
This doesn’t mean you need to don a power suite every time you take a Zoom call (although, if this makes you feel like a boss then go for it). But it does mean that you should always aim to dress like the most confident and comfortable version of yourself.
If you’re tired of feeling insecure about how you look on Zoom calls, dressing for the part you want to play can go a long way to increasing your confidence.
Numerous studies have revealed that the way we dress has a direct effect on how we perform and how we feel about ourselves. Research has shown that what you wear can even influence your cognitive and negotiating skills, as well as your heart rate and hormone levels.
Therefore, the next time you have a Zoom call, try dressing up a little. You don’t have to get too formal with it, but you can decide to wear your favorite pants, and the shirt you always get compliments in.
If you feel insecure about your face, maybe take some extra time over your skincare in the morning, or whip out that mascara wand or tube of brow gel.
Taking a little extra time on one’s grooming isn’t the be-all and end-all for looking good on Zoom, but it can make one feel more prepared and put-together.
Focus On Creating Healthy Habits
Creating healthy habits isn’t something that will instantly boost your appearance on your next Zoom call. But it is something that can have positive effects on your well-being over time.
A lot of healthy habits can positively impact the way you look and feel about yourself, both on and off camera.
For instance, drinking more water has been scientifically proven to boost skin health. If you are well hydrated, your skin may appear more supple and youthful. Drinking enough water can also be beneficial for your overall health and metabolism.
If you feel healthy and energized, this will show up in how you present yourself in all situations, including Zoom interactions.
Adequate exercise and healthy eating are two other habits that can have long-lasting effects on your confidence and wellbeing.
If you’re struggling with excess weight, making these types of lifestyle changes can help shed excess pounds and trigger improved overall health.
The number on the scale is not a metric of how good you look, and weight loss isn’t by any means necessary to looking good on Zoom. However, if weight gain is impacting your self-confidence and your health, you can take action, and we are here to help.
UnCraveX is a medically assisted weight loss program provider. Our aim is to put a stop to endless dieting and help Americans achieve a healthy weight through medically assisted support and coaching.
Do a Test Drive Before You Go Live
Are you feeling equipped to press “join” on your next Zoom call thanks to our camera angles, self-care, and Zoom lighting tips? Before you do, it’s always a good idea to do a quick test drive.
Turn on the camera app on your computer before it’s time to tune into your next Zoom call. Check your lighting, adjust your screen brightness, and tweak your camera angle if need be.
Once you get things set up to your satisfaction, you’ll feel confident and ready to participate.
Squash Negative Self-Talk
Once you have optimized your Zoom call setup to be as flattering as possible, call it a day and ditch the negative self-talk.
It’s normal to be self-critical, but this doesn’t mean you need to beat yourself up for the way you look on every Zoom call. Cameras are not flattering. Although we can use some smart hacks for looking good on Zoom, there will probably always be times when your mind starts trying to trash talk your appearance.
When you feel this happening, stop it. Reverse the script and give yourself a well-deserved compliment. Positive self-talk is widely known to boost confidence, which plays a huge part in how you come across to others, both virtually and in person.
Now You Know How to Look Good on Zoom
Now that you know how to look good on Zoom, there are a lot of quick things you can do to avoid the dreaded “Zoom face.”
Besides these quick fixes, there are also a few long-term health changes you can make.
Sadly, the artificially unflattering “Zoom face” we all have been struggling with has triggered a boom in cosmetic surgery. We don’t believe you should have to go under the knife to look your best, either on Zoom or in day-to-day life.
Well-being, confidence, and a healthy appearance are possible without surgery. However, weight loss can be a minefield, especially if you have battled an ED. That’s why it’s imperative you have the right guidance along the way.
Are you ready to lose weight the safe, sustainable, and healthy way? Find an UnCraveX provider today.