From a Caked-On Face to a Polished, Professional Look

5 years ago

On the first day of my first “big girl” job, I spent an entire HOUR applying makeup. Yep, a whole hour! Even though that was pretty crazy, what’s even crazier is the fact that until that day I had never (and I mean ever) applied a full face of makeup. But on that morning, I convinced myself that I needed to look professional and beautiful -- and that both of those things could only be achieved through piling on pounds of product. So I proceeded to apply concealer and powder and bronzer and blush and eye shadow and eye liner and lashes and -- well , any and every makeup product I could find. To say I was made up would be an understatement.


My goal was "professional and beautiful," but I ended up with the complete opposite. I didn’t realize it then, but I looked atrocious. My less-than-stellar application of so much makeup ended up distracting from my professionalism. After months of walking around the office like RuPaul’s long-lost little sister, and staining almost all of my really cute silk shirts, I realized two things: 1) when it comes to makeup, less is more (especially for work); and 2) application matters. So instead of piling on every type of makeup in my cosmetics case, I chose to focus on learning how to apply a few products that could give me that understated and polished look for the office.


I started playing around with some options, consulted with some makeup pros, watched countless YouTube videos, and came up with MY routine.

  • I start with a concealer or tinted moisturizer. I apply it all over my face, then reapply it under my eyes.
  • Then, I apply my powder and line my eyes with a gel liner (because that stuff never,ever smudges).
  • To finish it all off, I dab on some tinted lip gloss or lipstick in a neutral color.

At this point, I’m so familiar with my routine that I probably could do it with my eyes closed (and might’ve already done so a time or two). I suppose that my makeup journey ultimately taught me that achieving a put-together, professional look doesn’t have to mean hours in front of the mirror or using products that you are not familiar with or dedicated to using. Every woman’s routine is different, but with the right products and a little instruction, you can transform into the best version of yourself in no time at all.

Here is the finished product!

How do you make yourself polished at work without going overboard? Tell me in the comments!!

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