Beauty 101: An Everyday Office Makeup Look

by Anne Dreshfield | April 17th, 2014   

First of all, let me kick this post off with a short introduction: Beauty 101 is the new beauty column on TheWorkingWardrobe, aimed to help you polish off your perfect outfit with makeup that will leave you feeling confident and beautiful when you head into the office.

c600x714 Beauty 101: An Everyday Office Makeup Look


Whenever I’m not sure what to wear to the office, I remind myself of what really matters beneath those harsh, unforgiving fluorescent lights: a defined eye, polished skin, and a natural pop of color on the lips. While you don’t need to go overboard for your average day at the office, I’m a firm believer in emphasizing your best qualities in a natural, simple way to look (and feel) your best. In fact, a study paid for by Procter and Gamble showed that wearing makeup to the office made women appear more competent to colleagues, whether they only gave them a quick glance or were able to look at them for a longer period of time. So, how can you look more competent for the boardroom? It only takes a few simple steps.

  1. Taking the Clinique All About Shadow Nudes Palette, apply the second-lightest shade all over the lid. If you’re fair-skinned, you can mix the second color with the first. If you have a deeper skin tone, opt for the third or even the fifth color as a wash of color over the lid.
  2. With a light hand, apply a darker color into the crease. Look straight into the mirror and very gently apply the shadow in a windshield-wiper motion in the crease of your eye, at the top edge of the orbital bone. Depending on your eye shape, you may have to alter the motion slightly to best define your eye.
  3. Blend the shadows with a clean brush or finger. Gently buff away any harsh lines in your crease; your eyes should look naturally defined. If you think you’ve applied too much eyeshadow, take a cotton swab and buff slightly harder (you can dampen it if you really think you’ve gone too far!).
  4. Apply your favorite mascara. To build volume, work the brush gently into the roots of your lashes, then drag upwards. Remember, an eyelash curler is your best friend to make you look more wide awake before you’ve had your first cup of coffee!
  5. Apply your favorite blush. For the most natural look, find a blush that compliments your skin tone with very little or no shimmer. Apply with a gentle buffing motion, and avoid packing on too much pigment on the apples of your cheeks.
  6. Comb through and define brows, if necessary. If you don’t need to add anything, a swipe of clear brow gel will keep you looking clean and defined all day. If you need to fill in any gaps, opt for a thin, soft pencil that will allow you to create the most natural-looking strokes.
  7. Apply lip gloss. A quick swipe of something pigmented (but not too in your face!) will bring more color to your face and brighten up your look. Philosophy’s Kiss Me Color Lipgloss is a great buy, tastes and smells delicious, and won’t be overwhelming for your 9 a.m. meeting.

That’s it! I usually follow some variation of this for my everyday look at the office –just two or three eyeshadows to create a natural defined eye, mascara, blush, and a bit of lip color. I find that a natural makeup look helps me feel pulled together for the office, but not like I’m trying too hard. If I’m heading out after work, I might add a bit of highlighter to the tops of the cheekbones, touch up my blush, and add a brighter lip to make more of a statement. Really, the choice is all yours!

Do you wear makeup to the office every day? If so, what’s your routine?

This post was a follow-up to a post sponsored by Macy’s