ShowReal, a new video based dating app asked me to give my tips for looking good on video

For many years I have worked on Hollywood’s biggest events and stars.  I’ve seen the process and what it takes to get to the finished ad or movie.  What you see is after contouring, highlighting, and editing.  This is why many think it takes all of this to look good on video.  During what I like to call the Instagram era, where people’s skin became smoother and features more symmetrical you find yourself wondering is any of it real?

It used to be that only a person with a computer science degree could photoshop and retouch a photo once it was taken,  but now anyone can do it (or over do it) with the swipe of a finger on their phone using these new editing apps.  This works great for photos but for videos you can’t alter them the way you can a photo.  Sure there are filters to enhance a video, but you won’t be able to easily change your body shape, size of your nose, hair colour for example.  But, this is what I love about video, as a make up artist I look for ways to enhance a person’s natural beauty and its not just about how you look in a static moment in time, but also how your personality and how you carry yourself can add another dimension that you just can’t get to with a photograph.

As an artist I use video apps like Snapchat and Instagram Stories to show the real life side of my career.  I prefer it as you see a lot of enhanced photos not only for people’s personal profiles but in the beauty industry as well.  From makeup ads to photoshoots everything is so filtered there is a false sense of reality going around now.  Video is a harder medium to alter so, it’s a great tool to show your real work and product.  It’s also a great way to meet and truly evaluate if you want to date someone, so I can’t believe its not been done before ShowReal came along. Think about all the edited photos going around Tinder and Happn and how many times you’ve turned up on a date and they don’t look like the photo they posted of themselves. Lets face it, how many of us really look like our Facebook profile picture in the cold light of day. This is why obviously video is the next progression for dating as it has been for social media.

Having worked with ShowReal to get Charlotte Crosby ready for her video interviews I could see how this app was going to change how people date.  While we had a full crew and professional lighting this doesn’t mean you can’t look great on video without editing.

“A photo can tell a thousand words but can you tell if they are true?”

So with the rise of video on social media and now in dating, here are my top tips for looking your best.

The first tip I’d like to talk about is lighting.  When I work on big sets the number one thing that has to be done correctly is lighting.  Sometimes it takes a few different setups to get it right.  This is because one lighting setup isn’t always the best for everyone’s features.  If you look good straight on then you can get away with natural to minimal light.  Try to stick to a well lit window or diffused light.  A big no no is fluorescent or strong light just overhead.  This will cast shadows and won’t be flattering to any face shape.  If you look good from a profile view you will want to under light and above light your face.  This will take away any shadows and enhance your bone structure.  The less shadows you have the better.  I love to use a clip on ring light for my phone to shoot any video.  This will soften shadows and give a glow to the face.


My next tip has to do with angles.  Even if you have the best lighting setup everyone has a good side.  That side might be a straight on angle, their profile or even a 2/3rds angle.  Most people know which side of their face looks best for photos, mine happens to be my left side.  This works the same way for video.  Try recording yourself from these three positions and see which one you prefer.  Once you have an angle that works for you position your lighting using the tips above to compensate for the change.  Whichever angle you choose place the camera higher up and pointed down as this is flattering for your nose and chin.  Don’t record your whole video from this angle.  Just use it to your advantage periodically through the video.  This will give a more natural flow to your video instead of a static robotic stance.


My 3rd tip has to do with makeup.  Just as with photos, video makeup should enhance your appearance but not alter it so much that they don’t recognise you on your first date.  Because you will be using bright lights you have to be aware of shine.  Use a foundation base 1-2 shades darker than your skin tone.  This is to counteract the bright lights washing out your healthy skin tone.  Contouring can be done and is recommended for video.  This is to give your face more dimension that the lights take away.  Stick to a light cheek contour, avoiding the Instagram full drag contour trend.  The current highlighting trend can still be done but keep in mind that in person, glow equates to oily on camera.  Make sure your t-zone is powdered and apply your highlights to the tops of the cheekbones and the inner corners of the eyes if you desire.  For your eye makeup you want to add definition to your eyes so they stand out on camera but stay away from glittery shades as they don’t look the same on video.  Matte eyeshadows work best.  For your lips a satin to slight glossy lipstick translates well on camera.  Matte lipsticks look too dry and overly glossed lips reflect the camera lights too much.  Overall you want to bring out your best features but still look like you.

Have some fun with these tips and remember to be yourself.  Remember to smile a lot, play with the lighting and work your angles to show your best side.  Download ShowReal or check them out at and try some videos with the tips I’ve provided.

Look out for my How to Look Good on Video event with ShowReal happening later this month.