Everyday Business Woman – Makeup Tips

One issue I notice most women struggle with is deciding how much or what style of makeup is appropriate for the workplace. What is too much versus how much is enough? What colors or look should I choose? How can I look like a professional while still looking feminine? These are all questions I hear from young professional women, whether they are searching for a career or just starting out in one. The answer to these questions is actually quite simple.


Honestly, simple makeup is the best answer to your simple questions. You want your makeup to highlight the natural beauty that every woman has, but not be too flashy or conspicuous.

• Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone so you don’t look like a two-tone woman: one color on the neck and another on the face. Also, try to use a matte power so you don’t get greasy or shiny throughout the day. Sometimes work can be stressful and when you start sweating you don’t want to lose your looks. Apply the powder on top of your foundation or instead of it.

• Your eyes are important: enhance them, but do not overdo it. Once again, try to stick to more neutral skin tone colors. This would include light bronzes, nudes, browns, lighter pinks, etc. Now, I know you want to bring out your eye color with those bright colors, but you can get the same effect by using pastels of those same colors.

• Again on the eyes, mascara is essential and a little eyeliner never hurts. Black eyeliner usually looks like a “no no” but I don’t see the harm in it as long as it doesn’t look harsh against your skin tone or you don’t apply it too much. (Sorry my lovely pale blonde ladies, but you need to avoid black eyeliner in the workplace!) Brown eyeliner is always safe, but again, never too much! And again, mascara is a wonderful product because it highlights your eyes without adding too much, making you look professional, yet feminine. Don’t forget to outline your eyebrows if you have thin ones like me. Choose an eyebrow liner that is the same color as your hair and try to stay within the limits of your natural liners.

• Blush is always a good thing, but like I’ve been saying, don’t put too much on (and avoid glitter)! Some lighter nude/pink looks perfect on the cheeks and cheekbones. This will create a highlighted effect that will look beautiful under harsh office lights. A quick dab of highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones doesn’t hurt either!

• The color on a woman’s lips is one of those subtle things that makes a big difference. Depending on skin tones, a light pink, nude pink, or coral brown would be a perfect accent to your wardrobe. Look for lipsticks with words like “creamy,” “nude,” “sheer,” “cool,” and “warm,” as they tend to be softer and more professional. Finish off your lip color with some sheer gloss to give it a bit of sparkle and voila!


Now that you know what to look for in your workplace makeup kit, here are the things to avoid. These types of products or colors tend to make you look flashy or unprofessional and can even prevent your colleagues from taking you seriously.

• Try to stay away from fake-looking bronzers in the workplace or shades that are too dark or too light for you. Bronzers make you look like you’re attending a fashion show, and the wrong color can make you look washed out or too unnaturally tanned.

• When it comes to eyeshadow, avoid bright rainbow colors and sparkles because they make you look too dazzling. You go for professional, not haute couture. Blues and greens always tend to pop regardless of what skin tone is applied, so you may need to let those colors go.

• The rule with eyeliner and mascara is not too much, but don’t wear false eyelashes in the workplace. Outside of work, those puppies are beautiful, but in the office, they seem too much.

• Stay away from shimmery blushes, especially those with a shimmery or shimmery hue involved. Bright or deep pinks and reds can make you look weird in a whole new way. Anything from sunburn to clowning, but none of them are good. With the shimmer and glitter, it looks very reflective under office lights and can make you look greasy.

• Lips: Avoid wearing bright colors or colors that are not a semi-natural shade (this would include purples, blacks, oranges, etc.). You don’t want people looking only at your mouth while you speak, especially if you’re giving a presentation, it can be distracting!


These are the steps I follow when I’m putting on makeup for an interview or a meeting. I’ve always found it helpful to know how someone else does something and I hope this helps you.

1. Apply skin tone concealer under the eyes, on the lids and on imperfections. I find that lightly rubbing with fingertips is the best applicator.

2. Apply a layer of liquid foundation all over the face and slightly down around the jawline. This way you won’t get that line you see on women sometimes in the lower part of the face.

3. Use powder all over face except eyelids so foundation “sticks”.

4. Outline the eyebrows with an eyeliner. I fill in the natural brows and then slightly extend them at the ends to create that very structured look. I also use a brow gel to keep all the hairs in place throughout the day.

5. Apply eyeshadow. This can be done in different ways. I apply a nude color to the lid, a highlighter to the spot under the brow, and a slightly darker color to the crease. You can buy eyeshadow palettes with this exact design to make it easier.

6. Line the top of my eye and the outer lower third. This doesn’t look like much, but it does make your eyes look bigger and brighter.

7. Apply mascara to upper lashes and lower outer third. You want to put the mascara where the eyeliner is because it enhances the effect of the eyeliner.

8. Apply blush on the cheekbones. Apply a darker shade of blush just below your cheekbones. Apply highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones. If you’ve even heard of contouring or shading your makeup, this is it in a simplified form.

9. Apply lipstick and then clear gloss. Sometimes I line my lips with a shade that is a bit darker than the lipstick I choose, but sometimes that can feel like “too much.”

10. Walk out the door and into the office, but don’t forget to smile!

By following these tips and guidelines and using my makeup steps, you should be able to do your makeup professionally while still looking beautiful and feminine. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *