Appearing on camera can be terrifying for men. Often, bright lights demand makeup, something most men in America don’t have any information about, unless they work as broadcasters or in film and theater.
If you are in the business world, and find you need to go on-air for a television appearance, there are some guidelines you can follow to looking your best.
First, clothing and hair. Simple is considered better. Men can wear dark suits, or something like a standard blue blazer and khaki pants. Again, the trick is to keep it simple and to avoid patterns. You may love that herringbone coat, but you’ll also want to leave it at home because when it’s under the lights, it’ll dance around like a Broadway marquee because of the small pattern.
Solid color ties, blue or red are a standard for neckwear. Yes, avoid patterns if at all possible, and leave that bow-tie in the closet. You may think wearing one is “cute” or makes you look like a college professor, but it’ll only distract from your message on the air, and the only thing anyone will remember about the appearance is the tie.
For shirts, a light pale blue works very well, long sleeve with some sort of standard collar, but avoid wearing button-down collars, which are often considered too casual. You’ll be tempted to wear a white shirt, don’t do it. It will wash out your face and mess with what the photographer calls the camera’s “white balance.” The trick is that you don’t have much room for creativity – it’s a simple uniform you’re wearing for your appearance.
In terms of makeup you might want to bring your own because many local television stations won’t provide you with a makeup artist. That also means you’ll want to brush or comb your hair and put some spray on it – nothing shiny and not too much. You’d like to retain some sort of natural look that’s dry. For makeup, usually a powder will do, but you’ll have to do some shopping so you don’t get a shade too light (most common mistake) or too dark for your skin. Don’t’ spend too much money and whatever you do, don’t overdo it. Another tip? Most stations are now shooting in HD and HD doesn’t like powder so you’ll have to go with a “mousse” type of skin-colored base make up that’s “whipped.” Don’t’ use a ton of it. For men, makeup on television is meant to blend and conceal blemishes and off-color skin, like under your eyes.
Another tip? Don’t go crazy with the jewelry. A wedding ring or wrist watch is OK, but leave the pinky rings, bracelets or neck chains and earrings someplace else for the day. Again, you want to look “in uniform” and understated.
Remember, if you’re doing this, you’re probably going on TV to spread a message, which is the important thing. Don’t let your clothing distract from that.