Whether we like it or not, studies do show that a little makeup for women increases their chances of success in the workplace (here’s an article from a 2011 Harvard study sponsored by Proctor and Gamble). Note that a “glamor look” does not benefit you in the workplace. Yes, I know. We hate that women are judged by a different standard than men, and that women’s intelligence, personality, ability, experience, and work ethic should be the only consideration.
In a 2010 article, 57% percent of hiring managers told NEWSWEEK that qualified but unattractive candidates are likely to have a harder time landing a job, “while more than half advised spending as much time and money on ‘making sure they look attractive’ as on perfecting a résumé.” Argh.
You may be a fighter - an iconoclast: perhaps a significant part of your brand is to fight trends and create your own dynamic. Or maybe you are very natural and choose not to put anything artificial on your face. Or maybe you’re a very young woman, fresh and unlined. You can make the choice to fight the status quo and not wear any makeup. Or you can choose to work within the expectations of corporate American and apply a little makeup to give yourself an advantage.
This video clip is from my friend, Dorothy Inez, the Minister of Beauty (@ministerofbeauty). She shows the difference between a natural eye and brow and a “made up” eye and brow. Of course, I think her “enhanced” look is pretty (and so is she!). It’s more than I recommend to most of my clients for the workplace. Keep the lid neutral - I, in fact, hardly ever wear eye shadow or just a little soft gray or beige. I like eyeliner - dark brown or black (I’m a brunette). And black mascara. I have strong brows so I don’t need an eyebrow pencil. If you have sparse or very light brows, you might want to consider filling them in: eyebrows frame your face.
As always, in the workplace we want to succeed because of our inner assets. But if putting on a little blush and lipstick is going to increase your chances of success, consider grabbing that advantage. Goodness knows, I do.