I seriously mulled over whether I should write this blog post, for a few reasons. Now, I am a big supporter of women in business and equality for women in the vastly male dominated corporate world, however I am by no means a ‘feminist’ or burn your bra type and believe that women, if they have the same skill as a man should be treated the same. However, women often aren’t taken seriously in the workplace, especially those rising through the ranks. I should know!
Having worked my way up from a Receptionist in a small public accounting practice to 12 years later being the General Manager of an international Resources / IT company working predominantly with males, and competing against males for positions, I know exactly how hard it can be. Part of my learning process on the journey up was having to toughen up and realise that batting my eyelids and showing cleavage would not get me more than a few sideways looks from colleagues.Whilst going through this ‘corporate coming of age’ I sat back and watched what women around me were doing wrong. I could go into a big long list of the stupid things women do to try and compete with their male counterparts, but I will save that for another post. I will mention one thing; women use their appearance in order to gain a competitive edge.
Now rightly or wrongly so, women are openly judged on their appearance, so the approach in itself isn’t too illogical. However what I noticed is the extremes women would go to with their appearance. There seems to be a high number of women thinking that heavily applied stage make up and breasts heaving through a thin lace blouse will help them jump leaps and bounds to corporate success and the position of their wildest dreams.Sorry to bust your bubbles ladies, but take a look around you. Have a look at the most successful business women and how they dress and present their appearance. It is often quite demure, whilst still being able to demonstrate femininity.
So my post today is just a few simple tips for those of you who don the beauty queen routine each day (you know who you are ladies!) to keep your femininity alive, Revlon still in business, and still be taken seriously (if a women has half her make up sweating down her face, I find it extremely hard to take her seriously…)
Don’t – 6 layers of moisturiser, primer, liquid foundation, translucent powder, bronzer and highlighter is simply not necessary. You most likely look like you used a trowel to apply your make up
Do – Use concealer in ONLY the trouble zones and a light power
Do – If you are comfortable enough, clean skin with no foundation is advisable
Don’t – Use glitter eye shadow. Or glitter ANYTHING
Don’t – Go for the smoky eye look or anything too dark. If it could pass as night make up or a club look, it’s not appropriate
Don’t – Use too much eyeliner. A very thin line in a brown not black is far more demure
Don’t – Wear fake eyelashes. It’s really tacky and is somewhat stripper-esque
Do – Use neutral toned eye shadow i.e. light pinks, browns etc.
Do – Use a very light coating of mascara in place of eyeliner
Do – Use a light colour to highlight your brows and define them
Don’t – Again – NO GLITTER. No glitter gloss whatsoever
Don’t – Wear any lip stick that bleeds. Especially red
Do – If you are going to use gloss, use a neutral tone and one that isn’t too glossy
Do – Wear matt long lasting lipsticks in peaches, soft pinks or neutral tones
So there you have it. The overall message, is to tone it right down but still keep soft neutral tones to highlight key areas. The biggest no no of all – NO GLITTER. None whatsoever. Glitter is strictly for 12 year olds and night clubs. There is never going to be any exception to that rule.Feel free to comment below, I am always interested to hear your own personal opinions as well.