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Career-Building Makeovers – Corporate style

Written By: Brigitte on January 21, 2013 No Comment

Some time ago I was invited by Allure magazine to participate in a big marathon-like makeover event for the organization Year Up, a program that provides low-income young adults with the training, skills and personal development to break into the corporate world. My job was to come in with my team and work on 24 (!) ladies, giving each of them a look suited for a corporate environment – all in a twelve hour day. Finding the right look for each of these women was essential, and, for some, perhaps even life-changing.

It will be no surprise to you that I just LOVE a makeover, and better yet, a makeover on regular people compared to the supermodels and award winning entertainers I usually spend my days with. Of course, models and celebs love being made up too, but for them it’s a common occurrence and it’s part of their job. Regular women are so much fun because so few have never been made up by studio pros that when they get the opportunity they are giddy with delight. The first time it happens, their incredibly positive energy is just great to be around! If one could just bottle it and spread it everywhere…

Alyssa Morales

Catalina Guity

I have always maintained that good makeup is a powerful tool for women because it gives women confidence and boosts their self-respect. It sends the world the message that this person cares about herself and is in control.

Which brings me to my other mantra: the right makeup for the right occasion. In this particular case, a corporate job interview is not the perfect occasion to sport “showbiz” lashes, runway blush and the new trendy traffic-stopping lip shade. No, it’s much simpler than that. You want to be noticed for your good taste and polished appearance, and not for any particular feature or wardrobe statement. This shows that you understand the code of behavior as well as your willingness to fit in.

Red flags to watch out for: insisting on sporting a four-inch nail-art manicure, bubble gum pink lipgloss and a low-cut top just shows that you’re either not “in the know”, or your ego is too big to adjust to an everyday, working environment. It is shocking to realize how common it is for a woman to NOT be hired because of her appearance. It may be sad and it may be wrong, but it’s a fact of life. If there are two candidates with the same qualifications applying for the same job, the scale often tilts towards the woman who has made an effort to look confident and appropriate. A mousy, self-effacing appearance on the other hand will not command respect, and she might go unnoticed. Finding the right balance is tricky but very rewarding. Sometimes one might even try to look a little more mature in an attempt to be taken more seriously. And the higher up the professional ladder one climbs, the more significant the choices for a look become. On a regular scale, a woman will represent herself and her company. On a bigger scale, she might even represent her country. Think of Michelle Obama, who does an amazing job in presenting herself as an elegant First Lady while managing to look vibrant, fashionable and chic.

Porsha Canales

These are my general rules for a “corporate” style makeup:

Pay attention to the skin: Wear a veil of sheer foundation to unify the skin tone and add some glow. If you have any issues such as blemishes, zits or a skin condition, take care of the problem. If it’ s more serious, don’t hope it will go away by itself, go to a dermatologist and have it taken care of. Don’t forget to use powder. Dewy, shiny makeup can be mistaken for oily skin – an unnecessary distraction.

Emphasize your lash line: Use eyeliner pencil, curling the lashes and applying mascara. Unless it’s a look that really doesn’t suit you, the eyes should be the main point of focus in a conservative environment.

Use soft toned blush: Choose the kind that make you look healthy and sparky.

The lip color has to blend well with the general look and not be a standout, bright statement. This means that one should favor a shade that is closely related to your skin tone and avoid high contrasts. This is what I’m thinking: nude beige or pink for light skin, honey and caramel for medium toned skin and mocha-terra cotta for dark skin.

Tanesha Washington

Natasha Robinson

To see all 24 makeovers and read about the project ————- 24 Unbelievable Career-Building Makeovers: Beauty Trends: allure.com

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