The term "dress for success" has been used to death these days, but only as it applies to your wardrobe. Did you ever consider applying it to your face as well? Each day, millions of American women look in the mirror and go through a makeup routine that may or may not be doing them favors at work.
"I'm asking women to dig to the back of their medicine cabinets and get real about the ugly truth: They have gotten talked into buying products that they don't know how to use that they never even wanted in the first place!" said Dallas-based beauty expert and radio/TV personality Victoria Snee. In her recent book, 'The Beauty Buzz,' Snee advises women how to look professional and polished without breaking the bank.
Snee made a list of the 10 Most Common Makeup Sins Women Commit at Work, exclusively for AOL readers.
1. Too much fragrance.
There is nothing worse than being stuck on the elevator with a woman who wears too much perfume. So, how do you know what's the proper amount? I call it the "spritz and walk." Spritz two pumps of scent in the air and walk through the cloud of fragrance (preferably sans clothes and jewelry). You will be covered head to toe in fragrance, but not overwhelming.
2. Super-long nails.
Nails need to be short, neat, groomed and lightly painted in neutral shades (no super long dragon lady nails that are neon pink or a trendy black shade). Nails need to look professional and should be no longer than half an inch past your fingertips. Just think about how many hands you shake in a day.
3. Constantly re-applying makeup at your desk.
Again, this is not professional. If you are constantly having to re-apply, it was not being put on properly in the first place. Use makeup primers that go on after your moisturizer and before your makeup. They act as a canvas for your makeup, and will help it stay in place for hours. If you do detect some shine, use blotting papers (inexpensive ones can be purchased at the drugstore) to soak up any excess oil. Piling on makeup is not a good, professional look.
4. Not wearing enough makeup or going bare-faced to work.
Some ladies believe if you wear too much makeup you won't be taken seriously. You don't need to wear a lot -- some powder, mascara and lipstick are the three go-to items to make it through the workday. But don't show up to the office with nothing on your face -- save that look for lunch hour at the gym.
5. Wearing too much mascara that flakes off.
You don't need to pump the mascara wand and keep re-applying product to your lashes. One application gives enough product for both of your eyes. Don't overdue.
6. Wearing shimmer, sparkle, or frost eye shadow.
Save this look for office parties and happy hours. At work, use more matte colors in neutral tones.
7. Heavy, black eyeliner.
This is too much for daytime at the office. You don't need raccoon eyes. It's OK to wear eyeliner, just not heavy liquid liner. Also, avoid using too much black pencil all over the eyes.
8. Super bright lipstick and lining lips with a dark liner.
Again, this is too much for the office. Stick to neutrals and a light pink or red -- nothing too bright. And, NEVER wear lip liner that is darker than your lipstick color. That's a dated look.
9. Too much bronzer and self-tanning products.
Be subtle with the bronzer and don't slather your face in self-tanning products. You don't want an orange face and a white body.
10 Lipstick on the Teeth.
This is always embarrassing and very common. Quick trick: Stick your finger in your mouth and the excess color will come off teeth and onto your finger.
Even if you're working in a back room or cubicle, a little makeup can go a long way to make you feel good about yourself, and to help others view you in a polished, professional light.