Makeup Matters In The Workplace -- Here's How To Wear It

Kara ManosPolitics of PrettyKara Manos of Politics of Pretty

Today’s Insider Picks is from guest writer Kara Manos, creator of Politics of Pretty, a DC beauty blog dedicated to helping Washington women look their very best.

She’s covered numerous NYC Fashion Weeks and is a frequent host for beauty trend and education events. As a senior marketing consultant for OutMarket by day, Kara balances a busy schedule between weekly manicures.

Think wearing makeup in the workplace doesn’t matter? Think again. Wearing makeup is just as important as the outfit and shoes you pick out. In fact, studies have shown that wearing makeup (but not an absurd amount) increases people’s perceptions of a woman’s likability. Plus, makeup helps you look more polished and professional. From long-wearing eyeshadow to moisturizing lip colour, I’ve rounded up the best work-appropriate makeup products.


Dark eye makeup can yield many touch-ups and not-so-pretty meltdowns, and it can be distracting in a business meeting. If you have fair skin, sweep a long-wearing glimmering champagne shadow like Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten across the lid and blend up to the crease. If you have a medium to dark skin tone, try Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeshadow in Sizzling Copper, a metallic brown that brightens without being too sparkly.

Stila Eye ShadowAmazonStila Eye Shadow

Go easy on the mascara by focusing on defining and lengthening lashes with CoverGirl Clump Crusher Extensions Lashblast Mascara. Start by rolling the wand from the base to the tip of your lashes to help separate lashes. Tame your brows with Benefit Gimme Brow, a volumizing fibre gel that fills in where needed and shapes arches for a polished look.

Wearing concealer is important because it conceals blemishes and discoloration around the eye area so you look more awake. I tested a bevy of products to find the best drugstore concealer on my blog, and to this day I’m still using Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser because of its ability to conceal dark circles and brighten my under eye area. Apply product in the shape of a piece of pie (not a crescent) for a natural finish.


Foundation isn’t necessary unless you feel like you need more coverage than a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Personally, I love NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30, which keeps skin hydrated and helps improve complexion over time.

NarsAmazonNARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

As for bronzer, it’s OK to add a little faux colour with a matte finish like The Body Shop Honey Bronze Powder. Using a bronzer brush, create the number “3” on both sides of your face, starting at the top of your forehead, dusting it along your cheeks and sweep it across your jawline. Don’t forget to blend it into your neck for a natural finish. For blush, I prefer sheer, buildable coverage in a creamy formula.

Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Blaze is equal parts natural looking and long-lasting. It adds warmth to medium-deep complexions and a sun-kissed touch to fair-to-medium tones.


TomfordAmazonTom Ford in Blush Nude

Lip colour isn’t necessary, but a sheer finish can enhance your overall appearance. At the very least, use a light tinted lip balm like AERIN Beauty Rose Lip Balm. You can add colour to your lips without overdoing it by sporting a dreamy nude-pink lip colour. Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Buff is pretty and non-sticky with a beige pink hue.

I believe a red lip is no longer reserved for date night — just make sure you apply in moderation. For example, eye makeup should be neutral and light if you wear MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, which is universally flattering on all skin tones and undertones. Using a lip brush, apply the colour, starting at the center of the upper lip and moving outward toward each corner. Not a fan of red lipstick? Opt for a barely there hue from Tom Ford in Blush Nude.

You can visit Kara’s website here for everything from extensive drugstore guides to salon reviews and industry tool breakdowns. Her insider tips and tricks help determine the type of products best-suited for your specific needs. She’s been featured in Washingtonian Magazine, People StyleWatch and as a top ten beauty blog to bookmark. Follow Kara on Twitter: @politics_pretty.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Business Insider’s Insider Picks team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale. This is not an advertiser sponsored post and we operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected]

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