It might sound superficial, but it is true: in addition to your performance and personality, your appearance also is crucial in your job. You can be the most talented and best performing employee but if you show up at the office in sweat pants or sneakers, a lot of people might not take you serious. What applies for clothing is also true for your makeup. I personally love to dress up each morning. But it is important to know the do’s and don’ts of office makeup etiquette.

Makeup and Blush

If you use foundation, please make sure that the colour matches your skin tone correctly – it looks really bad if your face is much darker than your neck. Cover blemishes and irregularities with a bit of concealer. You may apply some powder on the shiny spots (usually the T-zones). Use a bit of blush. This is not only important for office makeup etiquette but in general: keep the look natural. If you apply too much makeup, it will look very bad after a couple of hours.


The office is definitely not a place for dramatic or colourful makeup. Try to keep it simple. It does not mean it has to be boring but please keep the smokey eyes or experimental colours for the evenings. As you are spending the majority of the day at the office, wear a look that will last the whole day – I usually wear waterproof mascara and eyeliner to avoid smudging. Also, I like eyeshadow in light pink or light brown tones.


Lipstick is definitely ok but keep it natural. It is more important for you to focus on the content of your meetings than if your red lipstick is now also on your teeth 😉 A good compromise is lip gloss with a bit of shimmer.


If you do not have time to wash your hair in the morning, wear a sleek ponytail, braids or a ballerina bun. And please take time and dry your hair before leaving the house – showing up with wet hair at the office makes you appear as unprofessional as with unwashed hair.


I know it happens, but avoid chipped nails. They will leave a very unprofessional impression. I usually have an “emergency kit” – some nail polish and top coat – at the office to quickly cover up chipped nail polish. Another trick is to wear nude or pastel colours where you cannot see the flaws as easily. But in any case – after about one week, if you do not have time for a full manicure, take a moment before you fall asleep or before you leave the house and take off the nail polish. No polish is better than a patchy one.

Perfume and Deodorant

I do hope that the majority of you will now say – Jeez, seriously? Why is she telling us this? But unfortunately, I have made some unpleasant encounters with colleagues who might have forgotten their deodorant. Please do not forget about this and have an extra bottle or roll-on at your desk just in case. Regarding perfume, it is totally fine to wear perfume but please limit it to an amount that does not make your colleagues feel sick at the office 😉

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