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Marie Avatar

LOL, whenever I start a new job, I start off trying to wear a little makeup every day. Then as I get busier, I end up with days when I completely skip or I have to wear heavy coverage bc of dark circles and zits. This has been a trend I’ve noticed about myself. It’s the cycle of life.

Sk Avatar

Currently I have office job so I wear neutral eyeshadow, subtle cheek products, lipstick is wear I go more bold because I do wear red lipsticks sometimes but keep rest of face simple. But for uni classes I wear howmuchever I want! Colourful eye, lips, doesn’t matter, one time I scared my professor with black lipsticks, haha.

Deborah S. Avatar

I am a registered nurse and when I was working I limited the amount of makeup I wore as it was a professional setting and too much would not have been acceptable or practical. Frequently you don’t even get to go to the ladies room during your shift so if there was a makeup catastrophe you might not know it until the end of your shift or when you got home. I did carry a good lip moisturizer on me and applied multiple times per day as I would have horribly chapped lips by the end of a 12 hour shift. Nurses are not allowed to have anything to drink in the patient care areas so getting into the lounge to drink was sometimes difficult. I also did not wear nail polish or any form of artificial nails as they were against the policy where I worked secondary to the risk of contamination of surgical wounds, etc.
I was injured on the job about 2 years ago and have been off work since. Nothing that I do now has any impact on my makeup wearing except whether I am going to be outside in the direct sunlight which affects how much sunscreen I wear. My makeup choices and the amount I wear is related to how much I want to play around with makeup that day. Also, as I have mentioned on this blog before, I live in a very small town in Montana and very few people wear any makeup here so anything I wear might be considered too much by the locals. Luckily, I don’t care and find so much pleasure in applying my makeup.

Erica Avatar

I work in an environment where I have to look professional but also down to earth. I also have limited time to get my daughter to school while getting to my job on time. It’s not practical or realistic to do a full on face of makeup so no contouring, highlighting, foundation, bronzing, false lashes or lipstick. I also don’t have the time for touch ups which if you have oily skin, even with the best of products, requires touch ups throughout the day. So I wear mascara, fill in my brows, wear concealer under my eyes, wear eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush and set with powder. I feel it’s enough to look pulled together and I’m still relatable

Katie Avatar

I don’t wear any makeup to school most of the time – I just can’t be bothered most mornings. If I do wear makeup to school, I remove eyeshadow, bronzer and tone my highlighter way down, because my school has a minimal makeup policy (I’m in Australia, so uniforms and makeup policies are standard).

Ziwei Avatar

I’m not a morning person at all so if I do wear any makeup it’s gonna be just foundation and brows and lips. If I had more time I would do a wash of cream eyeshadow, eyeliner, and blush.

Marie-Estelle Avatar

I do!

No glitters, no bold lips and bold eyes together. All together my look is more tamed. I don’t want my makeup to be a distraction and I also don’t have as much time to get ready when I have to go to work. That is why I favour softer looks on those days and the more creative ones on days off. I love doing both!

Seraphine Avatar

I definitely wear different makeup at work than I do when I go out at night. Most of the women in my office (ages range from 20s to 60s) wear very little or no makeup. It’s a little weird, if you ask me. But I still go in with a full face of makeup every day. It’s who I am.

But I tone down colors for work, going with a more neutral eye look. MAC’s Omega is one of my staple colors for the office. My lipstick colors are toned down, too. Reds and purples are for evenings, though I have worn MAC’s Men Love Mystery and Chili to work once or twice. I mainly stick with mauves, nudes, and rosy browns on work days.

Tina Avatar

I just turned 44 and I still wear full face every day! And I work in an office–government at that. I honestly don’t care if other like it or not–they don’t pay my bills, especially my makeup bills! LOL!

Dianne Avatar

I wear a full face of makeup to work every day. I’m not doing anything glam or colorful, but I will wear a medium-full coverage base with subtle contour, blush, bronzer, and highlight as well as a simple neutral eye and natural-looking lip.

Aj Avatar

I wear less to my classes on a regular basis, and sometimes little to none on the days I have no time/am too tired to put on any.
But, my makeup does switch up color wise here and there because I do like to incorporate some color on certain days just to brighten up my mood.

