Last week, the New York Times published an article entitled, “Up the Career Ladder, Lipstick in Hand“. The article focused on a study that was conducted on how others trusted women more who wore makeup. Granted, a lot of this was common sense, but it’s always interesting putting it into scientific effect. The one statement, however, that I feel goes along with the results of the study was that “…women feel more confident when wearing makeup“.
Whenever I have a mediocre day or just don’t seem to have the ‘oomph’ that I usually do before going into work, I think about what my mother would tell me: “Put on some red lipstick. It makes everything better”. And you know what? It may not be a cure-all, but it does actually work! And most of the time it’s just because I feel brighter and prettier than I did just seconds before. That confidence that the Times article mentioned has a lot of weight in how we as women present ourselves to others, and in how we perceive ourselves.
One of my guilty pleasures is the television show What Not to Wear, and that theme comes up over and over again: If you want people to respect you, you have to respect and care for yourself. And I don’t remember one episode where a woman didn’t almost start crying with excitement after her makeup application session. The show’s makeup artist, Carmindy, actually shot a video for Sephora on the “5 minute Face” – perfect for the busy working woman!
Granted, the Times article did come with some words of warning. One of those being, “Just as boardroom attire differs from what you would wear to a nightclub, so can makeup be chosen strategically depending on the agenda.”
Another tip from my mother was when I was in junior high. She took me to the Clinique makeup counter at our nearby shopping mall to learn how to apply makeup and pull off a natural look. I learned what colors work best with my skin tone, and that it’s better to edit than to add more. So when it comes to the workplace, don’t be afraid of the red lipstick, but maybe leave the extra lip gloss at home.