8 Simple Steps for the Perfect Work Makeup

Woman applying makeup in front of mirror
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Haven’t slept a wink? Don’t worry! Makeup can fix it! All you need is a little long-lasting concealer to turn your panda eyes into bright eyes – but do make sure you don’t overdo it. After all, you don’t want to walk in to work at 9am looking like a clown.

Although makeup can be your best friend at work, when applied incorrectly it can turn you from looking polished and professional to a complete and utter mess.

To find out what works for the workplace, and what doesn’t, read on. Here are eight simple steps for the perfect work makeup look.

 


 

The Perfect Work Makeup

1. Prep Your Skin

After you’ve cleansed and moisturised, you should begin your makeup application with the perfect primer for your skin type. You want something that will smoothen your texture, keep your makeup in place all day and that won’t look too cakey.

If you’re on the dry side, Benefit’s Porefessional primer is a great base for your foundation, as the silicon formula will keep your skin from drying out throughout the day. If, on the other hand, you have a combination to oily complexion, you should opt for a mattifying but non-sticky primer. Smashbox’s Photo Finish primer will do the trick, which will smooth out your crater pores and keep your oils from seeping through.

 

2. Fix Your Foundation

If you’re blessed with having a clear complexion, there’s absolutely no need to cake your face with products that can cause unwanted breakouts. But if you’re like the other 95% of us that feel the need to hide any imperfections, make sure that you go for a lightweight foundation. And don’t forget to blend, blend, blend! You want the transition to be invisible to the naked eye.

If you’re on the dry side, opting for a tinted moisturiser like the NARS Pure Radiant moisturiser is ideal for warming up your complexion. If on the other hand, you have a combination to oily complexion, you’ll know the struggle of trying to keep a foundation on for over eight hours is nearly impossible. A Holy Grail to save the day is TARTE’s Shape Tape matte foundation – one small application will stay put for up to 12 hours!

 

3. Conceal Any Flaws

If you’re feeling run down, tired or stressed from work, you’ll need something to hide the evidence – making a brightening concealer your saving grace. You can hide any imperfections and make your face look brighter and more alert, fooling your colleagues into thinking that you have all your ducks in a line and that you are well rested and prepared for the day ahead.

Laura Mercier’s Candleglow concealer and highlighter has the perfect creamy base to glide on effortlessly and blend in with minimal effort – perfect for those that hit the snooze button one too many times in the morning!

 

4. Apply Your Eyeshadow

You don’t necessarily have to wear an eyeshadow to work, but if you do, go for a soft natural look with bronze and brown colours. It’s also best to go easy on the shimmers; you don’t want to look like you’re ready to hit the club at 9am! MORPHE’s bronze eyeshadow palette is perfect for everyday use.

 

5. Shape Your Brows

So many women apply a full face of makeup but often forget to fill in their brows, giving an overall ‘unfinished look’. Now, I’m not telling you to sit there and draw on every single fibre, but if you lightly apply a bit of pencil or shadow, you’ll appear more professional and confident. The NYX sculpt and highlight brow contour is perfect for this, and it’s super easy to use.

 

6. Bronze, Sculpt and Highlight

You don’t want to be known as the Pumpkin Girl, so you need to go really easy on the bronzer. A little sculpting will give you a natural glow and will highlight your best features. Don’t forget to bring a little colour back into your face and blend a subtle rouge into your bronzer. A popular choice of blush is Benefit’s Dandelion or Coralista.

 

7. Finish with a Matte Lipstick

A nude matte lipstick is probably your safest bet for any corporate environment, especially if you don’t have time to top it up throughout the day; it won’t bleed out of your lip line and it won’t look silly when it starts to wear off, either. This L’Oréal infallible pro-mate lip gloss set has a good range of colours that are all suitable for the workplace.

 

8. Set it All in Place

Before you head out the door, don’t forget to set all your makeup in place. You can do this with a finishing powder or a setting spray, like Urban Decay’s all nighter spray, which will keep your makeup locked for up to 24 hours!

 

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The Dos and Don’ts

1. Do: Go Easy on the Makeup

The trick is to make it seem like you don’t have any makeup on at all. I know that sounds impossible, but to the untrained eye, the subtle tips mentioned above will make you look fresh and alert.

2. Don’t: Apply Falsies

False lashes look great when you’re at a huge event or party, but trying to apply falsies at 9am seems like the worst idea and can be very dangerous. Can you imagine if one fell off mid-meeting? Doesn’t exactly say ‘professional’, does it?

3. Do: Use a Nude Lip Colour

Although there’s talk about a power lip and all that jazz, you don’t want to embarrass yourself by having red lipstick running down your face. It’s best to stick to soft nude, pink and peach colours or to simply wear a lip balm.

4. Don’t: Get a Fake Bake

If you’re a fake tan lover, leave any experimenting for the weekend. After all, you don’t want to rock up to work with a patched tan or one too many shades too dark. Remember that scene in Friends when Ross got a spray tan?!

5. Do: Be Mindful of Office Lighting

Office lighting is super unflattering; the fluorescents will show any lumps and bumps, as well as any unblended and overapplied cosmetics. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to put on a full face in 10 minutes in dim lighting.

6. Do: Ditch the Glitter

Any glitter at work is a big no-no, whether it’s a frosty lip, a glitter eyeshadow or highlighter! You’re never going to progress if you spend more time applying your eyeshadow than you do going through your emails.

7. Don’t: Touch Up at Your Desk

If you’re guilty of applying makeup at your desk, stop what you’re doing immediately! Can you imagine what your boss would think when he sees that you’re painting your face on company time? It’s time that you woke up 20 minutes earlier to get yourself get yourself dressed and ready for the day.

 

The Bag Essentials

1. Blotting Papers

Blotting papers are the best thing to keep in your bag or office drawer, especially when the temperatures start to rise. You can just pop one out, gently pat your face and it will look like you’ve just applied a full face of makeup by taking the oil and shine away.

2. Lip Balm

A good lip balm is understated – it’s perfect for the hot and cold months when your lips are chapped. You can also use it to blend it the residue of your lipstick after lunch, making your lipstick look fresh again.

3. Hand Moisturiser

If your hands tend to dry out, keep some nourishing moisturiser on hand. You don’t want to extend a rough and ridged handshake now, do you?

4. Perfume or Body Spray

To keep your personal hygiene intact, it wouldn’t harm to have some perfume, deodorant or body spray tucked away in your bag. You just never know what the office temperature will be like or how your body will react to it!

 


 

Although makeup is by no means essential in most lines of work, it can make you feel more put-together and professional, and it can act as a shield – kind of like a game face.

You never know: your new polished look might even get you in line for that next promotion!

Have you got a beauty regime you swear by in the morning? If you do, join in on the conversation below to let us know what it is!