These must-have beauty buys are certain to get you seen on screen

The past few months have seen many of us make the steady transition from online to offline. Virtual offices have been slowly exchanged for IRL ones and seeing our colleagues in 3D has made for a welcome change to viewing them in 2D by way of Teams or Zoom meetings. 

We may be gradually walking into former, familiar ways one step at a time but not all of us are ready (quite understandably) to embrace in-person parties yet, in the midst of cold and flu season. Thankfully our screens are on standby to provide a great way for us to flex our socialising muscle and keep festivities on track.

One of the most enjoyable things about any party is getting ready for it. And there’s no reason why that should be any different this year if your get-together is happening on a desktop instead of a sweaty dance floor (anyone else strangely looking forward to that though?).

In fact, it provides the perfect opportunity to try a bit of beauty experimentation – the bolder, the better for making sure your look stands out whatever the monitor resolution. 

Feeling inspired? From prepping your hair for party season to some of the best eyeshadow palettes, here are some of our favourite WhatsApp and Zoom beauty buys for taking your video call look to the next level. 

Go for glistening nails

What better way to set the tone than by hitting ‘Join meeting’ with a glitter topped finger and giving your friends or colleagues a flash of your bling-y nail tip? Party season nails call for sparkle (expertly demo’d by nail technician @maisieleahnails) for special eye-catching effect.


If you’re looking to use nail polish rather than gel, great news, today’s selection of amazing shades and top coats provide an array of ways to make it look like you’ve spent an hour getting them done in a salon, rather than 10 minutes in your bathroom.

Try: Boots Polished Gel Finish Nail Colour

• Size: 8ml

This glistening gold nail polish provides instant ‘wow’ factor to nails. Plus, it’s a seriously great beauty bargain. 

Try: Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Polish in Powerslide

• Size: 9ml

Think of this as the sequinned LBD of the nail world. An elegant noir with flicks of sparkle that catch the eye, its one stroke, one coat formula dries in 60 seconds to offer speed and style.

Try: Essie 511 Congrats Silver Pink Glitter Nail Polish

• Size: 13.5ml

Densely packed with silver, blue, purple and pink glitters set against a sparkly soft rose, this dazzling shade offers great coverage and colour to have you feeling festive long after the party’s over. 

Try: Barry M Glitter Topcoat Nail Paint in Fortune Teller

• Size: 10ml

Add instant glam to any nail polish with this glistening top coat. Filled with eye-catching holographic shards, it looks great on top of any colour base (as shown by @mynails17) and even on naked nails too. 


Try a bold neon eye

Neon isn’t just for a summer festival. Or a rave. One scroll through the #makeup hashtag on Instagram shows how brights look just as electric on a screen as they do in real life, making them perfect for an online party. So ditch paler shades, which may look washed out, and go bold!

From striking blue to a mixture of eclectic shades, they’ve also been seen gracing the lids of the celeb sect outside of Coachella confines, as well as the models at the Marques Almeida show at AW21 London Fashion Week.

What’s more, you can dial it up or down as much as you’d like – making it a surprisingly wearable look. Case in point, creator @tashjanecollins’ look above. Whether using an eyeshadow or eyeliner, there’s something for every taste to help you step outside your comfort zone. 


If you’re looking to use nail polish rather than gel, great news, today’s selection of amazing shades and top coats provide an array of ways to make it look like you’ve spent an hour getting them done in a salon, rather than 10 minutes in your bathroom.

Try: NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette - Brights

• Size: 13.28g

• 16 shades

From satins to shimmers and metallics in an assortment of rainbow hues, this eyeshadow palette is as much of a joy to look at as it is to apply. Super vibrant, the shades serve up plenty of choice for creating a range of looks. Keep things simple by taking one colour all over the lid, blending up and out – or even under the lower lash line for added oomph!

Try: Dior Diorshow On Stage Felt-tip Liner

• Waterproof

For a dose of head-turning precision, try one of these felt tip liners to perfectly frame your eye with a dramatic slick of colour. From pink to white, turquoise and more, they add impact with minimal effort. Plus, they’re wonderfully budge-proof too.

Go extreme with your cat eye

The feline flick will always be in fashion, but this party season it’s more exaggerated than ever – making eyes the focal point of many a person’s party season beauty look right now. We’re thanking Adele for that!

The key to the look? Have as much fun as possible with your lines, whether drawn across the upper or lower lash line (or both) as make-up artist @miramakeup expertly shows above to really make an impact.