Hollie Avatar

I’ve been following you for years and have never commented before ( I think) but your answer made my day!!! I am the exact same way!!!

cherie Avatar

I tend to skip foundation if I’m rushed and swipe mascara and cream shadow, concealer, blush and maybe bronzer, but all tamed and natural looking. I’ll use my dior serum foundation and add some matte highlight if I have more time and I always pair it with one of my abundant neutral lipsticks. I generally don’t do bold looks so I save those for special occasions.

Jennifer Avatar

I’m the same as you Christine! I recently got a job as an in-home family therapist, so I’m trying to figure out where the boundary line is!

A lot of therapists I know are creative and free spirits, so everyone seems to have their different vibes and styles. For me, I generally like wearing dresses and a lot of makeup (oftentimes colorful) in my everyday life. With work, I sometimes wear color but I make sure not to overpower with both colorful eyes and lips. One thing I’m struggling with is red lip color – it sometimes feels too attention-grabby and possibly distracting, however much I love it. But I want to incorporate it into work somehow (too many days letting my red lipsticks go to waste).

I’d be interested to hear what the others have got to say about whether red lipstick is appropriate for work. I’ve heard for the most part it’s okay, but you have to consider context. The only times I’ve heard it not be okay is when reading articles or magazines. *Shrug*

Seraphine Avatar

Here’s my two cents on red lipstick at work. I work in an office where it’s a pretty creative environment, but I have to deal with conservative clients and I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing a bright red lipstick, like my favorites ColourPop London Fog and MAC Russian Red, which are my evening go-tos. (And I like saving them for special occasions, anyway.)

I wanted to find a sort of toned-down way to wear red lipstick to work, and recently picked up Clinique’s Pop Glaze in Fireball Pop. It’s bright red, but it’s sheer, so it’s a great way for me to wear red lipstick in the office. And for a sheer, it stays on pretty well.

Jennifer Avatar

Thanks Seraphine. In short, it does depend on context, and in our case it may depend on how it impacts our work with clients.

Other ways we may be able to sneak it in is having red lipstick be the sole focus of the makeup look and forego most eyeshadow, or maybe having a more brown/toned down red lip (brick).

Still sad I can’t enjoy them more often! I generally go for the bright, orangey reds.

Seraphine Avatar

I’ve worn MAC’s Chili to work a couple times with minimal eyeshadow. Chili works for the office if I blot it down a bit.

Speaking of bright, orangey reds, I love MAC’s Lady Danger, but I don’t get to wear it often, so I totally understand.

Elizabeth Avatar

It depends on the days but for the most part I pile on the eye makeup smokey, colorful, whatever i am in the mood for that day.

Janeen Avatar

It really depends. I have pretty oily skin and nothing can last my 14 hr work day as a nurse so I usually just do foundation, eyebrows, and blush as a general rule, plus conceal where needed. If I’m in the mood I’ll do eyeliner and mascara, but my eye area has been sensitive as of late so I’ve just been leaving it bare. I love make up and have a lot of it but it’s frustrating that my oily skin deters me from doing so much because no point in doing a beautiful eyeshadow look if half into the day there’s a big fat crease (I’ve tried all the top primers, NARS, smash box, etc). So I just stick to foundation due to discoloration of acne, conceal any existing pimples, powder, blush, and fill in brows, done. 🙂

kellly Avatar

Lately I’ve been putting concealer on as a primer and it seems to make my stuff last longer on my eyes. Worth a try and it’s cheaper than buying a separate product. Nothing can make my shadows last 14+ hours, tho, but once I’m off work, I hardly care.

ReaderRita Avatar

If you haven’t already tried it, Too Faced Shadow Insurance is the best eye primer I’ve ever used, and I have extremely oily skin- but the trick to it is that you have to make sure it’s mixed in the tube (with the cap ON, squish it around in there about once a week), and let it dry on your lids with your eyes closed for about 15 seconds. Has not failed me yet, and I seriously have eyelids that shine like there’s Vaseline on them without it. Second best is Urban Decay.

