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Office appropriate makeup

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013

Office Makeup

Wearing makeup to work is an effective way to help you appear more polished. When it’s applied well, it sends an implicit message to your colleagues that you are serious about your professional appearance and care about it. But if you’ve chosen inappropriate colours, or your application looks harsh and unblended, it will be distracting and undo the very reason why you are wearing it in the first place.

So here are my top five makeup tips to help you manage your makeup look at the office so that it works for you!

1. KNOW YOUR OFFICE LIGHTING

If the lighting in the office is different to your lighting at home, there’s a good chance that the makeup you’re applying is not translating well. Many offices still use white fluorescent tubular lighting which is the harshest type of light for makeup because it shows everything. If you do your makeup at home under regular halogen/LED globes, take a compact mirror to the office and check that what you’re applying isn’t too heavy. You only need to do this a few times to know you are on the right track.

2. MAKEUP COLOURS AND YOUR INDUSTRY

The industry you’re in will be your guide as to what makeup colours you can get away with. Not everyone needs to stick to a very neutral palette. A bright coral lipstick may be well received if you’re in the retail or fashion sector, but could be considered too loud in a conservative corporate office. But remember regardless of your industry, the more dramatic colours you use, the more makeup maintenance it will need the throughout day. The last thing you should be worrying about when you’re giving an important presentation is whether your bright lipstick is bleeding!

3. USE LONG WEARING FORMULAS AND MATTE TEXTURES

While dewy and shimmery makeup products look fresh in a fashion shoot, they rarely translate well to the office. Unless you have very dry skin, a dewy foundation will look good for about an hour before it starts to come across as greasy and rub off. Foundations with semi-matte finishes like MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid suit many different skin types and are durable. Shimmery and sparkly makeup products should be avoided or used very sparingly too. They tend to look very unnatural under many lighting conditions because they don’t mimic the texture and quality of real skin.

4. BLEND AND CHECK

Demarcation lines around your jaw from foundation and harsh edges from your blush or eye shadow application will instantly make your makeup look tacky. Yet they are so easy and quick to fix. So regardless of how rushed you are, always set aside a minute or two at the end of your makeup routine to check your application.

5. KNOW THAT YOU CAN REFRESH YOUR LOOK

Don’t overdo your application in the morning with colour items like blush and bronzer. It doesn’t need to last all day; it just needs to get you through to lunch. By taking a few key makeup items with you to work, you can top-up and extend the life of your makeup for several more hours. I recommend packing a compact powder or blotting sheets to absorb an oily t-zone, blush or bronzer to add more warmth to your face, a concealer if you have regular breakouts or deepness under your eyes and a lip product. It’s also a good idea to keep a stash of cotton buds handy too. They’re great for cleaning up smudges and smoothing any makeup that may have settled around your eyes and nose.

If you’re thinking about a makeup lesson for yourself, have a look at this post. Or click on for more information on my makeup lessons and makeup gift cards.