Feeling inspired? Here are some of our favourite liners for cat eye beginners and experts alike.

Try: Huda Beauty Life Liner Quick ‘N Easy Precision Liquid Liner

• Waterproof

• Ophthalmologist tested

This thin tipped liquid liner offers high impact pigment with an extremely black formula for precision and colour payoff. It’s also supremely budge-proof, but not a pain to remove either – a rare combo.

Try: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

• Waterproof

• Fragrance-free

• Ophthalmologist tested

If you’re looking for an alternative to a pen, try this longwear gel liner – great for giving you  a little more control than a liquid. When used with an eyeliner brush, its flexible formula hugs lash lines and provides an array of dramatic looks that won’t smudge or streak.

Try: MAC 210 Precise Eye Liner Brush

This make-up brush acts as the perfect pairing to a pot of eyeliner. Coat both sides of the head and apply your product in short, swift strokes working from the inner to the outer corners of the eye for a flawless finish.

Looking for more beauty tool inspo? Check out our guide to the best make-up brushes.

Try: No7 Stay Perfect Metallic Eyes Pencil

For a more imperfect, creamy line, an eye pencil works amazingly. And, this pick comes in four metallic finishes for multi-dimensional shine. 

Go 90s with your lip liner

Throwback make-up trends are providing inspiration in a big way at the moment and looks with a 90s heritage have proven to be a particular hit with us. Our current go-to? Contrast lip liner.

Back in the day, it could be seen framing the lips of all of our favourite ‘supers’ ranging from Naomi Campbell to Cindy Crawford. Today, it can be as pared back or dramatic as you like - 90s neutral or more smudgy per the ombré lip trend that’s taken TikTok by storm. We particularly like make-up artist Terry Barber’s description of it in the above Instagram post as ‘soft centres’ -  hard on the outside with a gooey nougat middle. “A contrast-y lip liner pretty much divides opinion right down the middle in terms of taste, trend and class,” he wrote. “Hence the reason that I’ve loved it since the 90s, to this day.” It’s certain to get people talking!


Try: MAC Lip Pencil

These smooth textured pencils are ideal for outlining lips and colouring them in. Available in a bevy of shades, they work brilliantly with a wide selection of lipsticks. Opt for a shade or two darker than your natural lip colour, depending on how bold you want to go.

Try: MAC Satin Lipstick

• Size: 3g

These medium-to-full coverage lipsticks are creamy, buildable and comfortable. Their velvet sheen finish adds a subtle luminosity to dry lips while shades ranging from the nude Bad ‘n’ Bare to the pink-beige Viva Glam II provide ample choice for making your lips the talking point of any online party. 

Try: MAC Lipglass in Clear

• Size: 15ml

If you’re looking for super shine try this juicy lipgloss. Enriched with jojoba oil, it helps with dryness too. Ideal for the winter months. 

Big 70s curls

While our lips may have gone back in time to the 90s this year, hair has been transported to the 70s judging by over 200,000 posts about curtain bangs on Instagram.

Ranging from a Farrah Fawcett bounce to disco curls and face framing layers, the full, flowing cuts on our social media feeds provide plenty of reference points to show our hairdresser. In terms of maintenance, look for products that condition and nourish, heat protection and curling tongs with medium sized barrels for creating waves and loose curls. When it comes to your online party locks remember to big it up for on-screen impact. 

Try: BaByliss 9000 Cordless Waving Wand

• 28mm barrel

• Cordless

• Three temperature settings: 160°C, 170°C, 180°C

This wand’s the perfect choice for creating smooth, long-lasting loose waves thanks to its large barrel and range of heat settings. It’s also cordless to answer a variety of styling needs when you’re on-the-go. 

Try: Dyson Airwrap styler Complete

• Variable temperature control

• Heat control

• Storage case

• 6 tools

Using air to create voluminous curls and waves, this styler’s a game-changer. Containing 30mm and 40mm barrels as well as four other tools, the choices are endless.

Try: TRESemme Care & Protect Heat Defence Spray

• Size: 300ml

Keep hair burnout to a minimum with this defence spray. Offering up to 230°C heat protection, it helps reduce breakage and brittleness, without breaking the bank.

Try: Schwarzkopf got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray

• Size: 300ml

For an extra hold hairspray that acts as a shield against the style-spoiling effects of winter weather, try this. It ‘freezes’ handiwork in the most welcome of ways.