Is wearing makeup considered part of professionalism?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
299 posts
Helper bee

As I age I wear less and less makeup on a daily basis. Now only mascara and only because I’m naturally blonde. Without mascara I look like I have no eyelashes cause they’re essentially clear lol 

Post # 17
9127 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I’d also add that most of my coworkers think I don’t wear make-up most days, but I do. One girl even mentioned that she is jealous I can look pretty even without makeup….but I was wearing makeup hahaha. Once upon a time I had bright eyes and rosy cheeks naturally, but not anymore. When I have time I’ll do eyeshadow/liner, but at a bare minimum I throw on BB cream, undereye concealer (life as a toddler mom lol) mascara, and benetint. I don’t look “made up” I just don’t look like my normal pasty, exhausted self. I’d venture to guess that a lot of the women you think aren’t wearing makeup probably have at least a little something on, but keep it very natural.

Post # 18
598 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I do wear light makeup every day, but if I had great skin that I felt comfortable showing, I’d probably skip face makeup and just go for a little powder and blush. I will always wear eyeliner and mascara because I look like a 14 year old without them. If you have good hygiene and feel comfortable going without it, I think you can go barefaced and still look professional and put together.

Post # 19
1410 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

I think style of dress is more associated with professionalism than makeup.  My company has a lot of women in the highest ranks of leadership and at least half of them don’t bother with makeup – but they have killer wardrobes.

Post # 20
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Something that I wear is a CC cream with SPF 50, it colour corrects things and just gives me a bit of coverage, still allowing some birth marks and such to show through. I typically wear a little bit of tinted lip balm. I find that this is enough for my day-to-day. If you’re concerned about appearances I would try something similar. It’s worked well for me. 

Post # 21
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I mean it’s personal preference really. I wear less and less as I get older but I would never come into work without some marcara and if I have any pimples I would conceal them. I wear mascara because it opens my eyes and makes me look less tired (imo) and I cover any pimples because I just think it looks better. Sometimes I’ll add a BB cream if I am looking particularly tired or pale. 

I agree with some pp’s – dressing the part is more important than makeup. A great outfit, and groomed hair, personal hygiene etc is more important.

Post # 22
2148 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
onepeople101 :  god I sure hope not or my ass is *never* getting promoted. My usual morning makeup routine consists of slapping on some mascara during my commute. I do like makeup when I have the time, but I’m seldom in the mood to do a full-face (or even a barely-there face, for that matter) at 8am on weekdays.

Post # 23
4842 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
slomotion :  or people keep asking if your sick and you’re like nope just this is my natural make-up free self 😢😩

Post # 24
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I think it also depends where you are. Where I live, it is super common for women to not wear makeup at all. And there’s not much thought given about whether or not someone is dressed professionally based on it. Of course, that can vary by job a bit, but I’ve heard other parts of the country view makeup as more of a necessity. 

Personally, I really like makeup and would wear it more if I was more of a morning person. But I barely have time to get dressed and eat some toast let alone bother with a hair and makeup routine. If I have to choose between a few more minutes of sleep and wearing makeup, I’ll pick sleep every time.

Post # 25
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

I’m one of only two women in my department. My colleague wears no makeup, I wear it every day. I don’t do it to look professional, I wear bright coloured eyeshadows and liners, I wear it because I love colour and like to look bright.

That said, I never do a thing with my hair. It’s extremely thick, straight, and stubborn, can’t do a think with it so I don’t bother, I just brush it and walk out the door. I don’t think that impacts my professionalism either. My entire industry is primarily male, I don’t think my colleagues or boss give a damn either way.

 I would never associate someone’s professionalism with whether they’re wearing makeup or not, female or male. I wouldn’t think less of a lawyer, doctor, business contact, etc, if they’d chosen not to wear makeup. It seems a somewhat antiquated idea that women should be wearing makeup if they want to look professional and be taken seriously.

ETA: I’m pretty sure that in the uk, requiring women to wear makeup may violate discrimination rules in employment law. I know there was a case a couple of years back about high heels. I could be wrong here though…

Post # 26
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

I wear foundation and mascara, but I don’t think that makes me look more professional. I would cut out the foundation if my skin looked better (I have PCOS so I am concealing skin issues).  I work with plenty of professional people who wear no make-up at all. 

Post # 27
5466 posts
Bee Keeper

My skin is quite blotchy so I use some foundation and powder. But I have eye issues so I can only wear eye makeup sometimes. 

So I kind of do kind of don’t wear makeup.  

I say if the men in the office don’t have to wear makeup why the heck should I have to? 

Post # 28
60 posts
Worker bee

I can relate. My mom never wore a speck of makeup, and she never forbid me from wearing it but she obviously never taught me how to apply it or anything like that. So I was pretty clueless about it and honestly still am! I still don’t know how to do eyeshadow or eyeliner, those seem the hardest to me. If you wanted to try a minimal/natural makeup look, I’d recommend undereye coverup, mascara and blush. That’s what I do most days and it’s pretty hard to mess up! 

I will also say, I used to be self conscious about this in high school and college, but now that I’m a little older, I really appreciate the complete lack of importance placed on makeup by my mom. Because I was rasied to feel it’s unnecessary, now it’s like an optional fun bonus, vs. something that I’m too scared to leave the house without.

Post # 29
694 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I have a skin condition that leads to redness and blotches, so I usually wear make up because it’s annoying to ALWAYS be asked if I have a sunburn or an allergic reaction etc. Usually some light foundation, powder, brown eyeliner and mascara.

However, sometimes my condition flares up and then I can’t use ANY cosmetics. Right now the area around my mouth and nose is itchy, flaky, red and horrible. Does it look nice? No. Does it impede me teaching kids? NO. If it doesn’t impede me, then it’s not unprofessional.

Post # 30
1069 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - -

For me, it is part of being “professional,” but that’s because it makes me look older and I don’t wear a blouse/suit and slacks for the work I do. I don’t wear a ton, but I do always wear makeup. Mostly light-to-medium-coverage foundation, briws, and eyeliner with eyeshadow.

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