6 Professional Makeup Tips for Work

by Julia Teen

Even if you work in the most liberal of offices, there are some makeup looks that just aren’t going to fly. You can’t go full Katy Perry in your workplace, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be boring. Professional makeup application for work is easy to achieve with these simple tips.

“Think of makeup as a tool that allows people to see you the way you want to be seen,” says makeup artist Taylor Babaian. “In a professional environment, that generally means you should look capable, trustworthy, and serious. Bad hygiene, dark under-eye circles, and too much color are no-no’s.”

Here’s how you should do your makeup to present yourself confidently in your workplace.

Do Eye Makeup

“Smoky eyes are powerful,” Babaian says. “They can make sweet doe eyes look tough, but you want to stick with neutral tones without bold color and shimmer — which can look too sexy or like you are headed to the club.” She says to stick with mauve, tape, brown, and espresso shades for your look.

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Balance Out Your Look

You can go for a more colorful lip color if it suits your work environment, but keep it balanced. “Pair with with a neutral eye. You want people looking at you, not your makeup,” makeup artist Julianne Kaye says.

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Keep it Warm

Babaian says to choose blushes in warm pinks that duplicate naturally healthy skin. “Sallow, dry skin is a no-no because it makes you look ill or tired.”

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Opt for Matte

“Lip gloss is usually a definite no — especially if you are speaking at a meeting,” Babaian says. “You don’t want glossy lips detracting from your presentation.” She also says to avoid too much color on your lips, instead filling in with a lip liner to create dimension and a long lasting effect.

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Keep a Lip Product on Hand

“It’s wise to have a semi-matte neutral or rose-toned lipstick available for a quick application before last-minute meetings,” makeup artist Chantal Moore says. “Less is more though, you don’t want to be worrying about red lipstick bleeding outside of the lines before a presentation.”

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Make it Last

Refrain from constantly looking in the mirror and touching up at work, says Babaian. “Looking great should appear effortless. Apply eyeshadow primer or foundation underneath eyeshadows and use waterproof eyeliners and mascaras to avoided 4 p.m. raccoon eyes.” Moore also says blotting papers are great to stash in your desk drawer for those last-minute touch-ups during the day.

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Stila Waterproof Eyeliner, $22, Check It Out

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, $16.50, Check It Out