How To Do Makeup For Zoom and Other Online Campus Visits and Teaching


OK, as promised here it is! I re-recorded the video today to replace the first one that had multiple trucks rumbling by and my family chattering loudly and animatedly in Japanese in the next room at several points.

There is no expectation that you do all these steps. I just wanted to cover the broadest range of topics. Product list below. Also read the Caveats–in particular, I DO NOT CARE if you wear makeup or not. This post is in response to requests and is meant for those who are seeking this information. Makeup and skin care has been my hobby for 5 years and I have learned a ton about products, techniques and tools, especially for online platforms. Take whatever is useful to you.

New: there is a 15 minute version below, so you can see how it really comes together when one isn’t talking through the whole thing!

As you can see, the results are pretty awesome while still being really natural!



I don’t care if you wear make up and I don’t care what you look like.

This is only for people who have asked, so don’t come at me with your judgment if you don’t want to do it.

This is based on what I have learned over five years of experimentation on what works for ME, not anyone else!

I am not an Instagram make up artist. People who are make up artists may have much more sophisticated advice, and you should Google them for reference; in the end everything I learned through trial and error.

Be aware that drug stores as well as Sephora and Ulta all accept returns of USED products. In the end, there is no substitution for trying products out over the course of several days and seeing how your skin reacts to them, especially if you have allergies.

Things also hinge strongly on lighting. I will share information as I have it on lighting, but that’s not my expertise and there’s much excellent advice out there online about it from others.

—->>>>>The SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING about looking decent on screen is camera angle! Make sure your camera views you from ABOVE and NOT BELOW. That will instantly correct for double chins.<——–

Anyway, the video walks you through the following – slowly and with lots of talking. And scroll to the bottom to find a brief video of my makeup table and lighting setup.

And one last makeup note: you may be surprised to see that I do not wear eyeliner! I do not! I stopped in my late 40s. Eyeliner, despite being one of the looks of the moment and gorgeous on younger women, is very very bad for older eyes. It’s too harsh, it emphasizes wrinkles around the eye, and it shrinks the size of the eye. If you are older, you can achieve far better results using a shadow around your eye, including below the eye. It is softer and more forgiving and will open up your eye rather than circling it in a sloppy (because of the wrinkles issue) dark rim.


  • Skin care and general thoughts: 1:00-7:30
  • Primers and color correctors: 7:30-15:00
  • Ambivalence about makeup! 15:00-15:30
  • Concealer: 15:30-18:30
  • Foundation 18:30-24:30
  • Undereye concealer: 24:30-26:30
  • Setting powder 26:00-28:30
  • Eye shadow 28:30-37:00
  • Contouring 37:00-43:00
  • Highlighting 43:00-44:30
  • Blush 44:30-47:30
  • Lash Primer and Mascara 47:30-54:00
  • Brows 54:00-59:00
  • Lipcolor 59:00-1:00:45
  • Finishing spray 1:00:45-1:01:00

Makeup Table and Lighting Setup


  • SK-II Pitera Water
  • Sabbatical Beauty Asian Powerhouse Serum
  • Sabbatical Beauty Marine Serum
  • Sabbatical Beauty Dorian Grey Serum
  • Lancer Beauty Oil
  • Dr. Perricone Cold Plasma + Eye Cream
  • Sabbatical Beauty Donkey Milk Cream
  • Charlotte Tilbury Glow Primer
  • Tarte Blurring Primer
  • Becca Under Eye Corrector in Medium/Dark
  • Bobbi Brown Eye Primer
  • Clinique Shadow Palette in Greys
  • Clinique Lash Primer
  • Wander Mile High Mascara
  • Tarte Busy Gal Brow Gel
  • Glossier Brow Flick
  • Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer
  • RMS Un-Cover Foundation in 22.5
  • It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Undereye Concealer
  • Cover F/X Perfecting Powder Translucent
  • Kevin Aucoin Contour Kit
  • Hourglass Ambient Blush in Moonstone
  • RMS Living Luminizer, in Living
  • Stila Highlighter
  • NYX Finishing Spray in Dewy
  • Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in Syruptitious

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About Karen Kelsky

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.


How To Do Makeup For Zoom and Other Online Campus Visits and Teaching — 7 Comments

  1. 55?! I finally am getting around to this 5 weeks after you posted because I’m a procrastinator and .man. Your skincare routine really *must* be magic because all this time on social media, I just assumed you were a 30something academia superstar ?

    Still a star* ?

      • Totally true though! I’m not in academia (or even ex-academia) but started following last year at the time the WJU shitshow happened when (fired) friends were sharing a lot of your posts; I remember thinking at the time “man, academia is so SO brutal and this 30something has not only nailed it this early, but is even in the place to help others navigating it” ?

        So yeah, I’m 100% writing down all your skincare recs ?

  2. It’s me again, a month later. What eye drops for red eye did you say you used? I didn’t catch it on the product list, but may be overlooking…

  3. First of all, I LOVE your earrings!! So cute!

    Have you tried canola oil for eyebrow/eyelash growth? I read so many good things about it and decided to buy some in a bottle that comes with a dropper and a mini refillable mascara bottle that allows you to easily brush through your eyebrows and eyelashes. Hoping my sparse eyebrows will decide to grow!

    • thanks! My problem now is that after being well controlled for decades, my trichotillomania has come roaring back with Trump and COVID…. i’m now pulling out my eyebrows so badly that it’s not worth trying to use a product on them. 🙁 I feel terrible about it. Although it has opened up a whole new realm of makeup experimentation…

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