Look Alive on Zoom in 10-Seconds Flat by Contouring With Blush

Photo: Stocksy/Veavea
If ever you've turned on the Zoom camera for a Monday morning meeting (or any other meeting for that matter), and been greeted with dark circles and parched skin that even the "touch me up" filter doesn't tame, well, same. The good news is that you don't actually look meh in real life (despite what your Zoom screen might have you believe). Video calls tend to make your skin look more flattened and washed out (even when your skin is f-i-n-e IRL). The easiest way to remedy this sitch? With the 10-second technique of contouring with blush.

While the idea of contouring might feel like a lot (especially on days when you have zero intention of leaving the house), there's an easy way to do it using nothing more than a single shade of cream blush. Browse through photos of any 1970s-era icon (like David Bowie, Grace Jones, Jerry Hall, etc.), and you'll see that they all did something called "blush draping," which basically sculpts your face with zero contour product or microcurrent device required. If you look to the 70s-style rockstars for the inspo, you'll notice that the blush draping looks quite... bold. Which is totally fine, but you can do it in a more subtle way, too. "You can absolutely use bold colors, but the modern version utilizes watercolor pinks, fuchsias, and peaches for an ethereal look, or warm, tawny tones for a bronze-y finish," says Merrady Wickes, a makeup artist and beauty director for The Detox Market, who likens the technique as an upgrade to the monochromatic look.

How To Contour With Blush

"To create a natural contour, apply cream blush where the sun would naturally add color to your face," says Amy Liu, founder of Tower 28. "Blend it from the apples of your cheeks all the way up to your temples in a C-shape, then lightly tap the leftover balm on your finger across the bridge of your nose. It instantly makes you look more awake."  This will give your skin dimension, and help you fake a sun-kissed look (even if you haven't been outside in the actual sun in weeks).

"To contour your face using cream blush, your best bet is to use an earth-toned color," says makeup artist Natalia Thomas. For lighter skin tones, she suggests going for a taupe shade with a slight ash gray undertones, while medium and deeper skin tones should choose a shade that's two or three shades darker than their skin. "To really make your contour make you appear less flat on zoom and FaceTime, highlight the high points of the face with a your highlighter of choice."

Below, seven products that will help you get the job done within seconds of your next video call. And—bonus—you can apply all of these multitaskers to your lips and lids as an easy way to fake a full face with zero effort at all.

Tower28 Beachplease Luminous Tinted Lip and Cheek Balm, $20

Photo: Tower28

This creamy tint offers a radiant, rosy finish that will give skin an instant glow-up. It's made with nourishing ingredients like green tea extract and aloe, which will hydrate, calm, and soothe your complexion while also helping it look more awake.

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Lip & Cheek Stick, $45

Photo: Charlotte Tilbury

While getting an actual beachy glow might be impossible right now, this stick will get you pretty darn close. It illuminates your complexion with light-diffusing pigments that will leave behind a radiant finish, and it will melt into skin.

Honest Beauty Creme Cheek Blush, $13

Photo: Honest Beauty

With shades ranging from deep plum to creamy coral, this blush can be used to create a number of different looks. To take things to the next level of "put together-ness," apply some to your eyelids for a fully monochromatic vibe.

Wander Beauty On-The-Glow Blush and Illuminator, $28

Photo: Wander Beauty

To add a little highlight to your effortless contour, use the brightening end of this double-duty stick. It will give lips and cheeks a natural, radiant color that's sure to launch 1,000 compliments from your coworkers.

Covergirl Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick, $11

Photo: Covergirl

Like a little bit of glitz? This glow stick will give you color and shimmer with a single swipe. It comes in a number of shades ranging from translucent opal to petal pink to bronze, and has cooling properties that will calm skin as you glide it on.

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek, $38

Photo: RMS Beauty

If the idea of a cream blush downright terrifies you, this sheer formula will help calm your fears. A few dabs will offer natural-looking color that won't make you feel like you're walking around with clown-colored lips or cheeks.

Physicians Formula Triple Defense Multicolor Stick, $11

Photo: Physicians Formula

It's important to defending your skin from the elements, even when you're staying indoors, and this stick has got you covered. In addition to providing a natural-looking swath of color, it's got SPF, blue-light blocking properties, and pollution protection to keep skin safe no matter what it's up against.

Two more easy ways to up your look on video calls? With these concealer techniques and this drugstore mascara that's like an instant lash lift in a bottle

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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