A Makeup Kit for Work
Wednesday February 03, 2016
Yesterday I started writing up a blog post about how I was packing up some makeup items to take with me to work and keep there on days I was running late and couldn’t do it at home. That post quickly dissolved into a debate about whether or not wearing makeup in an office environment affects your salary. I’ve read so many click-bait articles guaranteeing that it in fact does. That women who wear makeup are paid more than those who do not thus encouraging (with or without saying) women to put on said makeup. But what started to bother me was that a majority of these articles cited “studies” but never provided links to those studies. Puff pieces on nytimes and huffpo with no real facts attached.
So I ended up hunting down these studies and I found 2 major ones most commonly referred to in these makeup salary correlation type articles. The first is a 2008 study that found women with makeup in a work environment reinforced a sense of femininity which in turn made her appear less competent. While another popular study used is a 2010 study that instead found that women who wore “glamorous style” makeup in a work environment appeared more competent. This 2010 study was funded by P&G which looks suspect at best.
So what is the truth? This debate is most likely perpetuated for the sake of reinforcing control over women; whether your opinion is for makeup or against it. It’s still looking to dictate how you “should” be. It keeps you in a state of both knowing you should do whatever makes you happy but also trying to be strategic in your career choices. There’s no right answer because like many female conundrums it’s a trap.
If you are dead set on looking for an answer it’s better to assess your surroundings and assess your internal dialogue to discover what is right for you. Instead of reading regurgitated articles that rarely link actual studies there’s more solace to be found on Reddit boards, interviews with professionals, and discussing it with the women around you. “Be the change you want to see” but understand that no matter which path you choose it won’t put an end to the comments and questions about your appearance in today’s society.
I once read that it’s best to avoid bright lip colors in an office. I would say I agree only because I often wear bright lipstick and have had someone stop a meeting just to comment on it. I was presenting and they just stopped and asked if I was purposefully wearing it to match my outfit for the day. So yes it can be an actual distraction. And it’s whether or not you want to put up with that distraction that influences your decision on makeup in the workplace.
Personally I do both. Some days I wear no makeup and deal with any “you look tired” comments. On other days I wear the bright red lip and subtly gloss over any comments made on it. I never have a single reason why I wear makeup. Some days I do it to cover up a bad breakout (more for myself so I won’t be reminded and pick at it.) Sometimes I do it because I’m bored or I want to try a new technique. But mostly I do it to feel ethereal. It’s why I love glitter eyeshadows and shimmering highlight and bright blushes. It’s something that’s a bit beyond human and that has always appealed to me.
Lastly I want to recommend Lisa Eldridge’s Best and Worst Makeup Moments in History. It’s very informative and goes far beyond just a praise and slam video about makeup.
Onto that makeup I was talking about
I went through my collection and selected some things that would work best. I mostly want to bring some color back into my makeup routine even on days I’m running too late to do my makeup at home. These are things I won’t miss using after work or on the weekends while also being easy to apply at my desk.
Dolly Wink Long Mascara. The wand and formula was changed at some point. It used to be a favorite of mine but with the formula change I might not rebuy it again. Still a good mascara but I just liked it back when it had more fibers. This does however work well even on uncurled lashes so I’ll use it up instead of tossing.
These two blushes I got in a summer festival collection. They look untouched but I’ve actually used them a lot. They’re really pigmented and very soft to the touch. You can actually apply these with your finger they’re so smooth. I’ve been applying these on top of a cream blush for that “igari makeup” look.
Real Lasting Eyeliner is such a good product. I purchased this extra fine “micro” point one to see if it made tightlining easier. Yes & no. Yes tightlining from atop the lashes is much easier but I tightline from underneath usually and this tip is so skinny it would push through my lashes and leave a mark higher on my eyelid. Wouldn’t get it again but for subtle tightlining at work it’ll do just fine.
I bought this NYX butter lipstick because I needed the shade for this Lisa Eldridge “Tippi Hedren Makeup Tutorial.” It’s a nice sweet neutral coral. I wore it a ton in summer.
This is the original Ritual de Fille cream blush I bought last winter. I stopped using this shade after I got the others from them. Plus I have this shade in a Chanel blush I use more often. So I’m bringing this in as a fool proof blush choice.
I don’t wear these two lipsticks too often anymore. The bright pink from Shu Uemura really gave me that pink flush I was into a while ago and the Chanel was seriously my legitimate shade for over a year. A my lips but better. Lately I wear matte shades in dark browns or bright reds. So I’ll take these with me to work as alternative, easy to apply options.
I remember the night I bought this Sephora Moonshadow Baked Nude palette. It was on impulse because the use of “moon” and the color choices being so gorgeous. I still used this palette a lot but damn is it messy. The shades are easy to apply wet or dry and I felt it was being under-utilized lately. So leaving it at work will hopefully mean more opportunity to use it.
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