Your resume and job application survived the computer screening process. Human Resources gave the green light to bring you in. You've done your homework and you're ready to nail this job interview. Yet, when you walk in, you feel a weird vibe in the room. What in the world has gone wrong?
Vicki Salemi is an author, columnist and career expert for Monster.com. She also worked as a corporate recruiter for 15 years. Salemi has seen this exact scenario play out; as some women try to put their best face forward in a job interview. They instead show up looking like Mimi Bobeck on "The Drew Carey Show."
"One time a candidate had lipstick on her teeth and I politely advised her to wipe it off before she interviewed with the entire hiring team," said Salemi. "Don't rely on a recruiter to point something out for you, though. Many times they won't or maybe they won't even notice." Until, of course, everyone else does! Salemi suggests being proactive: Bring a little pocket mirror with you, and just before you walk into the office building, check your makeup. The other thing to keep in mind is the corporate culture. Is this a conservative group of people? If so, heavy makeup and bright lipstick are a misstep.
"I've seen tons and tons of lip gloss and too much mascara, along with heavy eyeliner," Salemi said. "For a crisp professional look, remember less is more."
Master Stylist and Makeup Artist Peggie Hoskins agrees. In fact, she used the exact same words when asked how to create the right look for any office. But she didn't stop there. She offered some key advice on how to achieve your best look.
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"One of the most common mistakes I see is women fail to match the color of their skin with their foundation, and then they don't blend it in at the jawline," said Hoskins. Have someone at a makeup counter work with you to find the right color foundation, then try the color on your face and walk outside to see how it looks in a different light. Even talk with a professional makeup artist if need be. If you tan or the color of your skin changes in the summer, use a different shade of foundation. And then, use it sparingly.
"Just cover the areas that need covering," Hoskins advised. "Just cover the problem areas and go very lightly." She also stressed to use a primer under your foundation to give skin a healthy, natural glow.
Tip: If you have a red mark or breakout, use Visine eye drops on the area. While Visine is designed to "take the red out" of your eyes, it offers the same relief with your skin.
If you have heavy bags under your eyes, using a lot of concealer is only going to accent the problem, not cover it. Hoskins suggested putting cucumber slices or ice on your eyes for a few minutes before you do your makeup. After that, use a minimum amount of concealer, especially around the eyes. And whatever you do, blend your concealer with your foundation to create a smooth, seamless appearance.
Tip: If you apply your foundation first, you won't need to use as much concealer. Also, if you can't justify buying an eye shadow primer, because a dab of concealer will work just as well.
This is another one that can settle in lines and creases if you use too much. "You really need very little powder just to set your makeup," said Hoskins. "Nothing heavy at all."
Tip: Highlighting powder works best for women age 40 and younger.
"Heavy eyeliner under your bottom lashes, especially with older women, tends to age you," said Hoskins. "You want to go very light." Since black eyeliner is more dramatic and harsh, it can also age a person. Hoskins suggests older women use a brown-black, taupe or an eyeliner shade other than black.
Tip: Using an eyelash curler will open up your eyes and help them appear larger.
"If you only keep two pieces of makeup in your purse, let those two items be a lip gloss and mascara," says Hoskins. Color plays a crucial role here as well. For drama, dark colors are where it's at. Just remember, the darker the shade, the older you will likely look. However, every woman can wear red, you just need to find the shade of red that works best for your skin tone. "You can do a gorgeous red," said Hoskins. "But if you go too dark with that red, it's going to make you look up to five to 10 years older."
Tip: Rose-colored lipstick typically compliments most skin tones.