The Unabashed Feminist: Make-up at Work

Friday, March 15, 2013

Make-up at Work

Hello ladies, it’s yet another Friday already and I was dreading the fact that I haven’t written in this week at all. So here goes…

Women have the same psychological reasons for using make-up as they have for Jewelry. You can read the article on Jewelry and why women wear them here.

Recent studies at Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and P&G Beauty have shown that make-up and the different styles used can alter perception. The research proved that one can take the genetic features that you are endowed with and significantly alter how you are perceived.

In a separate study, in American Economic Review, it was found that employers expect physically attractive workers to perform better and be more competent in their jobs.

Given the latter research finding, doesn't it make sense to use make-up (along with the outfit you choose) to alter perception of management towards you?

Studies have also shown that First Impressions typically occur during the first 3 seconds of an encounter with a new person. Make-up, thus, becomes critical.

Here are a few tips:

  • Remember to plan your day (who are you meeting with, your audience) and your make-up accordingly. If you have an after-hours office cocktail party, take some of your make-up items with you in your purse. Give yourself an additional 5-10 minutes so that you can apply it before.
  • Make-up for work has to be low-maintenance and should be able to last from 9-5. Kindly do not keep re-applying make-up at your desk. If you absolutely have to, please go into the restroom and do it.
  • Lipstick shouldn’t be too loud and distracting. You don’t want people focusing on the bright red lips instead of what you are speaking. Please, please ensure that there is no lipstick on the teeth! 
  • Always keep a nude lipstick handy in your purse.
  • Make-up should showcase you. Do not experiment with new make up at work. It is distracting.
  • Go easy on the perfume. Imagine being stuck in an elevator with someone who has doused themselves in the perfume like it’s going out of style!
  • Easy on the nails. They should be well-groomed. Don’t have them too long and paint the nails in neutral colors if you are using one. If you have used nail-paint and it’s scraped, please take the 5 minutes to remove it completely or to apply a fresh coat. If you are careless with yourself, people will not trust you too much with your work.
  • Toe cleavage in shoes at work is a no-no. For office wear it is prudent to wear shoes which completely cover your toes. You can read about shoes here.
  • Don’t overdo the mascara. Remember the rule “Less is more”.
  • If you have to use eye shadow, the rule is the same as with the mascara.
  • Do NOT wear shimmer and/or glitter to work.
  • Please shop for make-up during the weekends or on holidays. You could be allergic to some of the ingredients and you wouldn't want to end up looking like Will Smith in the movie Hitch!

If you have never used make-up, there is no time like the now to try it. Experiment at home with the people who love you and will give you an honest opinion on how it looks. Make-up should enhance you and not make you another person completely.

Have fun with make-up. Remember that it should complement the outfit and/or your accessories that you are wearing.

These are the kind of tips/help we can provide when you hire an Image Consultant. 

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