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Work Appropriate Makeup

by Lauren McLay
work appropriate makeup

One thing that always seems to be a big fat question mark in life is work appropriate makeup. Personally, I like to aim for office fabulous, clean and fresh faced with a hint of grown up. I realise this blog post can’t possibly apply to every job as different looks are appropriate in different working environments  but below are my top tips for the 9-5 corporate working woman.

My thought process is that your employer knew what you looked like when they hired you, so why should everyday be any different to the day you were first interviewed? Ok, so for my first interview it took me about 2hrs to get ready and I am real, nobody wants to spend that much time getting ready for work each and every day. I have cut that down to 45mins now (unless it’s hair wash morning then naturally, it’s a bit longer) but I don’t feel like I have let overall standards slip.

…in business, we dress for the job we want, not the one we have

Mr Mercer – Picture Perfect (2009)

Work it! Literally…

My ‘work appropriate’ makeup look tends to consist of the below (and usually applied in that order):

  • Foundation
  • Concealer (blessing in a bottle)
  • Powder
  • Bronzer to contour
  • Blusher
  • Highlighter
  • Brow gel and powder
  • Black gel liner (time dependent!!)
  • Mascara
  • Lip balm or lip gloss

In my opinion the above applied well is perfect for everyday in the office, it is manageable and natural enough that you never look over the top and is totally work appropriate makeup. You can 100% tell I am wearing makeup but it doesn’t look like it has been slapped on which I feel is a direct result of good application. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be able to just chuck on a bit of powder and mascara and look put together but the reality is I can’t and honestly, I would feel so naked if I did!!

Looking at it from a different  angle, I personally think it’s always nice to get dressed up and surprise your colleagues with your party face when the annual work night out comes around. You should look different to everyday work you but in the same sense, it shouldn’t be a reveal so dramatically different that you look like you have channeled your inner Anne Hathaway in ‘The Princess Diaries’ circa 2001.


Whilst Hathaway is a total babe and the QUEEN of transformations (see ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ 2006 and ‘Les Miserables’ 2012 ) she just so happens to look like a modern day Audrey Hepburn. She knows what works for her and I think that is the real aim. Go get a work appropriate makeup appointment with an annoyingly honest friend, find out what works for you, learn how to do it then stick with it, at least until said honest friend tells you otherwise.

I don’t want to dictate what anyone should or shouldn’t do with their faces at work, be you! You are at your most beautiful when you are true to who you are and that’s not something anyone can teach.



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1 comment

Steve Sinyard 14th June 2016 - 11:03 am

Love this!


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