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beauty over zoom

I admit I am a heavy user of Zoom’s “touch up my appearance feature.” A little blur goes a long way.

I have also discovered the eyebrows/lip color feature on Zoom, which is similar to building a Nintendo “Mii” version of yourself. You can try out different eyebrow shades and shapes, as well as various lip colors (and facial hair too, if you so desire). It’s not perfect technology though. I could swear during one call, my brows didn’t seem to move exactly in sync with my head.

For now, I’ll keep a short and simple makeup routine. I like the process of applying a little concealer and blush, a bit of mascara. It’s a sign that my day has begun, even if I’m not leaving the house. In my middle age, as natural color fades from my lips, and the under-eye shadows have taken up permanent residence, a little makeup makes all the difference. And there’s also that satisfying final appraisal of oneself in the mirror after the makeup is applied, as if to say “ah, there you are. You are not lost, after all.”

You can’t get that reassurance from a Zoom filter.

Last year I reworked my routine specifically for video calls, because I had noticed how odd my makeup looked on camera. I alternated between looking harsh and washed out. FUTURE LYNN’s lead makeup artist Katie Carrillo helped me choose new products that would gently define my features, giving me a polished yet casual look that was perfect for being at home and on camera. Ten months later, I still use these products nearly every day and would repurchase them in a heartbeat. But as a refresher course, I’ve invited FUTURE LYNN’s Beauty Contributor Ashley Zwolinski to share her minimalist makeup favorites as well. Here’s a rundown of our favorite products, by category. We hope this inspires you to take fresh look at your kit, and update a product or two.


Less is best, when it comes to foundation, especially now when we are not venturing out quite yet.

I have slight inflammation from mild rosacea, so after applying moisturizer or sunscreen, I use Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops across my cheeks and anywhere I might have a bit of redness. I follow up with NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer dotted on my cheeks, bridge of my nose, and forehead and blend with my fingers. No other foundation product – I just go straight to powder. NARS also makes that concealer in a mini version, so sometimes I buy multiple minis of various shades to blend together or use in different areas (undereye vs cheeks, for example).

Ashley prefers very lightweight foundations, and her two favorites are NARS Sheer Glow and Il Makiage Woke Up Like This. But sometimes she also skips the foundation, and just uses the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer to cover some redness or discoloration.


I remember one of my friends saying that if she did her eyebrows in the morning, she felt she was 80% percent done with her entire makeup routine. I agree with her – nicely defined eyebrows frame your face and give you a refreshed, awake look.

I start with Benefit’s Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil. It has an angled edge which makes applying light strokes across your brow quite easy. (Benefit sells this item in two sizes – go for the less expensive mini size. It lasts forever and is easier to store and take on trips). Then I sweep Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows Eyebrow Gel through my brows. This brow gel has a superfine brush, and I can build up the color with precision rather than putting on too much at once.

While my brows seem to be floating away with each passing year, Ashley has very dark eyebrows that she wants to soften. For definition she uses Anastasia Brow Wiz and then follows up with the Anastasia Brow Gel in a shade lighter than her brows.


I use the NARS High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner (which strangely has low ratings on Sephora). I have never found an eyeliner, even smudge-proof ones, that didn’t create a splotchy mess under my lower lash line. But this eyeliner really stays and stays. Then I swipe an eyeshadow stick in a creamy peach across my lids for a little color and shimmer. I have been using a NARS eyeshadow stick but sadly it has been discontinued. There are some other ones out there to try though, by Laura Mercier or Bobbi Brown. And no mascara for me, usually.

Ashley swears by using a eyeshadow primer first, which allows the eye makeup settle in properly and have staying power. She loves the NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, and then adds a swipe of powdered bronzer in the crease for color. She takes the opposite approach from me, and forgoes liner and goes straight to mascara. She recommends Lancôme’s Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara. It doesn’t clump or smudge, and provides a great deal of volume and depth.


I used to prefer sheer lipsticks that slide on effortlessly without needing a mirror. But this just doesn’t translate well on camera for me, because my lips just end up looking very undefined and bland. I now use this Precision Lip Crayon by Patrick Ta. I love the angled shape of this self sharpening liner. I picked a neutral tone that is nearly the same color as my lips, because I don’t need to add color, but rather a bit of definition. For a little color, I use a tinted gloss, like this one from Jones Road Beauty (the OG Bobbi Brown’s new line), or one of these Cle Cosmetics powdered lip colors from the FUTURE LYNN shop.

Ashley’s go-to for lips is Burt’s Bees pomegranate lip balm. It produces the tiniest hint of a rosy, berry shade and brings moisture and a little life back to dry lips. If she wants more color she turns to the NARS Afterglow Lip Balm (I agree with her, these lip balms from NARS are amazing – they have a smooth, rich texture, and the cases are very pretty). She also recommends the Natural Lip Perfector from Clarins.


I have a complicated relationship with powder. Pressed powder is so heavy and cakey, and yet enticingly convenient. Loose powder gives such a nice finish, but I hate having powder fly everywhere. But then I discovered Fenty’s Invisimatte Blotting Powder, a perfect solution of a fine powder in a pressed format. The packaging is great, with cool angle edges to make opening the compact super easy, and the powder produces a very Rihanna-like glow.

Ashley is faithful to NARS Velvet Loose powder because of its smoothing effect. It’s the ideal final step in her routine, giving her that nicely blended look that’s camera ready.

I hope this rundown of favorite products inspires you to update a product or two in your own routine. Do you have any follow up questions or comments? Or do you have your own favorite product recommendations to share? Please send an email to Would love to hear from you. 🖤

all opinions are our own; no free products or compensation were received from manufacturers for these mentions.

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