We all know that we need to be presentable at work. But beyond the obvious, what does presentable actually mean?
A woman’s professional appearance needs to support her professional accomplishments, which is why looking competent and confident is incredibly important. You are not only enhancing your personality, but also leaving a strong impression about your position and brand on clients. It is also one of the tried and tested marketing strategies.
One challenge many women face nowadays is choosing a professional casual makeup that doesn’t overpower ones look and will allow skills and abilities to shine. Looking appropriate and professional is incredibly important. Although that might mean putting down the glittery eyeliner, it doesn’t have to mean bare-faced beauty. Studies have shown that women who wear make-up to work are more likely to get promoted.
Know what kind of professional setting you are in.
A CEO might wear different makeup to work than a bar owner, and it’s important to stay setting-appropriate.
- Decide whether your professional environment is conservative (very formal, a suits-and-pantyhose kind of setting), business casual (less conservative but still buttoned up and professional), or casual (no dress code or standard). If you’re in the last category, then you don’t really have to worry – you can do your makeup however you want!
- Look at respected individuals around you in your field, and see what kind of makeup they wear on a daily basis.
For most people, a striking look isn’t usually the way to go, I’m not saying that standing out in the workplace is a bad strategy either. Some of the most successful women I know made an effort to stand out with their appearance, whether that be with bright lips or their choice of dress. As long as your makeup is properly applied and clean you should be safe. However, (depending on your workplace setting of course) dramatic smokey eyes are generally considered a no-no. They can either look too sultry or look like you didn’t remove last night’s make-up. Either way, it doesn’t spell promote me!
When it comes to your place of work, if you work in more of a corporate setting, less is more in terms of makeup. The trick is finding a look that enhances your natural beauty. Keep in mind that too much makeup or poorly applied makeup can actually be worse than no makeup at all! What you can get away with in terms of grooming in the office of course has a lot to do with your company’s corporate culture. Much like a dress code, more creative, laid-back occupations call for less stringent beauty routines. However, there are some ‘rules’ that apply to almost everyone.
Here are a few general ‘rules’ for workplace-safe makeup:
- It has to stand the test of time; you don’t want to have to keep retouching your look when you have to dash from meeting to meeting. You should carry a pocket mirror or compact to keep your makeup in check.
- It has to be low-maintenance and easy enough for you to be able to complete in a rush. Some people might be prepared to spend 30 minutes doing their face in the mornings, but some of you might rather spend an extra 20 minutes in bed and only 10 minutes doing your face.
- It should enhance, not hide: Choose a colour scheme that compliments your features – the best colour options for an office makeup are not the colour trends of each year, but rather a range of neutral tones and complimentary shades.
- It shouldn’t be too distracting; less is more when it comes to a business makeup, therefore try to emphasize your natural features rather than distract everyone you talk to with an accent feature.
- It should make you feel both comfortable and amazing. If you’re busy stressing about your eyeliner, how can you hope to concentrate on that spreadsheet?!
But is makeup necessary? No. But the bigger point is about paying attention to your appearance when you’re working. What you want is to look professional and polished. It’s about you feeling confident and competent, whether you get there with or without makeup isn’t really the point; it’s about the end result. If you look polished and well-groomed without it, you’re where you need to be.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article, I hope you learned a few extra business makeup tips! If you have any questions, or would like to book a private makeup consultation with me, please fill out the contact form.