12 Job Interview Makeup Dos and Don'ts

Makeup for job interviews can be hard to get right. Make a positive first impression with these makeup and beauty tips for job interviews.
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Andie in the office in the movie The Devil Wears Prada

As we get closer to the end of the school year, many of us are going on internship/summer job interviews- myself included. On College Fashion, we have already covered How to Dress for a Job Interview and How to Get the Internship of Your Dreams. However, in addition to dressing to impress and preparing relevant yet insightful questions for your interviewer, your makeup and hair needs to look natural and polished for interview success.

Job interview makeup can be tricky because you want to make sure you're making a good impression, while still looking natural and chic. This post will help you achieve the perfect interview look to help you score the job/internship of your dreams!

Even if you’re just applying for summer jobs or internships, there might be a few tips in here that will take the guesswork out of prepping for an interview:

DO: Wear natural, light makeup!

Although makeup is a great way to your express yourself, no matter what type of interview you're going on, it is best to remain conservative with your makeup. You want your natural beauty to shine through, so keep the makeup light as possible!

Need some product recommendations? Check out my picks below. I chose these products because (with the exception of the foundation and concealer), they are universally flattering and nice and neutral. Just avoid the shimmery shades in the palette and focus on the neutral mattes. When applied with a light touch, these products will help your natural beauty shine.

Job interview makeup: Best foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, blush, and nail polish for job interview

Products: Foundation - Revlon Colorstay, Blush - MAC Blush in Blushbaby, Eyeshadow Palette - Morphe Bronzed Babe Palette, Concealer - Tarte Shape Tape, Nail Polish - OPI Nail Lacquer in Samoan Sand

DON'T: Go all-out with makeup.

I know you want to look your best for your interview, but when it comes to beauty in the workplace, less truly is more. Here are some products I'd recommend you stay away from for a successful interview.

Avoid:

  • Heavy eyeliner
  • Bright colored eye shadow
  • Heavy, powdery foundation
  • Overly glossed lips
  • Brightly colored nails
  • Anything with glitter in it

DO: Opt for more natural tones.

As mentioned above, neutrals are key. When applying blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, or any other product that’s part of your usual makeup routine, it’s best to choose more natural, earthy tones and avoid shimmery or overly bright shades. Think matte eyeshadow in browns that are a shade or two darker than your skin tone.

Neutral makeup will go well with any outfit you may choose, and will serve to enhance what you already have going for you. That's what you want in your job interview makeup look!

DO: Consider the atmosphere of the company/ company culture.

Job interviews are not a one-size-fits-all type of deal. In the same way that you want to personalize your cover letter and resume for each new prospective job, you may also consider switching up your interview look.

For a job at a fashion-forward boutique it might make more sense to adapt your makeup look to fit the current trends, in order to demonstrate your ability to stay on top of what’s hot. (Just don't go too over the top -- it's always better to err on the more conservative side when in doubt.) For an office position with a much more professional company culture, less "out-there" makeup is definitely a safer bet.

As the saying goes, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”, (ie. being a college student).

DON'T: Wear dark or vampy lipstick.

This may seem like an obvious one, but darker lipstick colors are just a little too edgy and intense for a first impression job interview, no matter what position you’re applying for.

Plus, avoiding dark colors ensures you won’t accidentally get any on your teeth in the middle of explaining why you’re perfect for the job!

DO: Opt for a natural toned matte liquid lipstick.

If you’re even going to wear lipstick to the interview (because sometimes chapstick is all you really need), make sure you pick something that looks natural. As previously stated, the worst lipstick malfunction you can have during a job interview is having it get all over your teeth without you even realizing.

The Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whips come in a variety of “your lips but better” shades and are completely matte and budge-proof.

DO: Keep hair clean and out of your face.

You may not realize you're doing it, but you're probably guilty of this one: most people fiddle with their hair when they're nervous. Although YOU might not think much of this behavior, for the interviewer, it can become incredibly distracting. So keep your hair swept away from your face during an interview to avoid playing with your strands.

If you have bangs, clip them back with a hair pin so they're out of your face and you won't have to worry about them getting in your way. I do not have bangs but I typically put my hair half-up, half-down because for me that feels the most comfortable. Some girls prefer to put their hair in a sleek bun or a ponytail instead, but that is all up to you. Just make sure that your hair swept back and out of your way.

DON'T: Wear heavy perfume.

The tricky thing about wearing perfume is that you do not really know how strong your scent may be to other people. So always err on the side of "less", if you aren't sure how strong your scent is.

Also, I would advise that the day before your interview, douse yourself with the typical amount of perfume and ask a family member/close friend to tell you how strong it is. This way, you don't want walk into your interview and overpower your interviewer with your perfume.

DON'T: Test out new beauty products on a job interview.

As excited as I always am to try out newly purchased beauty items, I have to remind myself that there’s a time and a place for experimenting.

With brand new items you never know how they’re going to perform or whether or not they’ll even look good in an hour’s time, which is why it’s best to save these products for a later time.

DO: Rely on products you know and love to look your very best.

It goes without saying that if you know a certain foundation + primer combo will make your skin look flawless for hours and you know your perfect blush shade for a natural looking flush, these are the products you’re going to want to bring out on the day of the interview.

Better yet, if you already have a natural makeup routine that would look professional enough for any job interview, just recreate that!

DON'T: Do your makeup while you have your interview outfit on

At the very least, if you do have your interview outfit on pre-makeup, just make sure to cover it up with a bathrobe. This way you’ll avoid getting sloppy makeup stains on your clothes right before you’re supposed to be heading out.

Pro Tip: If at all possible, it might be helpful to practice the makeup look you want to rock during your interview with the outfit you plan on wearing as well, in order to be as prepared as possible.

DO: Be passionate!

"The most beautiful make-up of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy." ~Yves Saint Laurent

No matter how great your outfit or how flawless your makeup is, what's truly going to get you the job is your personality and your passion. When you go into your job interview, show them how passionate and confident you are. First impressions have a big impact indeed, but if you have no passion for your job, nobody is going to want to employ you.

To reference one of our favorite movies, in The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway's character may not have had the exact "look" Runway Magazine was looking for, but she was confident and fought her way through. And ultimately, that is what caught the attention of her boss, Miranda. Make like Andy and have confidence in yourself and show them that you are everything they want in an intern or employee.

Your thoughts?

What kind of beauty products do you wear to job interviews? What do you do to pump yourself for the nerve-racking interview? I would love to hear how all your interviews are going!

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