Why is it that when a woman likes to take care of herself at work, she’s not taken seriously? So how do we strike a balance between looking maintained, but not overly maintained and miss out on that promotion?

Let’s go through the do’s and don’ts of work appropriate makeup. For girls lucky enough to be in the creative industries – this does not apply to you.

DOs

  • Keep eyeshadow to basic colors. If you’re used to wearing a lot of eyeshadow like me, stick to the earthy tones (browns, beige, taupe). This way, it doesn’t look overdone even if you’re wearing a lot. If you love color, use it sparingly – perhaps rim your eyes with a purple liner.

  • Use lipstains. They look natural without looking like you’re trying too hard and you could always put some on your cheeks.

  • Stick to soft pinks and neutrals for lip-gloss and lipstick colors.

DON’Ts

  • Don’t do a smoky eye. Leave that for dinner or a night out.

  • Wear bright matte lipsticks – they’re high maintenance and almost always end up on your teeth or white shirt!

  • Don’t over powder and cake on your base. A thick layer of foundation will always give the impression of ‘too much makeup’ even if you’re not wearing anything else!

  • Don’t forget the blush! A nice subtle flush always makes you appear awake and alert.

TIPS

  • Match your foundation to your chest area! The wrong color makes you look like you’re wearing too much. When you wear a darker shade than your natural skintone, you’ll look dirty. When you go too light, you look ashy and washed out.

  • Pick your foundation formula wisely. Full coverage matte formulations on younger skin may look cakey, instead, opt for formulations like ‘luminous’ or ‘sheer’, then dab on concealor for the added coverage.

  • Wear red lipstick with caution. Unless there’s a Christmas party or work function that evening, best to tone it down while you’re in the office. You don’t want people concentrating on the red lipstick on your teeth while you’re trying to give a presentation. If you can’t give up the red, try blotting a little off with a tissue for a nice stain.

Best of List

Best Work Makeup

From left to right. Best example of work appropriate makeup: Emily Blunt, Best natural eye shadow palette: Christian Dior 5 Colors Eye Shadow Palette in Incognito, Best lipstick color: Tom Ford in Casablanca, Best beige lipgloss: Bobbi Brown in Buff.