5 Beauty Tips for the Workplace

Megan McIntyre

Whether your personal style is city chic, boho eclectic, whimsically romantic or anywhere in between, most women have to tweak or tame their style a bit for work. Here are a few beauty moves that’ll give your look a professional edge without having to sacrifice style.

Rule 1: Go for a swept-back hairstyle. Keeping your hair out of your face looks polished and put-together. If your hair is long, low ponytails or sleek ballerina buns are easy and low-maintenance. Take a cue from Cameron Diaz (below left) and wrap a bit of hair around the base of a ponytail to give the look a chic twist. Short hairstyles are also easy office wear. Our favorite crop: Katie Holmes‘ shiny, swingy bob (below right).

Cameron Diaz February 2008

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

Katie Holmes May 23 2009

Photo: Paul Morigi/WireImage.com

Rule 2: No roots allowed. If you color your hair, keep up the maintenance. Dark roots could imply you’re not on top of your game. Also, stay away from chunky highlights (too obvious!) and chose tones that blend together for a natural look. Elizabeth Bank‘s color is perfect!

Fergie April 22 2009

Photo: Sara De Boer / Retna Ltd.

Rule 3: Neutral makeup is trustworthy. Work is not the place to try out flashy bright colors. These trendy hues could make you come across as a party girl. Instead, use warm, earthy neutral tones. Fergie‘s makeup here is flawless–natural and sophisticated. Definitely office-ready.

Rule 4: Enhance eye contact with eyeliner. Looking co-workers in the eye says you’re decisive and confident, but too much back eyeliner could be detracting. Instead, bring out your eyes with a brown or grey liner and blend it thoroughly to avoid harsh lines.

Rule 5: Keep lips dewy, not glossy. Use a sheer color on your lips that is one to two shades darker than your natural lip color. Leave the heavy gloss in your purse for post-work cocktails. A great new lipstick that has a wide shade range, excellent color payoff, and feels plush on your lips: Maybelline New York Color Sensation Lipstick comes in 48 shades, $7.49 each.

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