Unfortunately, you need makeup just to look like you. The bright lights in the studio and on top of the camera will distort your features. What looks like a close shave in person will look like a five o’clock shadow on TV, even if it’s only 9 a.m. Clear, normal skin will look splotchy, waxy and plastic on TV. Dark circles under the eyes become more prominent, freckles and shaving nicks that are barely noticeable in person also become much more apparent on TV. Again, with a little makeup, these imperfections fade away.
The heat of the TV lights will also make you sweat, even if you don’t normally perspire. Without makeup, your face will look shiny and oily – not very flattering. You may also perspire more because you are nervous. The answer, again, is makeup.
You need to wear makeup not to change your looks, but to keep yourself from having your looks altered beyond recognition. The good news is that you don’t have to hire an elaborate, expensive team of makeup artists. All you really need is some basic powder makeup for your face. There is no magic brand or style you need; just pick one that matches your skin color exactly. If you get the color wrong, it will contrast starkly, making you look silly on TV.
If you care about your own image, you can never depend on anyone else to take care of your makeup. I have been in small town TV stations that have rundown equipment, and they have given me great professional makeup applications. And then I have been at the NBC Headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City for a national broadcast and there was no one there to help me with it. (You can never judge the quality of makeup you will receive by looking at the size of a TV station or market.)
So did I go without?
No, I simply pulled out my own makeup compact and applied it to my face in about one minute. It wasn’t quite as good a job as what Dan Rather gets each night, but it worked.
If you think you might be on TV anytime in the next year, go to a local drugstore to purchase your own powder compact. Then, if necessary, all you will have to do before your appearance is pat it on and blend it in so that it’s smooth all over. This way you’ll look like the best you that you can possibly be.
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