The Secrets to Successful Job Interview Makeup

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Art Credit: Haruka Sakaguchi

This article is brought to you by one of our publishing partners, Lookbooker. They’re a cool NYC-based startup that lets you book salon appointments online—kind of like OpenTable for haircuts (and highlights, facials, and everything else you like to do to feel pretty). Check them out at lookbooker.co.

If making the next career move was at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, you're probably out there interviewing and networking. To reward the courageous step you’ve taken toward pursuing the job of your dreams, we called in the experts to take the think-work out of your interview day makeup routine. Rebecca Perkins, co-founder of New York City’s first makeup salon Rouge NY, and Giorgia Rossi, co-founder of LookBooker, share five easy steps to follow to perfect your professional makeup game.

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By striking the perfect balance between natural, age-appropriate, and sophisticated, these makeup tips will take you beyond interview day and into your new position.

01. Do your research.

By now you may have read well into the tenth "o" in Google about your future company, so why not go the extra distance in the makeup department as well? It's helpful to know the overall "look and feel" of the company you are interviewing with and the industry they operate in, similar to how you may think about matching your attire to your interviewers.

Do they run around all day and therefore adhere to more of the minimalist look? Are they a corporate setting? (No red lip!) If they are in a creative industry, perhaps you have more freedom to be adventurous and have a little fun with your cheeks, eyes, or lips. But a word to the wise: Choose only one feature to play up, and play it up naturally. Our biggest advice here is that your job interview is not a time to try new things. The interview is about you, not the makeup.

02. All about that base.

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Make sure your skin is clean, hydrated, and fresh-looking by cleansing, putting on moisturizer, and applying a light eye cream to get rid of any bags you may have under your eyes. Then, apply concealer (Amazing Cosmetics Concealer is an incredible formula and lasts forever) to any dark circles that remain under the eyes and to any blemishes. We like to do this with a soft brush to ensure the concealer is blended well, and of course, we use Rouge New York's line of cruelty free and affordable brushes!

Finally, lightly blend foundation (Face Stockholm has a range of quality foundations) onto your face, neck, and hairline by starting at your nose and moving outward. Apply powder to set.

03. Keep it natural.

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You want people to remember your great answer, your positive attitude, and… not your makeup. We cannot stress this enough: Do not go overboard. We recommend the following advice from Coco Chanel: “Before you walk out the door take one thing off.”

Go for one less swipe of mascara, one less coat of lip color, and certainly one less sweep of the bronzer brush. Want to nail the “au natural” look? Your next step is as easy as a couple sweeps of bronzer (Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, The Celestial Bronzing Veil, is super natural) if that’s normally part of your look and the quick application of a powder blush beginning on the apple of your cheeks (smile! they’re easier to find this way!), sweeping out to the hairline.

 04. Let your lips do the talking.

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Unless you’re interviewing in a creative industry or you wear a bold red lip every day of the week, we suggest a neutral lip color (not a red or dark one) and no gloss. We repeat: Do not wear lip gloss. Lip gloss suggests an air of youthfulness and informality, two qualities you don’t want for this interview. This is your opportunity to look confident and sophisticated. Peachy and beige hues are beautiful for almost every skin tone.  Make sure you blot your lips with a tissue and reapply a little more color for a longer lasting effect that won’t smear.

 05. The eyes are the prize.

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Maintaing eye contact during an interview is crucial, so the last thing you want is distracting eye makeup. Curl your lashes until they scream “I had a great night sleep last night because I’m just so relaxed about this interview.” Line your eye with a pencil or crayon eyeliner. Apply one coat of mascara (Any from L'Oreal's Voluminous line!)—and absolutely no false eyelashes.

Lastly, if you decide to go with an eye shadow, stay away from the metallics and glitters and opt for beiges, browns, and warm colors to make your eyes pop.

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