Best Job Interview Makeup! In an era of downsizing, restructuring and re-aligning, making a good first impression at a job interview is essential to landing the position. Don’t sabotage your chances with inappropriate makeup before the interviewer can get a chance to really know you and your strengths. We asked Jamie Petrovic, Arden’s Training Executive, to share insider tips on how to look polished, professional and worthy of the job you want.
Dave Lackie: To start, how would you approach makeup for a job interview today?
Jamie Petrovic: This is an opportunity to make an impression that accentuates your positive features; while adding only a splash of colour on the lips and cheeks.
I recommend women stick to a professional look that includes natural finish foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush & lipstick. The key is that if you want to be approachable, your make-up has to be too.
D.L.: Is it worth looking at what makeup the current employees wear?
J.P.: Every individual has their own makeup personality and with this I find women should stay true to themselves and choose makeup items that suits them and most importantly, makes them feel comfortable and confident. Now is not the time to try an avant-garde makeup look.
D.L.: Can you take us through step-by-step how you’d create a modern makeup look for a job interview?
J.P.: Absolutely. First, make sure your skin is moisturized, and primed for foundation to create a flawless canvas. Conceal any imperfections & perfect the skin with a veil of foundation and blend, blend blend! Next, contour! Create a sculpted look to the face contouring under the cheekbones, jawline and temples and then use a highlighter to brighten under the eyes, the bridge of nose and forehead. I like to make sure the brows are defined and shaded in if necessary, creating a polished ‘ready-for-business’ look.
D.L.: How do you create a professional eye makeup look:
J.P.: Highlight the whole eye area with a light neutral-like shade as a base and contour the inner lids with an eyeshadow colour one-to-two shades darker than the base for definition. Applying a thin black/brown liquid eye liner with a slight wing at the edge of the eyes creates a classic, feminine look. Add a bit of shadow under the eyes for a bit more definition, and finish off the eyes with mascara.
D.L. What about cheeks and lips?
J.P.: To give the skin some colour and glow, blush the cheekbones with a classic rose/plum like shade then define the lips with a lip pencil that matches a lip colour that gives you a hint of colour but is not over-stated. Top with a transparent gloss to add some shine.
D.L.: What should you avoid in interview makeup?
J.P.: This is definitely one of those moments where you do not want to wear that invisible nametag that says, ‘Hello my name is… Lips’! Remember you want your skills and ability to leave a positive lasting impression, not the makeup! Avoid strong colours that are distracting because less is really more.
D.L.: What colours look most flattering and natural for the workplace?
J.P: Neutral eyes (light-medium browns, soft pinks, salmon shades) are some of my favorites for the workplace since they look flattering on most women.
Hints of rose, soft pinks, corals are perfect tones for blush and even lip shades. For those more daring days at work where an individual chooses to wear a bold classic red or rich plum lip shade, the key is to keep the balance of makeup by wearing a light eye to a darker lip, or a bolder eye to a light lip.
D.L.: How about women with darker skin tones? What makeup looks best for them in the workplace?
J.P.: For women with darker skin tones, choosing eyeshadows & lipsticks with good pigmentation is important, especially a lipstick that has more colour to highlight the lips. Matte soft golds, work well to highlight the eyes along with the classic black eye liner. Again, less is more but here you want to play with colour that has more pigment. A contour/highlighter kit is also a great asset. Deep rich brown reds, plums are great colours to stick to for blush & lipsticks (avoid frosty lip shades), over a powdered shine-free face.
D.L.: What is your all-time favourite lipstick and gloss shade for the workplace?
J.P.: I’m an individual who loves to play up the eyes and keep my lips on the neutral side, but a bit of colour can also be fun. My favorite workplace shades would have to be the classic rose lipstick. It’s just enough colour to brighten the face and doesn’t wash out the complexion. A neutral or pale pink gloss is great over the lipstick or even alone.
D.L.: Should you wear fragrance to a job interview?
J.P.: I love fragrance and feel naked when I walk out the door not wearing any, but in this case it is important to know the work environment prior to the big interview day.
I find that it’s better to skip fragrance all together, rather than wearing too much scent to impress a future employer. The most important thing is to get the job first, and then after you land the position you can always figure out what the company culture is like and then decide what the most appropriate level of fragrance would be within the office.
D.L.: What about if you get nervous and sweat a bit? What should you do if that happens?
J.P.: Job interviews can definitely be a nerve-wrecking experience, and although there are the usual things we can do to prepare in advance such as sleeping well the night before, be prepared & do your research. Here are a few suggestions to help you out if the pressure is on;
- Take a deep breath! This will help calm the nerves.
- Take a sip of water during the interview, this will help and refresh you.
- Relax and find your best sitting position.
- Touch up with some powder before the interview starts to keep that shine away. You just want your personality to shine, not your face!
Lastly, the best bit of advice is don’t worry; just relax and be yourself. The job interview is as much for you to see if you like the company at it is for them to see if they like you.
D.L.: What looks modern and professional to you in terms of makeup?
J.P.: A finished polished look of the eyes, lips, cheeks & face gives a great first impression. Blending the colours well is also important to provide the face with a smooth, balanced complexion that exudes confidence & pride.
Wendy Lam-VechiApril 16, 2023 at 6:38 am
I will be reading this when I go to my next work interview. I have always stuck with nude colours though and wouldn’t want to sell my face rather than what I have to offer
Chantal SeguinJune 15, 2016 at 11:14 am
LOVE LOVE LOVEEEE this!! I still read it, have it saved in my fav’s!
Carina BMarch 26, 2016 at 3:34 pm
Interesting, and always a good idea having a peek at other employee’s 🙂 A part of me cannot help wondering how the average man would react to working as hard as the average woman does – on their face alone. Not only before the interview but every Monday through Friday.
Theresa ZachariasMarch 23, 2016 at 9:16 pm
Great advice!! Great interview Dave!! I go for neutral eye shadow, soft pink blush and lipstick each time.
Dannielle LatinoMarch 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm
Great tips, Jamie!
September DeeMarch 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm
This is excellent advice. I’m sure it will help many when preparing for a job interview.
Adele WrightMarch 23, 2016 at 9:44 am
Great interview Dave Lackie!!!
deniseMarch 23, 2016 at 8:59 am
Cat ForsleyMarch 23, 2016 at 8:39 am
smart advice xx