How to look younger on YouTube, without getting plastic surgery

This is Part 3 of my free Web Video Mini Course.

Okay girls admit it, the only reason you aren’t on YouTube yet is because you’re sensitive about how you might look on camera.

Hey I get that! I’m over 50. I’m officially a woman of a certain age. And yes I admit, I’m a bit sensitive when I see myself on video too. But I’ve let that go because the benefits of being on YouTube outweigh all that self image stuff. Plus keep in mind, we are often our own worst critics.

Plus, design experts say we’ve got to grab our prospects by the eyeballs. If you’re in front of the camera, you are the image people see first. Give people the best version of yourself. Give them some eye-candy!

There are several easy things you can do to bring out out your best youthful self

Nope, I’m not talking plastic surgery here!


People say I look so young, but it’s probably because I dress young, and I wear colours as much as possible. If you wear black, especially near your face, you are going to be draining all the natural colour and warmth from your face.

For some reason we think wearing black will make us look thin, but in reality it makes us look old!

When you’re young, you can get away with black. Plus when we’re young, we usually want to look older. What a paradox!

Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo dresses in bright happy colours that make us want to watch her videos.

Look at this screen grab above from one of Marie Forleo’s YouTube videos. What is the first thing you notice? Marie is usually wearing jewel coloured clothing in her videos. Plus she’s got her hair and makeup done just right. Marie’s putting her best self forward all the time. I love that about her!

I’m not saying that you have to wear a fancy dress in your videos, because as you know, that’s not really my style either. But wear some colour, please! Remember, the goal is to grab your viewers by the eyeballs. Drab and dark doesn’t cut it anymore.

If  you absolutely must wear black and want to look younger too, you need to add something near your face to brighten you up. A coloured scarf, a coloured t-shirt under a dark blazer, or some serious bling that will sparkle those neck wrinkles away. Shop around at fine art fairs for unique necklaces too.



I’m not one to wear makeup, but I do use blot powder before I go in front of the camera. It helps to take off the shine. I even use it on men. Because they tend to have just as much oil on their faces as women. Especially on their noses and chins.

But it wouldn’t hurt to have a good foundation applied to smooth your skin and hide any blemishes. Nothing sparkly though. You’re going for the matte look. And guys, you can apply a foundation to help with redness caused by shaving.

Exposure – aka Brightness

If you under-expose your video clips, you will look older. Period. Under-exposure darkens things. To look younger you need a bright shining face, no matter what your natural skin colour is.

Under-exposure is like putting mud on your face.

Colours also get really dull looking when they are underexposed.


This is somewhat related to exposure, but has to do more with the quality of light. Light can be soft or hard. I like a medium soft light. Not too soft. Not too hard. Hard light creates sharp-edged shadows and that can accentuate bumps and wrinkles.

If the light is too soft, you don’t have much definition. CFL lights are bad for that. Sometimes they are too soft. But LED lights can look too harsh, unless a bit of diffusion is added. I use LED lights with some diffusion fabric in front of them.

White balance – aka colour of light

Bad white balance can leave your skin colour looking too cold or too warm. The white balance of your lights must match the white balance setting of your camera to get the best result. Ideally you need to set up custom white balance.

I teach you how to set up proper exposure, lighting and white balance in great detail in my paid training.

Zoom interviews using web cams

Using webcams, it’s nearly impossible to adjust your exposure or set a custom white balance. But you can play with your lighting, wear colours and use makeup. I’ve got some more webcam tips in this blog post.

Video compression is your friend

The great thing about web video is that it gets highly compressed in order to play well online. The detail you see when you first look at your video clips in editing may shock you, but it will not be how the final video looks on YouTube or Vimeo. Video compression for the web, adds artifacts that soften your skin automatically. How nice!

But that same compression also makes poorly exposed video look even worse. So make sure you get the lighting, exposure and white balance settings as good as possible in the camera.

Once you put your best face forward, you can go in front of your video camera with more self confidence

These tips are easy to implement! You will see immediate improvements with your own eyes. You will look brighter and fresher and you’ll attract more viewers on your videos too. I always feel bad for people who produce really good content, but no one watches it because they are not attracted to the video thumbnail.

Give people a good visual reason to click on your video!

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments! I’m here to help you look younger. 

Check out all the blog posts in this mini course:

  1. Making Connections
  2. Your Biggest Fear
  3. How to Look Younger on YouTube – without getting plastic surgery
  4. Webcam Setup and Capture tips using  Quicktime Player
  5. Lighting Tips for Webcam Videos
  6. Zoom your webcam or get close?
  7. Get better colour from your webcam



19 responses to “How to look younger on YouTube, without getting plastic surgery”

  1. denise butchko Avatar

    Totally agree about black. It drains must people. And make up helps a ton. Bigger eyes and big smile seem a good balance.

    1. Marlene Hielema Avatar

      Denise I think if people did just ONE of these things, it would be to get rid of the black.

  2. Marina Klima Goldberg Avatar

    Great video, Marlene. When you talk about not doing videos because of age – this is me! LOL
    Your examples are awsome! I would like to learn MORE about color balance and how to adjust camera settings to the light settings. Light for the videos is what I would like to know. Just my two cents. Thanks you very much.

    1. Marlene Hielema Avatar

      Glad you enjoyed it Marina. Yes, light is important. I call it the paint of photography and video. For your interiors, I would use a combo of daylight and daylight balanced LED lights, possibly pointed at the ceiling to spread out the light across the room or hidden behind couches and chairs. For the head and shoulders type of videos, I have put all that information in great detail in my paid training. The link is in the post. Thanks for your comments! 🙂

  3. David Avatar

    Yes, lots of questions (good video – very inspiring and disarming)

    Which aspect ratio is best?
    What format to record in?
    What camera to use that helps with the first two questions?
    How to edit afterwards?

    1. Marlene Hielema Avatar

      David, for video I always use 16:9 aspect ratio. I record in AVCHD format, but that only works with higher end editing software. A safer format is MP4 or MOV and that will work with any editing software. There are many editing options. I will be covering some of those is future posts. I’ve just written a camera review. Have a look:

  4. Sarah Arrow Avatar

    you tell me this now! after I’ve had the botox to eliminate the wrinkles! lol
    I just love this post, and it’s very handy. We were talking about something else in our hangout, I guess I’ll be asking the make-up questions now 😉

    1. Marlene Hielema Avatar

      LOL, well Sarah the botox is still good for those face to face connections, so it’s not money wasted. 😉

  5. Jawaher Avatar

    Thank you so much, can’t wait to start my YouTube channel. Such an informative video.

    1. Marlene Hielema Avatar

      You’re welcome! Have fun making your YouTube videos!

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