Friday, March 24, 2017

The Girl Boss Series - Work Appropriate Make-up

Work Appropriate Make-up

You are a girl boss – smart, confident in your own skin, and as beautiful without make-up as with it. So why DO you need to read this post on what make-up is appropriate and best suited for office? Well, you really don’t. Probably on most days, you are out of your home with just some moisturizer and sunscreen on your face. After all, you want to get work done 15 minutes faster than use that time to make yourself up in the morning! Trust me, I am with you, and just like you. But on some days, may be on the day of that important presentation, even you probably reach out for that Mascara to do a little something to create that extra impact.

I will not lie. Gone are the days when just slogging days and nights, without caring about the unkempt look could get us the much coveted raise or the promotion. In today’s corporates, it is as much about the appearance as it is about the hard work. Having worked for half a decade in investment banking and consulting, I can vouch for that. A smile when you are greeting your colleagues/client, or a smart dress that gives you a confident look can do much more to create the first impression that you could ever imagine. And this is where a little bit of make-up might go a long way in giving you the tidy groomed look. The trick is just not to over-do it.

Left to Right in Less Than 7 Minutes! No Jokes.

In this post, which is the first part of The Girl Boss Series, I will talk about some make-up tips and tricks that can give you the most appropriate groomed look for office, will stay put through the long day ahead, and yet not take more than 5-7 minutes of your time. Sounds too much to achieve, doesn’t it? But hasn’t achieving beyond our potential brought us where we are today? J

I.       Perfume
Yes, I am including this in make-up, and yes, this is the first point I want to talk about. Primarily because, this is the first step one needs to do just fresh out of the shower. Tip 1 -Spritz some perfume onto your pulse points – below the earlobes, behind your knees, on your wrist. Tip 2 Do not rub after spritzing, because that kills the top notes and makes it last for lesser time than it would otherwise do. Tip 3 - Perfume  holds onto moisture the most, hence applying fresh after shower elongates the effect. Also, it uses your body heat to dissipate and spread that fragrance, hence might not be the best idea to apply it over your clothes.

Needless to say, a light fragrance works best for office. My all-time favorite is the Carolina Herrera 212 VIP. It is subtle, and lasts a really long time.

II.    Base Make-up
Primers are my best bet at giving that flawless look that lasts throughout the day; also takes like 30 seconds to smooth some out on your face. Tip 4 - It is important to do some research and invest in a primer for your skin type – for instance, for someone it might be an important step to smooth out the skin pores and fine lines, while for others it could be about giving back your dull skin some glow. Also, sometimes when I don’t want much coverage, I just put some smoothening primer with some compact, and call it a day for the base!

I swear by the Benefit Porefessional primer. It is expensive, but it does all jobs of a primer in one magical product – smoothening, making the make-up last longer, reducing pores. The other more affordable, yet equally good one for me is the Colorbar Perfect Match Primer. For a really affordable one, you might want to check one of my earlier blog posts here. You are in for a surprise on this one, I bet! J

Concealer – If you don’t have too problematic skin, you probably can save yourself from this extra step. Tip 5 - In fact, even if you do have some blemishes, you could just use some good coverage Foundation and skip this. But if you are one of those who cannot live without a concealer, (tip 6) what is going to save time, is going for the ones which come with an easy applicator.

My favorites are the Maybelline Age Rewind and the LA Girl one. The Maybelline one is not available in India, and that frustrates me so much! I hope they do soon, but meanwhile if you happen to make a trip to US/UK, or one of your relatives stay there, stock up on these babies! Stick concealer crayons are convenient for ensures fast application as well. I can think of the PAC ones, but haven’t used them myself to put a verdict on them.

Foundation – For office wear, I always reach out for something long lasting, and yet not heavy. Tip 7 - Powder foundations have worked best for me, specifically the Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus one. It has decent coverage, but still, makes the skin look like skin. The Maybelline Cushion Foundation is my new find – such natural coverage and extremely easy to use, even if you don’t have time in the morning, and want to freshen up your face in the office bathroom.

My favorite tool to apply foundation is a buffing brush. The Real Technique Buffing brush (the biggest one in the picture on the link) is the one I use. Tip 8 – stay away from a beauty sponge / blender because it can take ages to give you the perfect smooth look; go for a dense brush instead.

Tip 9if you are using a full coverage Foundation, but don’t want it to look heavy, mix in some moisturizer, or bio-oil or sunscreen to dilute it, for a natural finish. I am also very tempted to recommend using a BB Cream for natural finish, unfortunately there is not a single one in the market I like with respect to their staying power and coverage. But if you guys know about any such, please let me know in the comments. I am perpetually on a search for that perfect BB Cream, since it is foundation, moisturizer, sun-screen in one. But I guess as they say, more often than not, shortcuts will lead you nowhere!

