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How to Look Better On Video Calls (Without Getting Up From the Couch)

Or putting on pants.

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As Slack notifications ping off the walls of your room and leggings become your full-time work apparel, working from home has become our new normal. Zoom, a video chat service that's become a household name since the coronavirus pandemic forced us all to remain inside, has taken over, and your inbox is probably filled with emails with Zoom Meeting ID's and six-digit Zoom passwords.

Now, if you're like the next person, the perfect Zoom meeting is one where you don't have to show your face. It's not that you don't want all your co-workers to see your digs or perhaps a T-shirt from college that has definitely seen better days, it's just...you don't know know what to do when it comes to the camera. But don't worry, my little chickens—this mother hen has simple tricks to make you look très chic in your next Zoom meeting. Here are some hacks I swear by.

Zoom's Secret "Touch Up" Filter

Like a Snapchat filter, but make it Zoom. Go to the lower-left-hand corner of the screen, find "Video Settings," and check the box marked "Touch Up My Appearance."

Zoom describes the webcam beauty filter as "a softening effect to skin to minimize the visibility of imperfections." I may or may not be using it for my 3 p.m. meeting.

The Book Stack Hack

This trick starts with you and a proper tower of books. The goal: Your co-workers not seeing up your nose.

Laptop Adjustable Curve Stand
Allsop walmart.com

The appropriate keyboard height for typing isn't the proper height for your camera to be looking at your face during a video call. You'll need to raise your laptop so that the camera lens meets you at eye level.

You can easily hack this by keeping a couple of books (I recommend around five or six) nearby to stack underneath your laptop to boost it up, so that you're eye level with the camera.

I'll also say this: If you don't have any books lying around (a shame!), then you can always set out to purchase an adjustable laptop stand to give your office space a more professional feel.

Get a Custom Zoom Background

For those meetings that aren't all business, Zoom has an awesome tool called virtual backgrounds. You can upload your own images if your computer is up-to-date. All you have to do: When you're in your next Zoom meeting, click the "^" arrow next to Start/Stop Video and then click choose a virtual background. It's sure to bring a lot of laughs and a lighter mood for the meetings.

Bonus points if you have a co-worker like this guy.

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