The 3 Rules of Interview Makeup You Probably Didn’t Know

Woman in interview


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Jemia Williams 453
DEI Practitioner | Social Media | Writer

Makeup sales reached $8.1 billion in 2018, according to The NPD Group. So, we get it ladies. You spend a lot of money on your products. You want to show it off. But the interview room is not the place to debut the latest skill you discovered on YouTube. Remember these three rules when you are getting ready for your next interview. 

1. Keep your eyes subtle.

Good eye contact is one of the basics of interview 101. It’s probably the first thing you learn, besides arrive 15 minutes early. If good eye contact is a fundamental rule, why would you want to create a potential distraction? As someone who was heavily involved in interviews, heavy eye makeup can be distracting. 

Being a makeup lover, I often found myself thinking “I wonder where she got that eyeshadow from” instead of actually listening to a candidate’s response. Terrible right? I know!

If you are an eyelash wearer, choose a style that looks natural. Even with no eyeshadow, your false eyelashes can be just as distracting if they are not subtle.

And let’s not forget the most essential item in a woman’s makeup bag: mascara. Ladies make sure to use a brand that does not clump your lashes together. There is nothing worse than clumpy eyelashes. 

Moral of the story, keep it simple. Less is more. 

2. Choose a long-lasting, smudge-proof lipstick.

I love lipstick. It’s a must for me that I have a little color on my lip. But my favorite weekend color is much different than my Tuesday in-the-office color. 

This same line of thinking applies for interviews. Think: simple and neutral. But it doesn’t end with shades and colors. If you choose to wear any color on your lip, even nude, make sure you consider these points first: 

1. Use a matte or long-lasting brand. Don't be the candidate that takes a sip of water and leaves behind traces of lipstick. 

2. Make sure your lips are moisturized. Flaky lipstick is never cute. Before you apply your favorite shade, make sure your lips are hydrated for a smooth application. 

3. Apply your lipstick right before you walk into the building. This is a trick I use even when I start my work day. The later I apply my lipstick, the longer it last. Have your mirror — or front facing camera — accessible right before you walk into the lobby. Apply, and then you are ready! 

3. Choose either your cheeks or your lips.

A pop of color can add to your personality during an interview. But do not choose your cheeks and your lips to showcase your colorful side. Choose only one. 

Also, be careful with blush that adds shimmer to your face or cheeks. You don’t want to look like you have a permanent glow. This also goes for highlighter. Leave it out of your routine this time. It will be well worth it. 

That’s it! Some of these rules might seem simple, but take it from someone who has seen all three of them broken: it doesn’t leave a great lasting impression. 

The same rules apply for video interviews. “Camera makeup” is not needed. Best of luck ladies. Trust me, you look perfect! 

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Jemia is a certified Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner from Georgetown University. Her passions lie in research around equity, gender & diversity and blogging about her experiences as a woman of color. Oh, and let's not forget brunch! You can find Jemia on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.