When Marianna Hewitt flew to San Francisco to pitch Sephora on her skin-care brand Summer Fridays and its first product,
the Jet Lag Mask, she felt the uncertainty and jitters that come with any major life-changing career move. She had the beauty background and social media savvy, but there was one more thing that helped her walk into that meeting room feeling especially calm, cool, and collected. "When my makeup and skin look good, I feel confident," she tells Refinery29.
Hewitt's story is far from unusual: Like a power suit, the right slick of lipstick or eyeliner can give you the extra push you need to channel your confidence, conquer an interview, and make
a lasting first impression. We spoke to eight influential women about the makeup they wore (or didn't wear) when they landed their dream jobs — from a newsroom anchor to a tech titan. They share their best advice and product picks, ahead. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. L'Oreal Paris
Voluminous Mascara, $5.79
Buy Deepica Mutyala, Founder of Live Tinted
Deepica shot to fame in 2015 when she uploaded a YouTube video showing her red-lipstick technique for covering undereye circles. Her newfound platform led her to launch Lived Tinted, an online community dedicated to representing "every shade in between." Most recently, she released her
first Live Tinted product
, a multi-use color corrector that brought her career full circle.
Before her success as an influencer and brand founder, Mutyala worked for several companies, including Birchbox. When she was interviewing — and even as she continues to navigate important meetings now — her mentality was always straightforward: the bolder, the better.
MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo "I love the idea of a bold lip for a job interview," says Mutyala. "It radiates confidence, and it was actually a Skype interview [for Birchbox], so I wanted to make sure I made a statement." MAC Cosmetics
Retro Matte Lipstick - Ruby Woo, $18.50
Buy It Cosmetics Brow Power "'Be bold' is my general life motto, so bold lips and brows were the move. I've always said to focus on the features I love about myself, and that's my brows. It's important to feel your best going into an interview — that confidence exudes," she says. It Cosmetics
Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil, $24.00
The Emmy award-winning journalist and television news anchor started her career at local stations in Washington. After her thoughtful and in-depth reporting on major stories, like the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the network promoted her to weekend primetime anchor in New York.
On air nine hours a day, the anchor covers breaking news stories, which have included Hurricane Maria and the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
MAC Cosmetics Lipglass in Lovechild "This has been my go-to lip product since college. It has a subtle hint of color, it’s versatile, and it stays on through multiple cups of coffee." MAC Cosmetics
Lipglass 'Lovechild', $17.50
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.
SVP, Global Creative at Capitol Music Group Amber Grimes,
This young creative didn't know what her future had in store for her when she dropped out of college, but with determination and hustle, Grimes went on to become an executive assistant for the former VP of Def Jam Records. Later, she landed a job at Spotify handling Artist & Label Marketing, and now she's a senior vice president at Capitol Music Group.
When interviewing, Grimes didn't stray from her usual glam look. "Unapologetically me, that's who I planned to be in my interview and on the job," she says.
Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation "This is a foundation that actually fits me and doesn't make me lighter or gray," says Grimes. "Black Opal amplifies my rich dark-chocolate complexion [and] red undertone, so I always look like me." Black Opal
BLK/OPL TRUE COLOR Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation,
$10.95 $8.00 Buy MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush in Fever "If all else failed, I was just going to kill them with my smile," says Grimes, who chose this berry blush to emphasize her cheekbones. MAC Cosmetics
Powder Blush 'Fever', $24.00
Buy Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
"My go-to mascara — it looks almost as good as a pair of
," says Hewitt. "I was crying after we left [the Sephora meeting] and my mascara held up after the good news!"
Better Than Sex Mascara, $24.00
Buy Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation "I wore Armani Beauty luminous silk foundation because it makes my skin look perfect without feeling cakey or heavy or like I was wearing too much makeup," says Hewitt. Giorgio Armani Beauty
Luminous Silk Foundation, $64.00
Buy Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask "Since our meeting was in the morning, I didn't want to look exhausted so I prepped my skin with this mask as a hydrating primer under my makeup," she says. Summer Fridays
Jet Lag Mask, $48.00
Buy Genevieve Lee Aronson, Vice President of Communications at Nielsen From account supervisor to director at Alison Brod Marketing + Communications, Lee Aronson built up her skill set in strategic partnerships while also launching the firm's first multicultural division, leading its Hispanic and Asian communications strategies. She took that experience to the leading global information & measurement company, Nielsen. There, she measures retail and consumer packaged goods across various categories including food, health, and beauty. Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil
"Now, I know a lot of people say a
bold red lipstick
is an interview must, but I lean more toward a subtle red tint," says Aronson. "It gives me the pop of energizing red without being too overpowering, allowing my words to shine more than just my lip color."
Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, $26.00
Buy Nars The Multiple in Riviera "It gave me the right balance of color and shimmer to achieve a healthy and confident glow," she says of this warm highlighter. NARS
The Multiple, $39.00
Buy L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara "Don’t underestimate the power of a mascara. It instantly awakens your eyes and makes you look and feel more polished and finished," she says. L'Oreal Paris
Voluminous Mascara, $5.79
Buy Sarah Sheldon, Director of eCommerce at Rebecca Minkoff
Making her mark in the world of fashion, Sheldon has worked her way up through companies like Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., and now, Rebecca Minkoff. Under her role at RM, she was placed on the
2018 Women2Watch list
, recognizing her as one of the "pioneers and thinkers who are solving different business challenges in retail and finance."
Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow "For an interview, I don't want to distract with my makeup," says Sheldon. "It's the less-is- more effect. I use these bright, neutral shades to add a highlight under the brow or dab on the corner of my eye." Chanel
LES 4 OMBRES Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow, $61.00
Buy Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer "Great coverage and super silky!" she says of this product. Bobbi Brown
Intensive Skin Serum Concealer, $3.89
Buy Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil "It only blends on hair, not on the skin. I have used it for years," she says. Shu Uemura
hard formula eyebrow pencil, $25.00
Buy CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara "I pick products that will help me feel fresh and confident. To this day, there is no better mascara formula for me," she says. COVERGIRL
LashBlast Volume Mascara, $6.59
Buy Annie Chen, VP of Sales at Mass Appeal
The fact that hip-hop is a male-dominated industry didn't stop Chen from pushing her way to the top. The marketing guru worked under Snoop Dogg's Cashmere Agency before becoming a vice president at Mass Appeal media group. Now she works with artists like Nas, N.O.R.E., and Dave East.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 "I used it to even out my skin tone; It made me confident knowing that I went into the room with my best face forward," she says. Laura Mercier
Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $46.00
Buy Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder "When I get anxious or excited, I sweat," says Chen. "So, to prevent my face from looking shiny, I used translucent setting powder to keep my face matte." Laura Mercier
Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38.00
Buy Kat Von D Tattoo Liner "For me, a simple eyeliner helps me look energized and ready to tackle the day," says Chen. Kat Von D
Tattoo Liner, $20.00
When Latinx entrepreneurs were invited
to the White House
to discuss minority business issues in April, Valletta was among them. The Colombian immigrant flew to NY with a suitcase, a student visa, and a pocket translator, and quickly climbed the ranks of corporate communication. She became the Director of Global Marketing at Johnson & Johnson before leaving to start her own consulting firm.
Neutrogena Moistureshine Gloss "It's the perfect shade and easy to have in your pocket to touch up fast. You want them to pay attention to your brain, not your red lipstick," says Valletta. Neutrogena
Neutrogena Moistureshine Gloss, $11.40
Buy Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette "I wore a soft smoky eye in brown and terracotta tones," says Valletta. "Makeup should enhance your features, making you look fresh and confident." Urban Decay
Naked2 Basics, $29.00
Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images.
Dawoon Kang, CEO and Co-Founder of Coffee Meets Bagel
Kang was working in Hong Kong as an investor at J.P. Morgan when she decided to take an entrepreneurial risk with her two sisters and create the online matchmaking service Coffee Meets Bagel. Since its launch in 2012, Kang and her sisters have turned down a $30 million offer on the popular CNBC investor-reality show
and raised nearly $20 million on their own, as
reported by Business Insider
When taking their business to their first investor, Kang opted to stay true to herself and go au naturale. "The day we pitched to our investor, I actually wasn't wearing
makeup," she says. "That made me feel natural and like myself."