If you’d met me in college, or even a year or two into my career, you would have encountered a young woman who spent most of her time with her hair in a ponytail and wearing little to no makeup. But as anyone who’s met me since 2008 can attest, I now rarely leave the house without my hair done and a full face of makeup accompanying me. Recently, a woman at an event said to me “I love your makeup. I bet it takes forever.” I told her, nope, it doesn’t, and anyone can get a great looking face in five to ten minutes at most.
How did I go from “no makeup” to “glamour girl” without losing tons of time in my morning routine? I started slowly and learned well the first time. Here are my tips for starting a makeup routine that will make you more confident in yourself, more polished in your business interactions, and hopefully make you look less like a college student and more like a woman.
- Start by always wearing four specific things — an easy to apply foundation, a blush that perfectly matches your skin tone, waterproof mascara, and long wearing lip gloss. If you’re going from no makeup to a full face in one day, you might feel and look strange to the people around you. So start with the basics and don’t move on until you’re comfortable and consistently wearing these.
- When choosing makeup, get out of the drugstore. Sure, you don’t want to spend incredible amounts of money on makeup, but when you’re beginning your makeup routine, it’s best to get the opinion of a professional. Hit the makeup counter at Macy’s or Nordstrom or drop into Ulta or Sephora. Or visit our recommendations on the best long lasting makeup products by clicking here. Once you’re comfortable with your colors and choices, you can experiment more with brands.
- The best way to learn is to watch others and practice. When I was first learning how to do my eye makeup and blend my foundation properly, I relied heavily on YouTube videos. My favorite makeup artist is one of our “YouTube Channels That Rock,” TiffanyD. Her videos go from easy daytime looks to learning to tight line your eyes, and dark smoky looks for evening. I also love Kandee Johnson (whose wedding video makeup helped me create the perfect bridal look in 2011) and the MM&L Show with Michelle Money from the Bachelor.
- If you’re trying something new or different, test it first. I used to do funky smoky eyes on Sunday night after I showered post-gym. This way, I could mess it up or decide I hated it, and I wasn’t frustrated in front of the mirror thinking I was about to go to work looking like a clown. It put less pressure on my learning process.
- Keep doing it! If you keep wearing makeup regularly, you’ll get quicker at application, and you’ll begin to like the way you look with a little blush on your cheeks. But it takes regularity to make it a habit and a part of your routine.
Still need a reason to wear makeup? How about this study from the New York Times — “a clinical psychology professor from Harvard University claims that makeup, when worn modestly and appropriately, not only makes a woman more attractive, but increases her trustworthiness and competence in a business setting.” Makeup could boost your career….so give it a shot!