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June 20, 2011

The Office-Ready Beauty Guide

Whether you're a Girl Friday just starting out or the Big Boss Lady, we've outlined the new code of conduct to make your beauty routine work for you come Monday morning.

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Photo Credit: Frederic Farre/Figarophoto

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OBJECTIVE:
Leap from cubicle warrior to corner-suite exec with can't-lose looks.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:
In or out of the office, makeup looks better on healthy, hydrated skin. "In unflattering work light, you can see everything, so start with a good moisturizer for a smooth surface under makeup," says makeup artist Tina Turnbow. "I also de-puff each morning with an eye gel — store it in the fridge so it's extra cooling." On days you down a supersize latte, "I love peppermint lip balm — it moisturizes, tingles, and helps with fresh breath when you're talking to people up close." Just don't skimp on the final review: "Before you head out the door, take a mirror into natural light to make sure everything is properly blended." You want eyes on the bottom line, not your jawline.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR:
The Old-School Office: For corporate chic that dazzles like a 3-D PowerPoint slide, "Stick with a monochromatic face," says Turnbow. "A tinted moisturizer paired with an illuminating concealer will warm skin tone under harsh fluorescent lights. Neutral blush, lip stain, and mascara are essentials." Steer clear of false eyelashes, chunky mascara, ultrashiny lip gloss, and heavy shimmer or frost — consider those permanently banned from the boardroom.

The Laid-Back Office: Everyone's in jeans, your coworker's pooch just piddled on the carpet — again — and the biweekly brainstorm takes place in a yurt. "Many companies are accepting of people's individual style these days, and makeup is part of that," says Turnbow. "In a creative space, you can get away with bright washes of colors — a poppy shade on the cheeks or lips or a jewel-tone eyeliner."

The Home Office: Just because your workstation is a converted closet doesn't mean you can go all Miss Havisham. "Getting ready in the morning reminds me that I'm a working professional, even if The Golden Girls are on in the background," says self-employed blogger Amber Katz. "Investing in eyelash extensions once a month means I wake up Starbucks-ready," she says, "while colored lip balms provide necessary hydration." Meeting desk-jockey friends for dinner later? "I coil my hair into a Pebbles Flintstone — style bun post blowout while I work," says Katz. "When I take it down, it falls into loose, mermaid-esque waves." Salon-worthy curls while racking up billable hours? Brilliant!

The Company Picnic: Partnered with the boss for the three-legged race on the hottest day of the year? "Make sure you have SPF and that your foundation isn't too cakey in the daylight," Turnbow says. "Skip lipstick — you'll be eating — and curl your lashes for a fresh, wide-eyed look."

The After-Hours Soiree: Keep your eye on the prize at this year's awards gala with evening makeup that won't have your CEO asking when RuPaul joined the company. "Remove the day's buildup and bring a little life to skin by tapping luminizer on the brow or cheekbone to mimic a candlelit glow. With a fat pencil eyeliner, create a smoky eye — it's quick, easy, and not as messy as shadow, which ends up flecked all over your cheeks," says Turnbow. "I love indigo blue because it brightens anyone's eyes. Add a coat of mascara, followed by a nude lip gloss." If applying that much eyeliner sounds scarier than a software training session, "Keep the eyes neutral and play up the lip instead — I'm into coral or hot pink right now."

The Crummy Commute: You just woke up on the couch — damn you, Mob Wives marathon! — with five minutes to get dressed and a 20-minute drive ahead of you. Jump in your car and go, says Turnbow: "At the first stop sign, sweep Fresh's Here Comes the Sun bronzing palette onto cheeks." At the next red light, "apply the middle, rosy shade from the compact to eyelids in the rearview mirror — it warms up your eyes." Waiting to make a left turn? "Hit your lashes with a curler. It's safer and less messy than trying to put on mascara." Finally, "Add an earthy-colored gloss like Korres Liquid Lipstick in 30" on the dash in from the parking lot. Phew!


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