Compact Powder – This ensures sealing your base in place for the rest of the day, as you, boss around in your work place. Tip 10 - For a natural look, throw away that sponge applicator all powders come with, and use a huge fluffy powder brush instead to go over your face lightly. My all time favorite setting powders are the Maybelline Fit me Matte & Poreless and the Rimmel Stay Matte powders. And the only brush that I use with it is the Real Technique Powder Brush. A quick shopping Tip (11) here – Real Techniques brushes are really cheap outside India; just to keep in mind for times when you are traveling.

Most days, the only base I use is concealer with some powder, or just a good coverage powder foundation over primer, before rushing to adding a little bit of definition to my face.

For adding some definition to my face, (tip 12) I use either a bronzer, or a blush – because who has time for 2 products for the cheek when I am in a rush to get out of the house! Tip 13 – Use a fluffy powder or blush brush for that natural look. A dense brush could make the application too harsh for office. I use some bronzer on the hollows of my cheek when I pout my lips, some on the apples of my cheek, on my jawline, and also a little on my forehead closer to the hairline.

The only bronzer I have used is the Loreal Glam Bronze. For blushes, there are just too many in the market. The Nyx HD Blush in Beach Babe shade is a perfect neutral browinish color which can pass as both bronze and blush in just one product. Tip 14 – Use a powder blush/bronze; they are easier and quicker to blend out.

My Favorite Work Make-up Products - A Picture Just to Break The Monotony of Reading

III.    Eyes – For the longest time in my life, before I got into actual make-up, I would just define my eyes with eyeliner and Kajal and head out to work. Have really come a long way from that now. Tip 15 - If you are in want of time, just some Mascara, and defined brows should be enough to make you feel you are ready to step out. It is not even funny how much of a drastic difference just Mascara can make to your eyes, and hence to your entire face.

On days when I do have some more time though, I like to still use some line and kajal. Tip 16 – Use a liquid eyeliner pen for fastest application. They are great for beginners as well, since they give a lot of control. Tip 17 – you could also use a gel pencil, to use both as a liner and as Kajal. Normal Kajals don’t last as long as the gel ones.

My favorite eye liner pen is Essence Liquid Liner Pen. When it comes to gel pencils, there are too many good ones in the market. Tip 18 – a brown eyeliner gives a much more defined, yet soft look, than black eyeliners. Those who are not used to lining your eyes, should probably start with brown ones. The ones I have been using continuously for the last 2 years are the Lakme Absolute Ultimate Kohl and the Plum Natur StudioAll Day Wear. Coming to Mascara, all Maybelline ones are so good and affordable. My favorites - Lash Sensational and Falsies Push-up Drama.

I usually do not fill up my eye brows, since I don’t feel like I need them. Tip 19 – but if you need to use something for the brows, a brow gel is much easier and quicker to apply. My go-to is the Essence Brow Gel. Lining and filling your eye brows in my opinion, take a lot longer time and skill.

IV.    Lips – Now coming to my favorite part – lipsticks!! So much so that I have decided to do a separate blog post only for lipsticks! More on that on my next post, but for this one, I would recommend you to not go overboard and wear fuschias and coral reds to work place, but don’t stop experimenting nevertheless. There are so many lipsticks in the market today, 90% of them with such nice formulations, you can definitely play around with a variety of neutral colors for that slight pop on your lips.

Tip 20 – definitely go for a matte color if, over the day you don’t get time to retouch. Matte colors stay one forever, and more often than not, fade very gracefully. I am not naming my favorites in this post, mostly because I have so many favorites that I can dedicate one entire blog post to it.

Long story short, if you are a lipstick lover just like me, and are wondering what colors to reach out for which are the perfect mix of fun and playfulness, stay tuned for my next post of the Girl Boss Series. Meanwhile, now would be a good idea to subscribe by email to my blog, so that you don’t miss out on any future posts.

P.S. If you are thinking I forgot to mention about eyeshadows in this post, let me clarify that I skipped that on purpose. I really don’t think the time spent on eyeshadows is worth it in the mornings when you are anyway running late for that 9 AM meeting. May be I will talk a little bit about them when (if ever) I get to talking about party make-up :D

To Sum Up

Best make-up for work is to keep it as natural as possible, and do everything you can to make it last long. If you are in want of time, just some concealer, some powder, mascara, and a light lip color would do the trick!

Meanwhile, click here to checkout all the other topics to be covered in this series! And tell me in the comments below what are your ride-or-die work make-up products - I would love to know! :)


  1. I must say, you have a really good choice. I have tested the smell of Carolina Herrera 212 VIP and the fragrance is heavenly. My wife uses this perfume too. I am a huge fan of Carolina Herrera Perfumes for a long time. By the way, thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Whoi, excellent, t wondered just how to cure icne. ind found your webstte by google, dtscovered todiy t'm i ltttle obvtous i greit deil. t’ve ilso idded RSS ind sive your webstte. keep us updited.


5 Things to do in Pondicherry

Pondicherry was worth all the hype and more! This is a beautiful French town in India known for its beaches, food and Fench quarters. I...