We all have those Instagram profiles that we check every day, that we enable post alerts for, and that we allude to in conversation as if they were real friends. If you’ve ever scrolled through one of these images and wondered how she does it, you’re not alone. You’ve come to the right place. We’re excited to introduce our new series, Insta Stalking, in which we speak with the ladies behind the Instagram accounts we’re obsessed with about their beauty secrets. Following that, we’ll hear from nine busy ladies on the Zoom cosmetics they swear by for video chats.
To say that this year has been eventful is an understatement. For many of us, one of the most significant changes is that we now spend up to nine hours a day gazing at our coworkers (and, let’s be honest, at ourselves) on small video displays. As is the case with the majority of things during this strange time period, mastering our Zoom faces has been an adjustment—appearing camera-ready without seeming out of place with leggings is a tricky balance.
Add to that the reality that some women are applying lipstick with one hand while nursing a baby with the other, or are just attempting to take some time for themselves as meetings come earlier and earlier, and getting ready for the day feels more complex than ever. Fortunately, we were able to find down nine busy ladies who have perfected their Zoom makeup regimens. Continue reading to learn the finest makeup for video chats, as recommended by CEOs, writers, and campaigners.
Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter; Director of Strategies at the National Domestic Workers Association; and author of The Purpose of Power
I rise at 6 a.m. to pray and ride my Peloton cycle for an hour. I stretch, shower, brew a cup of coffee, and prepare for calls. They generally begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at around 5:00 p.m. I spend most of my conversations wandering about the house with my AirPods in, but I also make frequent, if reluctant, video calls. Around midday, I begin preparing lunch. It’s a running joke that by the time I answer my staff meeting call, I’m in the kitchen cooking up something delectable.
With the publication of my book, I’ve probably worn more makeup in the last two weeks than I have throughout the epidemic. (It’s been a whirlwind; I truly forgot how to do makeup.) However, if I’m not attending a lot of events, I keep my makeup simple—a little concealer, a red lip, and a well-moisturized skin go a long way. If I have more time or inclination, I’ll add blush and mascara. My foundation is a Fenty or Pat McGrath concealer, Aesop’s Fabulous Face Oil, and MAC’s Dance With Me matte lipstick. I like to make a cat-eye and lashes if I have ten minutes. If I have at least 15 minutes, I’ll contour and apply blush and highlighter.
Regarding my other Zoom necessities, I adore my DIFF blue light glasses. They’re a must when you spend your days staring at displays. Additionally, I swear by Sealed With a Kiss—a balm that helps keep your lipstick in place all day and prevents you from ending the day with an only lip liner on. Additionally, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter moisturizes my skin. Additionally, I am fascinated with little diffusers. A drop or two of lavender oil prevents me from being irritable during conference calls, while a drop of citrus oil stimulates my intellect.
Bozoma Saint John, Netflix’s worldwide head marketing officer
My usual work-from-home day begins with a 6 a.m. exercise, followed by assisting my 11-year-old daughter with preparing for online school and preparing myself for a day of video calls. I eat breakfast and then jump into back-to-back sessions—I average about ten to twelve video meetings each day—with brief pauses in between to stretch my limbs, get a snack, and check on my kid. I’m generally finished by 7 p.m., at which point I can prepare supper before sitting on the couch to watch Netflix (of course!).
Working from home hasn’t altered my makeup regimen significantly because I still dress as if I’m going into the workplace. To me, it provides a sense of normalcy, and applying cosmetics has always elevated my mood, so I feel as though it’s practically a must these days. I adore a strong lip color, even more so now since we’re just seeing faces. If you can’t see my trousers or skirt, at the very least you’ll notice this incredible hue. And because I talk so much during the day, I want my lips to be as noticeable as the words I utter.
If I just have ten minutes, I’ll apply my fave matte red lipstick (a limited-edition shade from makeup artist Sir John’s Lion King–inspired Luminess collection), Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation (which exactly matches my melanin), and a good ol’ Ardell strip lash. And I have a blotter beside my laptop to wipe away any extra shine that occurs during the video call. Although no one has ever complained about too much shine. I just do not wish to blind anyone with my brilliance, either physically or metaphorically.