MoMerrell Avatar

Not really. in my FT job because I work around the VPS and the CEO, I can wear ALMOST anything except my dark blue and BiTE Kale lipstick. When I have a board meeting I do keep it simple and natural so as not to draw too much attention to myself lol. At my PT job I pack it all on!!

Anne Avatar

I’ve always worn semi-bright lipstick and rosy-pink blush (because I’m so fair and need it), but my eye makeup can differ a lot depending on the situation.

Joan Avatar

My manager has openly admitted that I could wear the same thing everyday and she would not notice. So I tend to be a bit more extreme than most in an office environment. Sometimes that means colorful eye looks and sometimes that mean hot pink lips. So yeah, most day as much as I can cram on my face. The only limitation I have for myself is purple, green and blue lips are a no go.

Mariella Avatar

I’m only bound by how much time I have in the early mornings but I still tend to go neutral on my eyes but shimmer is definitely part of my eye looks. And bright lips aren’t a problem but I am generally way too busy to touch up during the day so I need something that will fade away nicely and without leaving that “ring” behind. Most of the women I work with wear little to no makeup and that, together with my own inclination for more “wearable” looks (no green lips, no blue eyebrows) means I don’t do flamboyant looks. But because I work with teenaged girls, I like to present as a good role model too – someone appropriately dressed and made up for the work world.

Shannon. N Avatar


I am a public speaker, and an activist for work. And I actually find it HELPS to wear bright, bold lipstick! Its always an ice breaker and a nice conversation starter for after my shows!!

I usually do spot concealing, lots of mattifying powder because i’m a sweaty person (LOL) blush, bronzer for definition, a TOUCH of a satiny highlight, brows, light eye makeup but LOTS of lashes, and bright lips!

Shannon. N Avatar

Genevieve, you made me smile! My grandmother. Shes a retired school teacher, and she used to wear lipstick every. Single. Day.

So now even though she’s 82, and has been retired for 20 years. She still puts on her lipstick every morning! 😛

I definitely take after grandma in that sense LOL. I never feel complete for work, or anything unless I’m wearing my bright bold lipstick!

Rachel R. Avatar

I work from home, and my previous job didn’t care how we did our makeup unless corporate or clients were visiting. So at my previous job, I did go simpler because I didn’t want to wake up any earlier than I had to. lol I wore a full face, but my eyes were easy 1-3 color looks, no winged liner. Nothing too complicated.

Lesley Avatar

I always wore the same amount at work and at school and it was a lot—foundation, blush, eye shadow, liner, mascara, highlighter—but I never wore lipstick until I retired. I never enjoyed wearing it and it is only since I have gotten older that I really need it. I was considered to have a bold personality, I think I could have worn bright lipstick. But I knew I didn’t have the time or the attention span to maintain it so I never wore it. My closest friend wore a lot of make-up as well, but we were the only ones in a really large company.

ReaderRita Avatar

Retired? Girl, (from your thumbnail) you look so young that I have a hard time believing that you’ve been out of school long enough to have a full time job, much less be retired! Keep doing what you’re doing because you look fantastic! And wear whatever makeup you want because you could absolutely rock it!

Genevieve Avatar

No, not really – I only tone down the eye shadows a bit, but I otherwise I would wear the same makeup to work. Which was more than all the other girls/ladies were wearing – but I just liked makeup too much.
Let me add, I wasn’t going with goth looks or rainbow eye shadow….

Brenda Avatar

I only draw the line at dark smokey or glitter eyes and I always wear a bold lip. I’m known for rocking a bold lip, full face of makeup and being a fashionista in my conservative banking role. I refuse to downplay my femininity in the corporate world.

Kubbymo Avatar

I’m going to be working at a school and plan on wearing no makeup out of convenience. At my current part time job, I also wear no makeup for personal convenience. I just don’t want to have to worry about smearing it or it becoming strange throughout the day. I also want the extra sleep!

SarahJayne Avatar

I work in the intensive care unit at a Phoenix so my main goal with my work makeup is that it be stuck in place for more than twelve hours. I generally wear neutrals with a pop of color and medium to full coverage foundation. Nothing changes for me in terms of colors between work days and non work days, just waterproof and long lasting formulas.

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