The Work Makeup Guide
Wherever you work, be it a fast-paced office, in a grocery store, a school, building site, or working from home, having the right makeup and look can be a huge confidence boost and can help you project the image you want coworkers or customers to have of you.
When deciding on your makeup look for work, there’s a lot to consider so we’ve put together this guide to help you.
- It’s all about context
Only you can know exactly whether a particular look or style is suitable for your workplace. Generally speaking for work, a more conservative look is advised that will keep you looking professional and focussed. If, however, you work in a rock bar or tattoo studio then obviously there’s significant room to try out more eye-catching looks.
If in doubt check your staff handbook or ask your manager or HR if a particular look is acceptable
- Keep it light
Wherever you work, unless you're a makeup artist you don’t want to be carrying tons of brushes and other makeup equipment around with you, especially if you’re on the way to an in-person meeting or on the road.
This is where you’ll need to think carefully about how to build and maintain your look. You’ll need a few core makeup brushes that offer flexibility as opposed to a huge set of brushes all with a specific job. A good tip here is to buy a starter makeup brush kit or brush bundle which will cover all of the basics.
Don’t forget a makeup bag to keep all of your brushes, makeup and other accessories all together in one place. You can pop it in a work bag for when you need a touch up.
- The Foundation of Success
A flawless base is the cornerstone of a polished makeup look. Select a foundation that matches your skin tone as closely as possible. Opt for formulas with a natural finish that provides coverage without appearing heavy. Use a foundation brush for easy, flawless application. This base not only evens out your complexion but also serves as a canvas for the rest of your makeup.
- Conceal with Care
Under eye circles and minor imperfections can be effectively hidden with a touch of concealer. However, moderation is key here. Over-applying concealer can create a cakey appearance. Even if you’ve decided on a bigger, bolder look you don’t want caked on concealer to be the star of the show. Gently blend the concealer into your skin and set it with a translucent powder to prevent creasing throughout the day.
- A Play on the Eyes
Your eyes are the windows to your soul, and in a professional setting, they should express attentiveness and confidence. We suggest opting for neutral eyeshadow shades that complement your skin tone and enhance your eye shape without being overly dramatic. Matte finishes are often a good touch, as they can look more sophisticated than other textures.
Define your eyes with a thin line of eyeliner along the upper lash line for added definition. Mascara can work wonders in opening up your eyes, but keep it subtle by applying just enough so that it doesn’t clump.
- Framing the Face: Brows and Lashes
Brows frame the face and can significantly impact your overall appearance. Ensure yours are well-groomed and filled in subtly to define your features. Avoid overly dramatic or sharply angular brows that may appear out of place in a professional environment.
When it comes to lashes, a natural-looking enhancement is the goal. Choose lengthening mascara over volumizing formulas, as it creates a fluttery effect without looking too bold. Alternatively, consider using a clear mascara to separate and define your lashes without adding color.
- The Power of Blush and Contour
A hint of blush adds a touch of vitality to your complexion, making you appear radiant and approachable. Opt for shades that mimic a natural flush, and apply them to the apples of your cheeks with a blusher brush. Blend well to avoid harsh lines.
Contouring, when done subtly, can enhance the structure of your face without appearing overly sculpted. Choose a matte bronzer that is only slightly darker than your skin tone. Apply it to the hollows of your cheeks, along your jawline, and the sides of your nose with a light hand and blend thoroughly.
- The Lips Speak Volumes
Lipstick is a powerful tool in your professional makeup arsenal. The right shade can complete your look and communicate confidence and poise. Opt for neutral shades like soft pinks, peaches, or subtle mauves that enhance your natural lip color. Matte or satin finishes are often favored, as they provide long-lasting color without being too attention-grabbing. Remember to keep your lips well-hydrated by applying a moisturizing balm regularly.
- Set It All in Place
Once you've perfected your makeup, setting it to withstand the demands of a workday is essential. A setting spray can help lock in your makeup while giving your skin a natural finish. Choose a formula that offers a matte effect to control any unwanted shine that might develop throughout the day.
- Regular Maintenance
Throughout the day, take a moment to check and touch up your makeup if necessary. Blotting papers can help control excess oil, and a subtle reapplication of lipstick can freshen up your look. However, avoid excessive touch-ups that can lead to a cakey appearance.