Women often forget that their beauty habits speak volumes about themselves, especially in the work environment, points out celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist Julia Papworth. “How you take care of yourself can say a lot to your boss. First of all, be careful when it comes to messy hair or messy updos,” she suggests. “What you consider to be stylish can sometimes be considered just plain messy to bosses at work. Err on the side of caution instead. If you want to wear your locks back, consider a sleek ponytail or a clean bun.”
Believe it or not, how you smell does matter in the workplace! That's why Jennifer Kelton, founder of Dress For The Date, advises putting down those department store perfume samples and magazine fragrance cards you have stocked in your desk to conceal the scent of a late night out. “Your boss is going to notice,” she says. “And not just notice, she'll want to send you and your excessively scented self to the restroom to wash off whatever it is you're trying to cover up. It's like when a date shows up to your house and makes you wonder why he or she put on so much overbearing cologne. Not only is being overly scented unprofessional, but based on evolution, your scent could be triggering a deeper human response in your boss. That scent is creating a memory, and it's not always a good one. Remember, you want to stand out for your hard work and dedication, not for your scent,” warns Kelton.
“Although a signature scent can help you feel fresh come happy hour, it can also cause big problems in the office, including allergies, headaches and overall annoyances,” cautions Papworth.
According to celebrity makeup artist and creator of Skinn Cosmetics Dimitri James, at work, a general rule to follow is that less is more. “Too much makeup can confuse your coworkers and your boss. They might think it's left over from an extended happy hour the night before.” You don't want them to assume that partying is your priority, so instead of sweeping on all of the cosmetics in your makeup bag, Dimitri recommends trading in one for the other. “For example, it's OK to wear a bold lipstick, but save the smoky eye for another day. If you're going to rock a smoky eye, try a nude lip and a blush closer to your skin tone.”
To your boss, how you manage your appearance shows how you can handle responsibility, notes New York City image consultant and personal shopper Nicole Russo. “Ignoring your roots reflects poor attention to detail, and if you're not smart enough to recognize its importance, how can you be trusted to run a meeting?”
When it comes to your nails, Dimitri says you should treat them like you would treat a project at work. “Keep them maintained and polished, and don't let them grow too long or become chipped. Nails are a fun way to add a pop of color to an outfit, but leave the flowery designs and funky nail art for special occasions,” he advises. After all, you do want to be taken seriously, right?
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