Message you don't want to send: Common beauty mistakes made at work

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If there's one place where it's absolutely essential to put your best foot (and face!) forward -- it's at work.

You don't want your makeup to be the reason someone doesn't offer you that promotion, or doesn't find you to be a trustworthy asset to the workplace. Because yes, these considerations and more are affected by our outward appearance. We'd like to think that it's mostly treated as a factor subconsciously, but it's a factor nonetheless.

Message you don't want to send: Common beauty mistakes made at work
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Message you don't want to send: Common beauty mistakes made at work

MISTAKE: Dark eye makeup/heavy eyeliner

Wearing too much dark makeup on your eyes makes you seem less trustworthy.  You may have your superiors asking if that heavy makeup is leftover from last night's partying, and that is not a good thing. Save this look for when you're actually going out, not stepping into the office.

Photo Credit: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

MISTAKE: Too much gloss

A little sheen is okay - even good - but having too much on your lips screams "kiss me" - not "hire me/promote me." Just be wary of applying this product, and think to yourself, do I really need to be wearing it today? We opt for a nice lip balm at the office.  

Photo Credit: John Shearer/Getty

Mistake: Wet hair

Just because it was a beauty look on several runways this season doesn't mean it's a look to incorporate into your everyday. If you're in a rush and don't have time to dry, pull your hair back into a sleek bun to keep yourself polished.

Photo by Fulvio De Filippi/Getty Images

MISTAKE: Too much fragrance

You know when you walk past a man and it's like he took a shower in his AXE cologne? Gross. Well you don't want to be his female counterpart in the office - the person who makes others uncomfortable.  Remember, the more you wear a perfume, the more you get used to it.  Just because you may not smell it as strongly as you used to doesn't mean it's that way for everyone else.  For the workday, try spraying your perfume in front of you (preferably sans-clothing and jewelry) and stepping through the mist. Perfect and subtle distribution.

Photo Credit: Leonid and Anna Dedukh/Shutterstock

MISTAKE: Fake eyelashes at the office

We're not sure how common this one is, but it's definitely a mistake.  If you do this, not only will you come across as superficial and unprofessional, but you run the risk of grossing everyone out should something happen with your lash glue, and your falsies fall off! Opt for a swipe of regular mascara on your natural lashes, instead.  And save the falsies for another time.

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

MISTAKE: Throwing your hair up in a messy bun

We've all been there: we're running late and just don't know what to do with our hair.  Well, folks, the solution is not to just throw it up in a messy bun.  If you do this, you might come across as not caring -- and your boss and coworkers may assume this will transfer to your work ethic. There are tons of last-minute options, figure out a few that work best for you before resorting to this messy look.

Photo Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

MISTAKE: Bright and bold eye shadow

It's true that blue is the color of success -- especially in the work place -- but this does not apply to your eye shadow. Bright and bold colors do not belong on your face at the office (save it for a fun night on the town!).   You might not be seen as a serious person, and this can jeopardize your coworkers' opinions of you.  Instead, wear blue in your clothing to show that you are trustworthy and dependable.

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

MISTAKE: Bright red lips

While countless celebrities are currently rocking this look on the red carpet, it's not appropriate for the office.

Photo Credit: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images

MISTAKE: Over-bronzed

We don't think anyone should sport this look, well... ever, but especially not in the office.  And be sure not to try any complexion-changing products during your work week, either. Over-bronzing may suggest instability, and may give others the opinion that you are obsessed with your appearance. Opt instead for the natural, healthy glow.

Photo Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty

MISTAKE: Reapplying makeup at your desk

We know what you're thinking: what's wrong with a little touch up? Well, the fact is that whether you're in you own office, a cubical, or sharing a big table with others, touching up your makeup during work makes you look superficial.  It gives off the impression that you care more about your appearance than you do about the work, so if you feel the need to touch up, hit the ladies room.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

MISTAKE: Long pointy nails

Look, we know this is a trend we're seeing on celebrities and sometimes the runway, but we just don't get it. REALLY, though, what is the appeal of pointy nails? Regardless of whether you like this look, it's not one for the office.  People are less likely to take you seriously when you can't type an email because your nails keep getting in the way.

Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images

MISTAKE: Shimmer and sparkly eye shadow

We're all for a little shimmer when you're using neutral tones, but gold and exceedingly sparkly tones just won't fly.  Not only will it come across as childish, but may look downright tacky. Studies have shown that both men and women find those with simple, natural makeup most appealing and trustworthy when it comes to work.

Photo Credit: C Flanigan/Getty

MISTAKE: Wearing no makeup to work

So seeing as we've been bashing all of these makeup techniques, are you surprised to see this on the list? It turns out that wearing no makeup at all is almost as bad as wearing too much.  You don't want to give off the air that you don't care, do you? Because some feel that'll easily creep into your work performance as well.  All you need to feel polished is a little powder, mascara, and maybe a bit of cover up.  It doesn't have to be much, but to put your best foot forward, wear some makeup.

Photo Credit: Josephine Santos/PacificCoastNews


Avoiding a few faux-pas will let your boss and coworkers know that you're a team player, and that you should be taken seriously. By sticking to these simple tips, your confidence level will go through the roof -- and we promise those around you will notice.

Click through the gallery to see what mistakes you shouldn't be making, and start climbing that corporate ladder!

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