10 Makeup Sins Not to Commit at Work

Victoria Snee 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.

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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.


Filed under: Presentation Skills
Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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Rachael

While some of these are completely logical, some are completely bullshit.

As a make up artist, I can assure you there is nothing unprofessional about properly wearing frost/shimmery eyeshadow or liquid liner. Clearly, nails that look more like talons are tacky, but if you've got neat, manicured hands, it makes absolutely no difference what colour your nails are painted.
And quite frankly I find the suggestion that a lack of make up is unacceptable completely appalling.

The 60s called, honey, they want their misogynism back.

February 03 2011 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alabaster

One tip to writing a professional column: don't write "overdue" when you mean "overdo."

February 02 2011 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sally

If you have flawless skin and wear your hair in a very well groomed, neat manner and dress in a neat, acceptable manner you should get by in certain jobs and definitely in a professional capacity such as doctor, nurse, attorney, teacher. But if you're in certain capacities such as a receptionist at certain businesses they might expect you to be more fashionable and rightly so. At any rate if you apply for a job learn the dress code and if you can't accept it don't go through with the application. But in these times when jobs are so hard to come by you might consider bitting the nail and applying some blush and lip gloss.

January 21 2011 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gutz54

4 lively-- yep -- maybe if you keep telling yourself these delusions you will keep"advancing" You seem like the typical bitter"libber"-- turned down the promotions because they wern't right for you??Thats a good one.Go get the chocolate icecream out and bad mouth all the mean men now.

January 21 2011 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gutz54's comment
fourlivelys

Sorry, DOG, not bitter, just real. A very attractive, very professional, and very accomplished woman who is secure in my own body image. Considering your screenname, DOG, you probably better quit throwing stones. I am actually amused by your pitiful attempt at High School bullying tactics. Oh my, the state of our world today. Poor little women who think they need to bow to men, and poor littLE DOG who has no self esteem at all, because all your transgender butt can do to make yourself feel better is insult others. Feel better now? I'm going to go back to the adult level, myself and leave you to your homework.

January 21 2011 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fourlivelys

Wait. I get it! This is basically another gender biased article that is trying to play on women's easily bruised self esteem! I finally read the last line! Well, I hate to break it to the cross-dresser that wrote it, but a truly strong woman DOES NOT NEED ARTIFICAL MEANS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT HERSELF. And, I get it Oommma...you are not a strong woman. Sorry about that, hon, didn't mean to make you feel more insecure. Since I am secure in my femininity, and in my professional life, I will continue as I've been for the last 3 decades. Keeping my skin beautiful and natural, and being as professional as possible at my workplace.

January 21 2011 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy

Nails at a HALF-INCH??! Are you kidding me? Try 1/4 inch, max. Good God.

January 21 2011 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
terri

That's the thing sweetie...no one will tell you. Keep being bare faced and performing your duties...you'll be a VP in no time.

January 21 2011 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to terri's comment
fourlivelys

You just don't get it. I HAVE advanced in my position. As a matter of fact, I've advanced in EVERY job I've held over the last 3 decades, and without wearing a stitch of make up. I'm sorry that you feel you have to prostitute yourself to get a promotion or raise. And, yes, you are prostituting yourself by giving in to the demands of the masses, instead of being an individual. Currently, I'm in the top position in my office, managing many employees under me, and have been tapped for more executive positions, which I have turned down, because it is not to my best interest to accept...NOT because I don't wear chemical crap on my face.

January 21 2011 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gutz54

Thats why everyone thinks your ugly as a stump at work-- go figure Miss Women libber

January 21 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fred King

As a married man for many decades I can offer my thoughts on what a man thinks about various makeup trends. First, the eyes. No man likes that blotted out black look. It makes you look like you've gotten beat up by your pimp the night before. And so you'll be treated a little trashy. The lips. Not very many men like the stark red lipstick. It just looks plain trashy. And you'll be treated accordingly. The lip liner. It makes the wearer look like they've been having oral sex with a snickers bar. Trashy looking. The perfume is probably the least noticed...at least it is for me. If it doesn't smell like gasoline or natural gas...it will be just fine for us. And if I may...for men...WASH! Use deodorant. Shave! No lady wants that 5 day growth leaving whisker burns on the lip area or cheeks. If you have facial hair...trim it. No lady wants to kiss hair...they want your lips. Wear a nice cologne. If you stink...you'll be treated like trash too. Common sense people. It works wonders! ;-))

January 21 2011 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fourlivelys

Actually, it can be considered discrimination to tell a woman "you should wear a little make-up". If you cannot interview/hire me based on my qualifications, then I don't want to work for you anyway. A business that bases it's hires on physical attractiveness doesn't last very long, because the employees and owners both tend toward the shallow, self-absorbed lifestyle. I am not a quality employee because I put chemicals on my face and body to make myself more attractive to others. I am a quality employee (and have moved FAR in my job WITHOUT wearing makeup) because of my skill set and professionalism relating to my job duties.

January 21 2011 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fourlivelys's comment
Grandma

These tips are accurate for a professional setting , be it business, education, or health care. You are judged, in part, by how you present yourself. A little effort and polish speak volumes and usually reflect a professional attitude and awareness. I work with several people who have dragon - lady nails, eyes outlined in an inch of black liner, or both. Others go so completely natural as to look unprofessional. It's interesting that those who reply to this common knowledge so defensively convey, in their writing, an inability to spell, punctuate, proofread, or utilize professional, adult language.

January 21 2011 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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