Back to work beauty

Monday, 23 January 2012

Office make upIf you work in a corporate environment, you’ll know it’s important to invest in a working wardrobe. Thing is, it’s also just as important to ensure you’re wearing the right make-up. Still, making your face up for work doesn’t have to be boring and don’t listen to anyone who tells you you’ll be taken more seriously if you don’t wear make-up. Studies show that women who wear make-up to work are more likely to be promoted and if you skip it, you’ll only end up feeling less confident. So, here’s how to get the balance right between looking beautiful as well as office appropriate.

Office make-up do’s

Create a look that enhances your beauty, but in a natural way. This means saving the fuchsia lippie for later and going the Bobbi Brown route; choosing make-up that’s just a few shades darker than those already on your face. Keep your look simple so it’s easy to put your face on within ten minutes. (This way you can spend another twenty minutes in bed before your alarm goes off…)

Think about maintenance. You don’t want a make-up look that requires a lot of touch ups or isn’t likely to stick around past lunch, so make a point of looking out for longwearing formulas.

Office make-up don’ts

Save smoky eyes and anything too shimmery or glittery for the evening or you’ll set yourself back in any effort to be taken seriously. Worse yet, colleagues might think you were too lazy to take off last night’s make-up!

Don’t experiment with new foundation shades or, worse yet, facial self tanner, during the work week. If it ends up looking dreadful, you’re stuck with it for the day.

Nail art is fun if you work in a creative or casual environment. In a conservative office, however, it’ll just be considered tacky.

Look sharp

The perfect office make-up bag should contain any the following: Longwearing foundation and concealer that goes the distance between 9 and 5. (Revlon’s ColourStay range is fabulous and has great shade options for all skin tones.)

Natural-looking blush. (The best way to pick this is to look out for a colour that emulates the shade your cheeks turn after just a little bit of exercise.)

Blotting powder or oil-control tissues to keep your look fresh and matte-looking throughout the day.

Lipstick or lip stain that matches your lips or is just a few shades darker. Ideally you want this to be a matte or satin-effect shade; you can save your gloss for an after work drink with the girls.

A neutral matte or satin-effect eye shadow palette.

A longwearing waterproof eyeliner like Smashbox Limitless eyeliner, R190. (It promises eight hours of budge-proof wear.)

A soft, pretty-looking mascara, something like The Body Shop Define & Lengthen mascara, R85

Other articles you may be interested in:
Apply foundation flawlessly
Choose the perfect mascara
Step-by-step French manicure
Lip service
Fixing perfume overload


Written by

Leigh van den Berg is a freelance beauty writer and avid blogger ( She's addicted to all things glossy and glam and currently has eight MAC lipglosses rolling around in her handbag.

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  1. AndreaM

    Wow great tips. I hardly wear makeup but when I do it does give a good impression. I think I will start wearing make up more often.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    There are some nice options in here – like it when you give examples of what to use when you go through the steps

    7 years ago •

  1. may-may 22

    I knew i was doing something wrong lol… kept matching my eye shadow with whatever top and handbag i was wearing.. mmm thanks for the heads up

    7 years ago •

  1. GoldenShimmeringCloud

    Great article! I think there are many women who do not look office appropriate: either no make-up at all or unevenly applied bold lipstick, and indeed, the tacky nailart. Yikes!
    So I hope this article will help some of these women. Really, it doesn’t cost that much time.

    7 years ago •

  1. Lah

    Great tips! This morning I switched my normal foundation for my new BB cream to create a more natural look!

    7 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    I need that blotting powder my skin is too oily

    7 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    Nice tips to start off 2013, hope the ladies really follow them throught.

    7 years ago •

  1. Henke

    I work with a bunch of auditors (in training) and it’s a fashion show very day… I think it’s too much … shall I print this and drop in on a couple of gals’ desks… teehehehe

    7 years ago •

  1. Glamorous Glitter

    Amazing article! Good things to do for every day!

    7 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    Thanks for the tips… Great for back to work next week :(

    7 years ago •

  1. Bronwyn

    Useful tips, of course natural and well groomed is the only option for work

    7 years ago •

  1. Carvalho

    I keep a box of essentials in my desk drawer. Its been a lifesaver.
    I also keep a travalo with some great fragrance because you never know where you might have to go.

    7 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    I totally agree natural makeup , groomed hair and nails are great office look.

    7 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    I like to keep it simple neat and presentable …thanks for these tips !

    7 years ago •

  1. julandism

    Natural or Bare Face (as mentioned in previous comments- depends on your work environment)

    7 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    great article will definately try this!

    7 years ago •

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