WORKPLACE / OCT. 23, 2013
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Bad Office Looks: When Too Much Makeup Hurts Your Career

Every office has one. You know that girl. You can spot her from the furthest cubicle. The fluorescent lights seem to amplify the unnatural hue of her skin. She’s verging on umpa lumpa territory thanks to multiple spray tan sessions.

We all want to look our best, but there comes a point when too much grooming has the opposite effect. It actually turns people off. Not only will it send the wrong message to your colleagues, it might also hurt your chance of being promoted. The Evening Standard notes, “a third of bosses think women wear too much make-up to work.”

So how can you achieve the right balance? Here are a few rules to keep you fresh-faced and at the top of your boss’s list for a promotion.

Rule #1: Ditch the Mask

Makeup should ENHANCE your features. It should not distract. Too often women layer makeup hoping to cover or conceal perceived flaws. This results in a caked, powdery look, which masks the natural expressions and beauty of the wearer.

Employers value transparency. Overly visible foundation sends out the message you are trying to hide something. If employers feel you can’t be trusted, they are more likely to favor a colleague who is focused less on appearances and more on job responsibility.

Rule #2: Keep it Simple

There are many reasons you should keep your makeup simple. Not only does it save time in the morning, it also makes the best impression. Believe me. Take it from someone who learned the hard way. First impressions count.

It doesn’t matter if you work in fashion or finance; you should aim for a “fresh and dewy” look with minimal eye-makeup. Celebrity makeup artist, Sophie Oliver suggests covering “any imperfections or dark circles with a light-reflecting pen. “

Rule #3: Tailor Your Makeup (Or Copy Angela Ahrendts)

Obviously, there are certain industries where artful makeup is appreciated. Fashion, media and marketing are all environments where you might be able to get away with a flick of liquid eyeliner to achieve the perfect batwing. Think more Alexa Chung, less Amy Winehouse.

However, if you work in traditional sectors like banking, finance or accounting, you should aim for a more conservative look. Angela Ahrendts (former CEO of Burberry group) could give a master class in corporate makeup. Fashionable, but understated, she ticks all the right boxes. From Burberry to head of Apple’s retail division, this woman can do no wrong.

Rule #4: Compromise

Employment levels are on the rise, but this doesn’t mean you should let down your guard. Understanding makeup plays an essential role in how you are perceived. If you are wearing eyeliner, skip the red lippy. Consider wearing a smart suit to offset the impact of killer heels.

In the words of, “you can go hard or you can go home.” Don’t let bad office looks or too much makeup slow down your career.

For makeup tutorials visit:

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