How to look less tired: make-up for faking a fresh face on Zoom calls and when you’re out and about

 The makeup you need to perfect your face on zoom The makeup you need to perfect your face on zoom
The makeup you need to perfect your face on zoom | Shutterstock

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Many of us - understandably - are struggling to get a full eight hours sleep. But there are tips you use undertake to fake a well-rested face for when you’re next on a zoom call, or out for a drink

The past few years, and working from home, has taken a considerable toll: on our schedules, our routines and our skin. And while you ‘looking a rubbish’ certainly doesn’t top the list of effects of the pandemic, many of us face logging onto a video call for work each morning and being faced with a visage that’s grey, wan, and saggy.

Make sure to wash your face

If you’re someone who leaps from bed to a morning meeting, pausing only to pull on a respectable top, we implore you to wash your face thoroughly when you stop into the bathroom for your morning toilet. It’s the best thing you can do to bring the colour back to your skin and ‘wake-up’ the muscles in your face. The Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser is a hero product - it smells delicious, feels decadent to slather on, and will instantly perk your skin up.

Once your face is clean, even if you don’t have time for make-up, slather on a moisturiser. If you’re time pressed but want your face to look clearer, brighter, and like you had a full 8 hours, Origins Vitazing is your very best friend. It’s hydrating, lightly tinted, and even has SPF 15 so you’ve covered your sun protection, too.

Make your eyes look brighter with an eye serum that plumps and brightens

If you have more time, you’ll likely want to spend some time prepping your eye area to help them look less wizened.

And that means two ingredients: Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Vitamin C is clinically proven to make skin appear brighter, while hyaluronic acid helps the skin plump up. If you suffer from hyperpigmentation and crêpeyness , in addition to having dark circles, a smart serum will help smooth under-eye skin.

The gold standard here is Dr Dennis Gross’s Ferulic (that’s Vit C) and Retinol Eye Serum (£68 for 15ml), but it costs a pretty penny. It has a fairly instantly brightening effect, but, as with any skin care, you’ll need to apply for at least four weeks consistently before you see real results. Absolutely worth it though – you will see a difference in dark circles.

Now your skin is prepped - what make-up should you use?

First up - dark circles. Concealing dark circles is a two-step process, but it’s quite a doddle. First of all you need to correct the discolouration, then help blend the camouflaged area into the rest of the face using a concealer.

Correctors, if you’ve not used one before, look improbable when you look at them, but use the old-fashioned skill of colour filtering to undo what you’re not keen on. If your dark circles are blueish-pink (most Caucasian skin), you need a salmon-y pink corrector, while for brownish circles (more common on brown, black, and Asian skin tones), you need a more peachy corrector.

Regardless of which camp you fall into, you’ll be able to find a brilliant corrector at Bobbi Brown (£16) (they are the best at this).

Once corrected, you need to conceal, in order to not look too mad. Dab with your fingers in a generous circle atop the corrected area, to blend into the rest of our face.

There are a great many effective concealers on the market. Our favourites isthe Glossier Stretch concealer (£15) (fantastically buildable, with a smooth texture, and never cakey).

Products to help restore glow and glimmer

From there, it’s a case of applying make-up to make your cheeks look healthily flushed, your eyes bright and wide, and your skin-tone even. Consult the g

All of these products can be worn individually, so you don’t have to feel like you need to wear a full face of make-up to achieve that bright, fresh, natural look that we all want - without it looking like we’ve put much make-up on at all.

For even more beautiful beauty products to enhance your natural look, check out our review of the new Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation, along with the best bright lipsticks for long lasting coverage and the top eyebrow products to shape your brows like a pro. We’ve also written a definitive guide of how to look after your skin to prevent dark circles under your eyes.

For fashion and beauty buys, take a look at our Recommended section.


One of the biggest giveaways of tiredness is those dark circles under the eyes, and when we’re on video calls with a camera close to our face they can look more obvious than ever.

To cover them, you need a brilliant concealer - and this is it. It’s called Super Coverage because it provides just that. It can even cover tattoos, so dark cicrles will be no problem.

It also helps to even out your skin tone and cover any redening too - all with a lightweight, beautiful product.


Available in five different pink tones, this liquid blusher is perfect for adding a natural looking pop of colour to your cheeks.

The skin can look quite pale on a webcam, especially if the pixel quality is low. This product will instantly lift the look of the skin and give you a healthy-looking glow.


If you haven’t got the time before you’re next video call to put on a full face of make-up then you can instantly make yourself look more awake - even if it’s actually not long since you pulled yourself out of bed - by taking two minutes to put on this mascra.

It’s designed to make your lashes look longer and fuller and will really open up the eye.

It will last all day, won’t look clumpy and will give you the appearance of naturally gorgoeus eyelashes.

Cult Beauty

This lip tint is from Honest Beauty, the brand created by actor-turned-brand founder Jessica Alba and a team of top make up artists and cosmetic chemists.

A lip tint is a juicy hybrid between a balm and a lipstick which gives a beautiful pop of colour while moisturing the lips.

Lip tints are best at giving you long-lasting colour, which means no matter how many cups of tea or coffee you drink your lips will still look flawless.

Applying colour to your lips is one of the quickest and most effective ways of freshening up your look.

Available in four different shades.


This eyeliner glides on smoothly just like a liquid but offers all the versatility of traditional kohl pencils.

Applying this to the lower lash line will instantly widen the eye, which is turn will make you look much less tired.

It contains crushed pearl powder for a smooth finish and a shiny look that will again make your eyes look brighter.

Available in six different colours.


Effortless give your skin skin that sun-kissed look- even in the middle of winter - with this highlighter palette.

Each palette features four flattering shades so you can blush, lowlight and highlight your way to a natural, illuminating glow.

It is a creamy yet lightweight texture that blends seamlessly on the skin to create a subtle sheen that will accentuate your key features.

Available in Light Glow for fair to medium skin tones, Medium Glow for medium to tanned skin tones and Rich Glow for tanned to rich skin tones.


Both of these lip glosses nurture the lips whilst providing buildable colour. You can wear either one of the colours alone or mix them together in different quantities to create your own shades.

Containing shea, cupuaca, avocado, and murumuru butters, they will provide a deeply moisturising treatment, plump up the lips and give a beautiful splash of colour.

Slick this on in just a minute right before your zoom call to feel - and look - fresh.

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