As we all will know by now, if you can, you should be working from home to curb the spread of Covid-19 – which means a lot of conference calls.
Whatever platform you use, we're sure there's about to be a tremendous spike in the usage of video conference call applications (Price Spy, a click monitoring site, found that last week clicks on webcams increased by 769 per cent compared to the previous week). Sure, some people might take it as an excuse to stay in their pajamas and skimp on personal hygiene, but we're Gentlemen's Quarterly! Not satisfied with a very real bedhead look, we've stayed on top of our grooming games and have been getting dressed each morning, without fail. Who wants their boss to see them in their nightwear? Not us.
And while using your laptop's camera can be daunting (that awkward angle is doing nothing for us), there are things you can do to look good on cam. Britney might have sung, “I think I’m ready for my close-up,” but it's one thing posing for a shoot and another looking good on webcam. So here's our guide to getting camera-ready. Oh, and don't be the guy who has the webcam off – everyone wants to see inside your home.
Now is the time to remain professional, which means your first thought in the morning should be to get up, shower and dress, as you would should you leave the house. Sure, we aren't proposing you don a full Gucci three-piece suit and pair of shiny Crockett & Jones Derbys for the walk to your dining room table, but we do suggest leaving the PJs in the bedroom.
Our advice is to get out a fleece. A fuzzy polyester creation might not be something you'd wear to the now-off-limits boardroom, but it is an essential piece of homewear. A representative of relaxed comfort, it's actually having a high-fashion moment, with the likes of Hèrmes, Loewe and Sacai doing their own. If it's good enough for the catwalk, it's more than good enough for that 10am Skype meeting.
Down below, it's up to you – your bottom half is rarely going to be exposed on camera, so you could even just remain in your boxers. Just don't stand up.
Don't skimp on your grooming regime
You're about to see your colleagues up close and personal and, funnily enough, they're about to see you in the same way. Unless you sit two metres away from your laptop, your colleagues will have the length of a meeting to scrutinise your skin, hair and teeth, so ensure that you're on top of your grooming game.
That said, alongside doing all the things you usually do, now's the time to add some extra products into the mix (you can still make online orders).
Invest in vitamin D
Zelens vitamin D drops, $134.57 at johnlewis.com
Chances are you're going to be spending a lot of time inside, which means you're going to have limited access to the sun, the biggest source of vitamin D. We'd recommend giving your skin a boost by way of a vit D-heavy grooming product. Zelens' High Potency Vitamin D Treatment Drops are a concentrate rich in provitamin D and biomimetic lipids (the building blocks for your body's cells) structurally similar to those found in the skin. Not only will it enhance the skin's natural barrier against aggressors, but it will give you a decent glow, ready for your close-up, even if you don't leave the house.
A photo-finish primer is essential
Smashbox primer, $17.55 at lookfantastic.com
A photo-finish primer is exactly what you need to give your complexion the Claudia Schiffer fashion campaign-ready effect. After applying a serum, rub on this transparent, oil-free gel, which will blur visible pores, fine lines and imperfections for an even, picture-perfect canvas to rival that of Niall Horan. With the bonus of an antioxidant blend of peptides and vitamins A and E, it will give your skin added protection against pollutants, should you go outside.
Get a sun-kissed glow, at home
Charlotte Tilbury moisturiser, $41 at charlottetilbury.com
If you're based in London, or anywhere else in the UK, then the opportunity to nip into the back garden (should you have one) for a quick ten minute sun worshipping session isn't likely. Instead, avoid an on-camera greyish tinge by applying a moisturiser with a subtle bit of tan in it. While super hydrating, Charlotte Tilbury's Unisex Healthy Glow Hydrating Tint is also made with bronzing tan pigments, which give your complexion a natural-looking sun-kissed effect.
Make the most of face masks
Kiehl's masque, $32.18 at kiehls.co.uk
As you're going to be working from home, now's the time to make the most of not having to see anyone on the regular. While we don't advise applying a face mask five minutes before your 5pm dial-in, having one on as you work is an idea. Face masks not only replenish your skin's lost nutrients (what do you think that morning commute has been doing to your skin?), but will also give you a healthy-looking complexion. With the condition of your face up for scrutiny (meetings can be dull) on video call, Kiehl's pore-refining miracle worker is an excellent idea if you want to minimise those mini craters.
Eye drops are essential for tired eyes
Vizulize eye drops, $.45 at weldricks.co.uk
With no boss or office snitch around, chances are you might sneak in a nap over the course of your working day. If that's the case, either don't do it before a video call or make sure you've got brightening eye drops to hand. These will make you look alert, ready for action and not zonked out.
There's always make-up
Tom Ford concealer, $39.79 at johnlewis.com
If you're that worried about how you will look on camera, then give your face a bit of cover-up. Tom Ford does an excellent concealer that will hide any blemishes you've suddenly acquired, now that you've finally found time to dust off the chocolate stash from Christmas.
A bright, white smile is a plus
Moon whitening pen, $23.40 at boots.com
Although not essential, a glimmering white smile on camera is a bonus and will instantly make you standout against your colleagues, who are all vying for attention. Have an instant brightening pen to hand (Moon Oral Care's has been designed in collaboration with Kendall Jenner, who has a fine set of gnashers) for the shiniest smile in your virtual boardroom.
And have your tweezers access-ready
Leave the monobrow to Hey Arnold's Helga...