Living

I spent thousands on a Zoom makeover and have no regrets

I spent thousands on a Zoom makeover and have no regrets

Over the course of five weeks during the coronavirus lockdown, Georgia Marantos changed everything about her look, from her wardrobe to her makeup to her hair style.

Marantos, a 50-year-old tarot card reader and energy healer who lives on the Upper West Side, tells The Post she wanted to “step up her game” before launching her YouTube channel.

So she reached out to Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt, 45, a stylist who came recommended by a friend and who specializes in on-camera looks, for a digital glow-up. Greenawalt, who runs her own Manhattan service called Alexandra Stylist, charges thousands of dollars for a four-to-six-week comprehensive makeover, which doesn’t include the price of new clothing, makeup and hair maintenance.

Marantos and Greenawalt never actually met in person — the entire transformation took place over video chat. This suited their project just fine, as Greenawalt says that prepping to appear on camera is a highly specific skill.

Georgia Marantos
Georgia MarantosMichael Benabib

For those who aren’t aspiring YouTube stars, Greenawalt says there are still plenty of tricks to enhance one’s appearance on Zoom or Google Meet. Before an important video conference — such as a job interview or a chat with the boss — she even suggests doing “dress rehearsals” to check how your in-person look translates. “Practice, get in front of the camera by yourself and test it out,” she says.

Marantos says she’s learned her lesson: “I’m not just going to hop in the shower five minutes before and then go live on Facebook or YouTube [anymore].” Below, Greenawalt’s best tips for looking dazzling on a computer screen.

Setting up

Everything about your on-screen presence is affected by light. If you can find a spot by a window, where the sunlight will beam onto your face, th at’s ideal.

Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt
Alexandra Suzanne GreenawaltEmma Dallman

Otherwise, purchasing an inexpensive ring light (like this one) or moving a lamp closer to you should do the trick. “Sometimes it’s just as simple as . . . taking the lampshade off and sticking the light in the right place,” says Greenawalt. The goal is getting your face in focus and doing away with distracting shadows.

And take time to find a flattering angle: Your camera should be at eye level or above, says Greenawalt. “Avoid below, because then you’re catching your neck waddle,” says Greenawalt. Her trick for a perfect frame? “Pile a bunch of books up and put your laptop or camera on that.”

Clothing

“On camera, contrasts are stronger,” says Greenawalt. “It’s not good to wear white or black or really complicated prints, they don’t translate very well.” She suggests wearing flattering jewel tones, and reaching for items with subtle embellishments, such as beading, to “catch the light.”

As for cuts, simple shapes tend to look best. “Generally women look better in a V-neck neckline. If you’re super busty, you might be better in a scoop,” she says. Loose blouses and turtlenecks can be chic at the office, but tend not to work on camera.

And just because they’re invisible, don’t skimp on good undergarments, says Greenawalt, who sent Marantos out for a professional bra fitting. Because a computer shot is from the waist up, “everything in that window becomes hyper-important,” the stylist says.

Hair

“The biggest mistake is not doing anything” with your hair, says Greenawalt.

It’s tempting to air-dry in a work-from-home setting, but “washed and blow-dried is better; that tends to be universally flattering,” she says. If you’re still waiting on a trip to the salon and are trying to conceal grays, style your hair in a big bun, or, if they’re concentrated at your temples, hide them with a chic headband.

Again, lighting is key: On camera, “Hair [color] looks a little flatter. For example, my hair is red. If I don’t have any good lighting it will look brown,” the style expert says.

Georgia Marantos
Georgia MarantosStefano Giovannini

Makeup

“It feels inappropriate to show up to a Zoom call in four-hour hair and makeup,” says Greenawalt. As Marantos — who used to go bare-faced — learned, a little bit goes a long way. Greenawalt suggests sticking to a subtle palette of foundation, concealer, mascara and a light lip. Get friendly with an eyelash curler in lieu of false eyelashes, which can give the impression of trying too hard. Be wary of highlighter, which pops in person but is often “too shiny” for video, Greenawalt says.

As for men, she says they shouldn’t hesitate to grab the foundation or concealer to even out their skin tone.

Accessories

With jewelry, it’s all about striking the right balance. A favorite statement necklace might feel fashionable, but on camera, it “really overpowers,” and distracts from one’s face, says Greenawalt. On the other hand, delicate trinkets can get lost. “Stud earrings tend to disappear. I prefer a dangly statement earring,” she says.

Greenawalt advises bespectacled clients to ditch the frames, assuming they can see without them. There are exceptions, however, when bold, statement glasses enhance a person’s overall aesthetic (think Dan Levy or Ali Wong). Georgia, for instance, “lit up” when she picked a pair of bright red glasses. “They made her shine from inside-out,” says Greenawalt.

About the author

Vicky Sequeira

Vicky Sequeira

With more than 6 years of experience working as a media professional, Vicky flaunts prowess in bringing the juicy tit-bits from the entertainment industry for the readers of News Brig.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *