Select Page

CAMERA READY for the “ZOOM” ERA

Our exclusive “Face Time” with Academy Award-winning makeup artist Nicki Lederman delivers tips and tricks you’ll need to put your best face forward in today’s virtual conference room.

Welcome to the new normal. Not long ago in the recent past, video conferencing was reserved for telecommuting and a few others who favored distance to human interaction. Almost overnight, in this new era of social distancing, business meetings can now be organized through applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and WebEx in the time it takes to recharge your smartphone. While this technological solution brings plug-and-play ease to conferencing anywhere in the world, it introduces a question for the career woman: Prepping for a conference in a different way than she’s used to.

Although the once non-indoctrinated are now at ease with the basics of the platforms and the savvy are well-versed with its fancier mechanisms, we’re facing another new reality in making the best impression. If you have been on enough conference calls, you’ve likely noticed there is always someone who just don’t seem to look right, either over or under dressed and with make-up that’s either too much or non-existent.  Whether you always dreamed of being on camera or loathe the mere thought of it, this is our new normal. We can all use some guidance from a makeup expert to escort us through the myriad of choices and advice swimming around the internet. When that expert happens to be a two-time Oscar and multiple Emmy award winner, well, we’ve just uncovered a gold mine.

Nicki Lederman is a tour de force of cinema makeup artistry. The much-lauded makeup artist accrues awards as if they were lipsticks. She recently who recently snagged an Oscar for Joker. Other accolades she’s collected like lipsticks include an Oscar for The Devil Wears Prada, an Emmy for Boardwalk Empire, plus nominations for Sex & the City, The Knick, and Vinyl, in addition to the acclaimed The Irishman, and the much anticipated HBO film The Many Saints of Newark. Not to mention numerous recognitions from within the industry.

Before applying makeup for any virtual interaction, Lederman points out the important distinction between a still photo and video. What appears dramatic and eye-catching on your Instagram feed can look harsh and unnatural on video.

To avoid looking flat or distorted, Nicki details steps required to achieve a more flattering look with added dimension for a better impression. “We have to be careful not to judge our video appearance by the same metric as we do a static photo, filters and selfies,” she advises.

Create a smooth canvas: The first step to looking “virtual-y” flawless is clear, even-toned skin. If one is unhappy with its condition, the tendency is to try to compensate with excessive makeup. According to Lederman, covering blemishes is mostly about removing redness more than anything. Spot treat the area with a little more coverage, and be sure your color choice is a neutral or warmer tone to help neutralize any redness. Also be sure to eliminate puffiness and under-eye circles before pressing the “join meeting” button.

Get to the Point

From there, she suggests choosing a makeup focal point. “I am a fan of a strong-ish and well-done lip,” she states, adding that a medium bold lip color that is not too dark against a neutral face looks great on everyone. Goopy is not a good professional look, so save the ultra-shiny and sparkly glosses for personal time.

Artifice is the enemy of video. “Save super creative contour and highlighting until after quarantine,” Lederman cautions. “The reflection of highlighter is often a miss and contour and look like stripes, streaks or shadows if not blended and color perfect, depending on the light and angles.” This philosophy extends to cheeks, brows, and eyes. Too much appears severe, overwhelming and unintentionally theatrical.

To avoid casting shadows, add a dab of color on the apples of the cheeks for a natural flush. Blush should look like a subtle wash of color that fades into the complexion. To tame unruly brows, skip intense pomades and opt for clear brow gel using a “spoolie” type brush to keep them in place or opt for a tinted brow gel with a natural finish.

Keep the eyeliner soft and simple. Lederman recommends using a powdery formula to follow the natural shape of the eye. No wings or exaggerated cat-eyes please! Accentuate further by finishing with a defining mascara adding extra flicks at the outer corner for a wide-eyed effect.

Editor’s Picks:

zoom beauty alo magazine

Keep skin super-clean and exfoliated with The Better Skin Co. Lava Magik, a multi-tasking cleanser, exfoliator and mask made with French Lava plus calendula, grape seed, cucumber, and chamomile to promote a flawless complexion.

alo magazine

Peace Out Skincare, a Sephora bestseller, is a line of single-use dissolving patches that targets blemishes and imperfections with concentrated active ingredients and a unique microneedling technology for maximum efficacy.

makeup tips alo magazine

Open your eyes Hydro-Peptide Vital Eyes Instant Awakening Serum. It’s equipped with a cooling massage applicator tip to reduce inflammation and peptides that inhibit the muscle contractions that cause wrinkles.

A Natural Foundation

Lederman emphasizes that skin should look like skin instead of a mask or mannequin-like. “Less but luminous” is her motto. She recommends avoiding dense cream or powder foundations in favor of a whipped or serum based formula. “The goal is even tone and to achieve a smooth, velvety, satin type of finish – not too much shine, not too much matte,” she advises.

Editor’s Picks:

zoom makeup alo magazine

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 evens tone, blurs fine lines, and dries down to a natural, dewy finish. In addition, it boosts your skincare effectiveness and protects against blue and infrared light.

video makeup alo magazine

For a polished, yet natural airbrushed finish, Mineral Air 4-in-1 Air Mist Foundation is a Nicki Lederman personal favorite.

Get to the Point

From there, she suggests choosing a makeup focal point. “I am a fan of a strong-ish and well-done lip,” she states, adding that a medium bold lip color that is not too dark against a neutral face looks great on everyone. Goopy is not a good professional look, so save the ultra-shiny and sparkly glosses for personal time. 

Artifice is the enemy of video. “Save super creative contour and highlighting until after quarantine,” Lederman cautions. “The reflection of highlighter is often a miss and contour and look like stripes, streaks or shadows if not blended and color perfect, depending on the light and angles.” This philosophy extends to cheeks, brows, and eyes. Too much appears severe, overwhelming and unintentionally theatrical.

To avoid casting shadows, add a dab of color on the apples of the cheeks for a natural flush. Blush should look like a subtle wash of color that fades into the complexion. To tame unruly brows, skip intense pomades and opt for clear brow gel using a “spoolie” type brush to keep them in place or opt for a tinted brow gel with a natural finish.

Keep the eyeliner soft and simple. Lederman recommends using a powdery formula to follow the natural shape of the eye. No wings or exaggerated cat-eyes please! Accentuate further by finishing with a defining mascara adding extra flicks at the outer corner for a wide-eyed effect. 

Editor’s Picks:

makeup for zoom alo magazine

Soft and velvety, but with plenty of pigment, Nudestix Magnetic Plush Lip Paint imparts soft color in a feather-light, velvety texture; that is non-drying and long-wearing.

zoom makeup alo magazine

Opt for a gel cheek stain such as Ciaté London Dewy Blush or Chantecaille Cheek Geleé for that coveted radiant sheen.

makeup for zoom alo magazine

Tame and tint with Glossier Boy Brow or Estee Lauder Brow Now to sculpt and fill in sparse brows.

Keep your look in place with a refreshing mist like Orpheus Bio-Luminous Dewy Essence, which combines the nutrient properties of their cult-favorite serum with an energizing burst of hydration that sets makeup for a healthy glow or as a pre-makeup primer.

nicki lederman alo magazine

Nicki Lederman Bio

Born and raised in Germany, Nicki attended Munich’s Pestalozzi Gymnasium, High School of the Performing Arts, with a Major in Latin and Fine Arts. After studying at the Conservatory of Music in Munich, she relocated to New York to become a makeup artist. Starting out in NY’s thriving independent movie scene of the 90s, she moved on to TV and major motion pictures. Nicki has designed makeup for some of the most prestigious directors in the business, such as The Coen Brothers, Steven Soderberg, and Martin Scorsese. Nicki is a five-time Emmy nominee for the shows Sex and the City, the Steven Soderbergh drama The Knick, and Martin Scorsese’s HBO series VINYL. Nicki won an Emmy Award for her makeup design for Martin Scorsese’s pilot of Boardwalk Empire. The Devil Wears Prada earned Nicki a BAFTA nomination. Some of Nicki’s most recent makeup design work includes the film musical The Greatest Showman and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Todd Phillip’s Joker earned Nicki an Academy Award Nomination as well as a BAFTA nomination. Nicki is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Coming Soon
How likely are you to travel in August?

AMEX Ad - ALO Magazine

Get UNLIMITED
access for
the next 30 days

Subscribe for free with your email

You have Successfully Subscribed!