Have you ever reapplied your lipstick or touched up your eyeliner right before an important meeting at the office? Or added a few extra minutes to your morning routine, knowing you had to deal with difficult customers later on? The answer is probably yes — because nearly everyone who’s been employed in a professional environment understands that appearance matters once they clock in.
In theory, the quality of your work should speak for itself, but in reality, there is pressure to look a certain way at your 9-to-5, especially for those in client-facing industries. To make things more complicated, beauty expectations placed on employees vary depending on the occupation.
It's no secret that here at R29, we think makeup is personal. It's a form of self-expression, and the only person who should tell you how much, if any, makeup to wear is yourself. Spoiler alert: No, this isn't a story that seeks to tell you how much makeup to wear at work. Quite the opposite. We aim to challenge the expectations that many of us get from our colleagues, clients, customers, and often, ourselves.
We broached this topic with people in a variety of fields and found that for some, wearing a full face of makeup is not only considered beneficial, it's regarded as vital — resulting in anything from better networking opportunities to bigger tips. But in other industries, placing too much emphasis on your physical appearance is not considered professional.
To open up the dialogue about these (often unspoken) pressures, we spoke with individuals about their experiences. Read on to see what they had to say, then share your experiences in the comments below. The good, the bad, the ugly — we want to hear it all!