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How to look your best on-air!

by: Anna De Souza

So you’re going in front of the camera (or your client is) — what’s next? The best place to start is asking yourself what image you’re looking to present. This will serve as a guide in determining your personal style on-air.

Your Program Chooses Your Style

Watch the show you’ll be on and take notes on what the wardrobe is usually like. A more conservative show warrants a suit, a more creative, fun program may be more flexible. If you’re a style guru, certainly dress the part. If you’re a human resources professional commenting on recruiting, you should opt for clothing that you’d expect to see candidates in.

Your Camera Angle

Find out whether your entire body will be filmed, or if you’ll just be shot “from the waist up.” This will determine whether you can get away with black trousers and a more interesting top. Should your entire body be shot, stay away from skirts that may hike up or ill-fitting pants that may bunch uncomfortably.

Color and Pattern Dos and Donts

Opt for solid colors. Avoid white, which can appear see-through under lights. Black is usually avoided, through it sometimes work well, just ensure that, again, it’s a solid black that won’t show bra color under heavy lighting. Other good choices? Pastels and jewel tones. Stripes and small patterns tend to vibrate on-screen, so stick with larger patterns — even for accents such as ties.

Cautiously Accessorize

Noisy jewelry is a huge distractor so avoid bracelets, necklaces and earrings that may jingle. Shiny jewelry can also reflect off the lights and into the camera (and thus the viewers’ eyes) making it uncomfortable. Help them not change the channel by accessorizing lightly and with items that have more of a matte or antique finish.
Hair Affair

Make sure your hair is out of your face. Hairspray it back lightly so you won’t need to slick it back mid-interview. If you have facial hair, remove it or groom it. Bring a razor to the shoot with you if you get a five o’clock shadow.

Makeup Know-How

Always call the studio to find out whether they offer hair and makeup. If they do, ask whether they are offering full hair and makeup, or just a touchup.

The harsher lighting can wash you out, but women will still want to look natural. Avoid heavy, dark colors and very shiny glosses, glittery or frosted makeup. Even out your skin tone with a bit of foundation, add some blush, lipstick and mascara. If your hands might be shown, get a manicure and stick with clear or natural polishes.

Men can certainly get away with just some translucent powder to stamp out shine. Always bring your own powder, just in case.

Any other tips for looking your best on-air? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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