Alicia Yoon, Peach & Lily’s creator and CEO
Each day, I begin with breakfast, tea, and some quiet time (no phones! ), during which I jot down my top priorities for the day. This way, I’m more deliberate about my day than I am about responding to what comes into my email. After this holy morning time for self-reflection, I make my way to my home office station to begin the workday. Beyond this point, each day is unique; some days, I spend the whole day in meetings with my staff, discussing everything from finance to sales to marketing to operations. On other days, it’s more of a heads-down approach to developing new goods and content.
I’ve always been self-conscious about my complexion and never wore too much foundation, but in the age of Zoom, I enjoy spritzing on the Peach & Lily Glass Skin Veil Mist immediately before jumping on a video chat for an extra glassy, dewy, hydrated appearance. This mist will get you compliments—the change in perking up your complexion is evident even on video. Because Zoom makes my eye makeup look a little more washed out, I spend very little effort on it anymore. Rather than that, I’ve been focusing on a bold lip color, such as Chanel Lipstick in Pirate, to create a traditional red lip with glass skin.
I used to get lash extensions religiously prior to COVID, and now I hardly ever apply mascara. I also don’t spend as much effort as I did shaping and filling in my sparse brows. I’ll simply use my Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil to perform a fast draw-in and spoolie-brush motion, and then I’m finished. Additionally, I reapply SPF throughout the day because UVA rays (the non-burning rays) enter through windows and may still do significant damage. Time spent preparing for meetings is an excellent opportunity to remind me to reapply. I adore the Rootree UV Sun Shield since it is completely transparent, weightless, and leaves my skin feeling silky soft.
Tanya Taylor is an eponymous fashion designer.
I typically wake around 7 a.m., nurse our infant, shower, dress, and then eat breakfast with my husband and our three-year-old son—my specialty is chocolate chip pancakes or waffles. I immediately enter meetings following breakfast. On average, I spend four to five hours each day on video conversations. I make a point of walking around the block at least once a day, stopping in the kitchen for a short lunch, and fitting in two feedings with our four-month-old.
Prior to COVID, I was always racing around the city and never hydrated sufficiently, so I relied on cosmetics to get a healthy glow. Now that I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom, my daily regimen revolves around ensuring my skin is healthy and moisturized, followed by the application of little yet effective makeup. My brows are shaped and finished with a little eyeliner and mascara.
Because I seldom have more than two minutes to apply makeup, I use a tinted moisturizer on my face, highlighter on my cheeks, and concentrate on a light Charlotte Tilbury liquid liner, brow shape, and concealer to brighten my under-eye circles—since Zoom magnifies everything, I feel. I keep a little cup filled with some of my favorite products—such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Lip Oil—near my computer for touch-ups throughout the day. Additionally, I have an assortment of hoop earrings on my desk in case I need to seem more “dressed,” as well as a D.S. & Durga candle in Wild Brooklyn Lavender for an afternoon pick-me-up, and some water.
For Zoom social gatherings beginning around 5 p.m., I’ll slap on a red lip and a touch of eye makeup and call it a day.
Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Olive & June’s founder, and CEO
Because I am such an in-person people person, transitioning to life at WFH has been a significant adjustment. I spend a large portion of my day on Google Hangouts with the team, and the remainder of the time is open to anything: more video meetings, phone calls, emails, product testing and development, and plenty of time on social media engaging with our wonderful O&J community.
I typically wear makeup only when I’m about to conduct an Instagram Live or a video meeting. Each week, we offer a variety of mani masterclasses and Instagram Lives to educate everyone on how to paint their own nails at home. They truly are a source of joy in my life. I began Olive & June because manicures have always been a mood enhancer for me, and as a result, I change my polish at least twice a week. I want to feel my best for crucial meetings, which for me means a bold mani. Obsessed, a rich, dark ruby red from our new winter collection, is my current power mani color.
If I have ten minutes to prepare — which, in reality, is more like three — I begin with my trusty NARS Concealer to conceal the signs of insufficient sleep and too much Starbucks iced tea, and then all I need is Pat McGrath Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Xtreme Black and Kosas The Big Clean Mascara to be ready to roll on some calls. Additionally, I have our Cuticle Serum on hand. I always want my manicure to look as though I just left a salon.