There are two kinds of working women during a 21-day nationwide lockdown. One of them is dangerously on top of her game, already has a daily productivity plan set in motion and gets in some exercise at the end of the day. Then there's me; I wake up in a frenzy and turn on my computer, barely updating the daily work log in time. The laptop has turned into my bed partner, and fabulous outfits have been replaced by baggy PJs that nobody should ever be seen in!

This behaviour is less than ideal since I have to get on conference calls that can sometimes go on for hours. Even though we have all chuckled at the memes of people looking like hamsters in their conference call videos, it is so not cute to be caught shabby by your colleagues. You wouldn’t want them to see you like that any other day, so why should working from home be any different?

Fortunately, there are some ways you can tweak your look for video calls, which won't require you to run to your closet every time the phone starts to go off. Here are 5 ways to look presentable for your office video calls while working in isolation.

 

Pick the right light setting

Pick the right light setting

When it comes to working from home, it's all about location, location, location! This might be the best time to set up a permanent work desk at your house, one which is both comfortable and far from distractions. Make sure it is well-lit with a window in front of you or on your side, but not behind you as this can land up backfiring when you’re on a video call. The image of a stressed-out woman lurking in the corner of her room, hidden in shadows, is not something your boss or client wants to see! And no cozying up on the couch either.

 

Light makeup goes a long way

Light makeup goes a long way

No matter how bad your camera lens is, your kajal-smeared eyes will still be seen through the video feed. My suggestion: Opt for light makeup with properly prepped skin for conference calls. Don't overdo it with a lot of pigments and shades as that just looks OTT. Instead, go with a little bit of concealer, a tinted lip balm or lip stain and loads of mascara. They really work like magic, making you look more awake and attentive, especially through a grainy video.

 

Make sure your hair and brows are neat

Make sure your hair and brows are neat

I cannot stress this enough… never start a video call without doing a quick check in the mirror. Yes, basic grooming is a must even when working from home. Now is a great time to try that fishtail braid you saw on Insta, but never had the time for in the morning. If your braiding game isn’t strong, a neat top knot will do too. These are days when dry shampoo comes in handy as well to quickly freshen up your hair. Stick to simple yet clean hairstyles that won't get messed up while wearing headphones. And don't get soft on maintaining those brows either!

 

Pick flattering clothes

Pick flattering clothes

Don't let your boss see you in a tattered tank top that says “SNOOZE” on the front! While your workwear takes a break, pick simpler alternatives that look smart yet understated like a plaid shirt, a v-neck t-shirt in a solid colour or an uncomplicated blouse. Seek out the flattering colours and necklines from your wardrobe and make sure none of them have a yogurt stain on them from the night before!

 

Wear some cute accessories

Wear some cute accessories

There’s not much you can do in the way of making your look interesting while on a video call. Add some light jewellery and pick a cute hair accessory to take things up a notch instead!