Tricks of the Trade: How to do everyday makeup for the office

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I just graduated and will start working soon. I am clueless as to what makeup to wear in the workplace. Please help!

Transitioning from college life to a busy workweek can be difficult. Suddenly, you are treated like a grown-up and are expected to look and act the part. Makeup that used to look good on campus now looks juvenile, and you feel that a more sophisticated version of yourself has to emerge. Some offices set strict rules on what makeup is or isn’t allowed. This narrows down your choices (or makeup palette) to a range of products. While it’s easy to explain the simplicity of your everyday makeup as a matter of “following office rules,” the last thing you want is to look dull in the office. At the same time, some companies don’t set rules and may seem lax in their dress code policy. You might think you can get away with pretty much anything, but in fact, your everyday makeup can impact on how people perceive you in the office.

Subtlety is key when applying makeup for work. There is a way to look good without having to whip out the false lashes, bold lips or bright eyeshadows. Likewise, anything too glossy, glittery, dark or pink (your lip and cheek tint just won’t cut it anymore) should be used only after work or during the weekend. Your goal is to leave a positive lasting impression without necessarily looking boring. Follow these easy tips to looking professional and confident in the workplace.

Find the right foundation. Getting the right tone, shade and consistency is an essential step toward  wearing beautiful makeup. I think it’s okay to splurge on this a little, since you’ll be wearing this every day. And when you use the right product, your skin not only looks smoother and clearer, it also creates a great base for the rest of your makeup. Don’t forget to set with face powder in the same color.

Mix and match neutral tones. Completing your neutral makeup palette will make everyday makeup application easy. A range of workable beiges, taupes, brownish pinks and brown eyeshadows, waterproof eyeliners in black and brown, and blushers and lipsticks in peach, natural beige and nude tones will help give you a different look every day. Instead of experimenting with color, play with texture. Mix and match matte and shimmery makeup, or alternate crème and velvety lipsticks and blend your blusher with bronzer.

Draw in your eyebrows. Your eyebrows can help make you look authoritative, but you still want to look soft and friendly. Follow your natural eyebrow shape by defining it using an eyebrow manicure, filling in sparse areas with an eyebrow pencil or applying powder shadow using a stiff, angled brush. Selecting the right shade is very important. Stay away from too-dark shades such as black, brown or reddish-browns and opt for taupe, fawn and dark blonde. These light shades tend to look darker once applied on your brows, so choose carefully.

Use a highlighter. A soft, ultra-fine shimmery highlighter or eyeshadow in beige or pink-beige can prevent your makeup from looking too flat or matte (working with neutral tones tends to have this effect). Applying product on key points of your face will define and accentuate your features. Using a fluffy brush, apply highlighter along the bridge of the nose, on your brow bone and the top of your lips and chin.

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