- Zoom, the video-conferencing platform, has seen a major uptick in usage as an increasing number of people quarantine in their houses to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- There’s a little-known setting on Zoom that allows you to apply a filter to your video display that gives your face a softer look and minimizes the appearance of imperfections.
- This effect could come in handy as people spend longer amounts of times indoors, yet still need to show their face on Zoom to tune into college classes and professional work calls.
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I’ll admit it’s already become incredibly difficult to convince myself to make an effort to get ready and dressed for another day of working from home.
Thankfully, video-conferencing service Zoom has a feature available that lets you continue to rock your work-from-home aesthetic, while still looking nice enough to tune into a business meeting or college class. The filter helps to “smooth out the skin tone on your face, to present a more polished looking appearance,” according to Zoom.
The Zoom effect, as first pointed out by The Cut, is essentially a built-in skin-smoothing filter favoured by beauty vloggers that makes your face look more polished and unblemished. It’s a look that’s been popular since Hollywood’s Golden Age, and photographers have tried to mimic the look with low-tech hacks, such as covering a camera lens with Vaseline or pantyhose.
Zoom, like many remote workplace and video-calling apps, has surged in popularity amid the outbreak of COVID-19, the coronavirus disease. As the virus continues to spread in the US, an increasing number of measures are being taken to “flatten the curve” and prevent coronavirus’ escalation. Many companies have ordered employees to work from home, schools and colleges have been moved online, and cities have shut down large gatherings.
Checking off the box “touch up my appearance” on Zoom will help you look like you’ve put in a bit of effort if you’re on day three of not washing your hair, or don’t want your coworkers to know you just woke up from a midday nap. However, it won’t swap out pajamas and sweatpants for a work outfit, so you’ll still have to take that into consideration.
Now the only thing left is to convince my team to start using Zoom instead of Google Hangouts, so I can take advantage of this filter.
Here’s how to turn on the face-softening effect on Zoom:
Although Zoom can be used and accessed online, I suggest downloading the Zoom desktop app for your computer. The layout is simpler and the design is better — plus, it’s the easiest way to access the skin-smoothing filter.
Learn more about how to use Zoom.
To access the filter before hopping on a video call, click on one of the icons in the top-right corner to access your Settings menu.
In the Settings menu, click on the Video tab.
Under Video Settings, you’ll find a checkbox next to the option to “Touch up my appearance.” You can toggle on and off this checkmark to apply the skin-smoothing filter to your face in video calls.
Alternatively, there’s also a way to add the skin-smoothing filter if you’re already in the video conference, and have discovered that your appearance may need a little assistance before you carry on with your call. Click on the arrow to the right of the Stop Video icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
Under the menu that appears, select Video Settings.
Clicking Video Settings will bring you to the same menu, where you can toggle on and off the option to apply the skin-smoothing filter.
I tried out Zoom’s video conferencing both with and without the filter. While the filter doesn’t drastically clean up my appearance, the difference is apparent: My skin is made smoother, and the lines and blemishes on my face are softened. Some flyaway hairs are also hidden a touch. You can also notice the filter’s effect on the brick wall behind me.
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