Part of your brand is how you appear in photos and present yourself in videos.

Here’s how to get a natural on-camera look that doesn’t scream TONS OF MAKEUP and lets your audience concentrate on what you are saying rather than what you look like.

Gents, feel free to check out my Just For Men post about looking good on-camera.

Ladies, unfortunately there is a double standard when it comes to appearance. You will be checked out far more carefully and judged far more harshly than any guy. But think of applying make-up as your pre-game warm up. It’s a chance to put on your game face before going on screen for that corporate video or webcast.

Tips for Neutral & Natural On-Camera Makeup:

1. The annoying but key first step.

I’m lazy and hate having to “touch up” my makeup halfway through an on-camera session. It took a melted face to convince me the only way to make makeup last is by starting with a moisturizing primer. Invest the time and money.

2. No blotches please!

Natural light is much more forgiving so if you are filming outside don’t use too heavy a hand with your makeup.

But if you are going to be inside and in front of lots of artificial light, you’ll need to be more thorough and take the time to cover every flaw.

Even out your skin tone with a bit of foundation and concealer. Dab a brightening cover-up under your eyes. Blend, blend, blend so those HD cameras don’t show any “paint” strokes.

3. Go for a well-rested and professional look.

Emphasize your eyes with brown and beige shadows and a bit of black liner. More dramatic eye-makeup is only okay if you are in the fashion industry or want an “edgy” look. Don’t forget a coat of mascara, cleaned up eyebrows, and a little blush on the apples of your cheeks to make you look lively.

4. Don’t blind your audience.

Keep glare away by using a translucent pressed powder on your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Add a swipe of neutral lipstick or a light, not gooey, gloss.

5. The final touches.

Powder your neck and décolletage so it matches the color of your face. Remember to do a quick blot with a paper towel (or “blotting paper”) before the camera switches on.

I feel slightly ridiculous for writing such a superficial and vain post but as my BEFORE photo and AFTER photo demonstrate, looking good is vital to professional success.

And, let’s face it, looking good makes you feel better too.

Four months after having my second kid, I did a video shoot with makeup legend Bobbi Brown. I felt gray with exhaustion. But I looked refreshed and, amazingly, awake thanks to her make-up application. More importantly, I felt confident and, in the end, that confidence translated into a better on-screen performance.


Manoush’s on-camera expertise comes from years of reporting and producing for BBC News and Reuters Television. For more tips and techniques, check out Manoush’s ebook Camera Ready: How to Prepare Your Best Self & Ideas On Air and Online and follow her on Twitter @manoushz.