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Climbing the career ladder with lipstick in hand

We all know that makeup makes us feel more beautiful and confident, but it turns out it can make you look more competent as well. It can even help you professionally, too. There is something to be said for natural beauty, but when your face looks especially put together, it makes you seem more put-together overall.

This all seems like common sense, but it is also backed up by science. Previous research has shown that people who have symmetrical faces are perceived as more agreeable, and attractive people are generally seen as intelligent and kind. But a recent study from researchers at Boston University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that, in a snap judgment of a woman based on her face, makeup helps her look more likeable, competent and trustworthy.

However, the study also showed that when a woman wears too much makeup or looks too “glamorous,” her trustworthiness rating goes down. This is why it is important to alter your look from scenario to scenario, just as you would your clothes.

“There are times when you want to give a powerful ‘I’m in charge here’ kind of impression, and women shouldn’t be afraid to do that,” Sarah Vickery, one of the study’s authors and a Procter & Gamble scientist. “Other times you want to give off a more balanced, more collaborative appeal.”

That said, here are some ways you can dress for success – with your cosmetics.

What to wear: When you want to look professional, stick to makeup that enhances your features without much added color. Use foundation, concealer and powder to cover blemishes and dark eye circles where necessary, but try to avoid the globbed on look that some foundations can have. You want to look like you, but better.

Choose a brown or black eyeliner and mascara, and keep your eyeshadow neutral. Some shimmer is OK, as is some color. Try a color one shade lighter or darker than your skintone.  he same goes for your lips. While clear gloss or balm is the most natural-looking, a beigey pink lipstick can give your whole face a healthy glow.

What to avoid: When doing your makeup for work, avoid anything in excess. While smokey eyes and red lips certainly are trendy, they might be best applied before leaving the office for drinks, or before a night out over the weekend.

Bright colors, whether on your eyes, lips, nails or cheeks are fun, but maybe save them for a day when you don’t have a big presentation or interview.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing