Last week, I was participating in a panel discussion for a group of women bankers when one of the ladies asked about wearing makeup to the workplace. She explained that at 38, she had only worn makeup to the office a dozen times in her twenty-year career. She didn’t see anything wrong with skipping makeup, but she’d begun to wonder, if her career growth might benefit from looking more polished.
Whether you wear a little makeup or a moderate amount, I believe that wearing makeup is just as important as wearing the appropriate clothes or the right shoes. I posted this article from The New York Times several months ago, but it’s such an important topic, that it deserves to be revisited.
Studies show that wearing an appropriate amount of makeup (the third photo from left) makes women appear more competent, capable and trustworthy. While I wish this was a world where women (and men) were judged solely on their personalities, work ethic and skills, that is not the professional realm in which we live. We judge people as much on their appearance–especially in the early phases–as we do on their performance. Someone with an unkempt appearance may be thought of as lazy, while someone who is impeccably turned out may be seen as having it all together.
So how do you create a makeup look that is professional yes, dare I say it, pretty?
If you need tips on how to apply makeup, I thought this beginner beauty tutorial from Eman was a great resource for how to do a quick, professional makeup look. And these tips from Real Simple on how to apply makeup well are great whether you’re a beginner or someone with serious skills.
As for products, I think you should keep the foundation light to avoid the look of too much makeup. So unless you need full coverage, try a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer. A bit of concealer never hurt anyone, especially under the eye, I like Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer.
For blush, I like sheer, buildable coverage. Bobbi Brown pale pink is a great shade that works on nearly every skin tone. Need a drugstore option? Physician’s Formula Matchmaker Blush is a good product.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend buying a neutral palette for the eyes. Once you get the hang of it, you can branch out to other shades. This Hyperreal palette has a great collection of matte shadows in brown and pink hues. If you are looking for individual shades, Stila makes my favorite shadows. Add some mascara and fill in your eyebrows a bit, and that should do, unless you want to wear eyeliner, but that’s up to you.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a makeup person, the right makeup application can give you a more polished look. And when you look the part, it allows you to project the confidence and competence that will help you succeed professionally.