Interview Makeup: Tips and Go-To Products

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The Jist: Why Makeup for Interview Matters

Having been on the other end of the interviewing table as a recruiter, as much as knowledge, skills, and abilities count, first impressions count even before you walk through the door. Aside from your brains that you’re bringing to the table, interview makeup and professional attire (which may be a future article) is the other part that makes up the equation.

I suppose there are definitely some women who can go to an interview and pull it off without any makeup, but my pale Asian skin, sparse eyebrows, and barely there eyelashes almost makes that impossible and thus it sparked my motivation to write this article. A little color and definition really brightens the face and awakens the eye not to mention should always make us a tad bit more confident.

While professional attire, job experience, and knowledge are all mandatory for either the interview or job, having all that only puts you on the same page with all the other candidates. When it comes to hiring and having to spend time with the person in the office from 9-5, a social well-liked personality certainly gives you a boost. And an attractive person is generally accepted and more likely to be perceived as sociable. The truth is, a candidate with the whole package is not only more memorable, but also hard to resist, especially if you are interviewing for a client-facing role.

Generally, I like to experiment with makeup, especially when I’m testing out a product to see how it performs and makes a difference for my overall complexion.

When it comes to interviewing it is definitely not the time to be experimental nor is it the time to blow off your first impression on your potential future boss.

With that said, let’s hop on the jist of what today’s topic will be about: interview makeup.

Part 1: Tips & Reminders

#1 Have a clear head shot of yourself on Linkedin and Gmail. 

Whether if a recruiter found you on Linkedin or you sent in your resume via email, the candidate with profile photo is always more memorable from my experience. Even during my phone screening calls, I can visualize how the candidate will perform in person. The face is just one part of the whole package and differentiates you from the hundreds or candidates out there.

Your photo doesn’t have to be professionally taken, but make sure it’s clear, polished, and works best if you are wearing black and white.

#2 Go natural on the makeup, but make an effort to look effortless.

Like I mentioned, it’s not the time to experiment on crazy electric colors or who can wing their liner farther out the corners of our eyes. As badass as my mindset is when I walk through that door, the most appropriate term for my makeup is probably the “girl-next-door”, simple and sweet.

I’ve definitely seen people who have omitted foundation and still look great (I envy you), but sadly, I’m not one of them, at least not with my pale skin. Plus with BB cream or foundation, the application of blush is more transparent and clean.

#3 Wear Glasses

I’ve heard that wearing glasses to an interview makes the hiring manager feel you’re more hardworking, reliable and trustworthy. Even after I heard this tip a few times, I’ve forgotten to put it to practice because I would only wear glasses if I had to. The one time I remember to wear them, I did end up getting an offer.

Take it or leave it with this one.

Part 2: Go-To Makeup Products

Brows: Anatasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo

This helps frame your face, especially if you have sparse and barely-there Asian hairs like myself. I don’t even skip this step when I go somewhere as casual as hiking these days.

Eyeliner: Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Khol Kajal Eye Pencil

I know Asian girls love the winged eyeliner look and I was definitely that obsessed girl once, but I’ve never worn it to an interview. Simply rim your lash lines for a natural look, even if you have to line both top and bottom lashes. The only acceptable exception is if you have monolids, but having double eyelids, I can and will only speak for myself.

I won’t speak about a specific mascara because I barely see the difference in my sparse lashes, but definitely curl and apply mascara anyway.

Earthy Matte Eyeshadow: Sonia Kashuk’s Neutral Matte Palette

Depending on my mood and if I’m running low on time, I will sometimes omit this step altogether. I don’t notice a huge difference for myself, but I love my earthy warm tones, even for a daily basis. Because of my pale Asian skin, I definitely like to throw on a single matte shade. No shimmer, nothing fancy.

Light Pink Blush: Benefit’s Hervana

When it comes to interviewing, I will go back to one of my favorite blushes, Benefit’s Hervana Blush, which is a very subtle baby pink color. The extra cute packaging makes it a pleasure to always go back to. Imagine opening a small gift box every morning.

Natural Lip: Nars’ Sheer Lipstick in Barbarella

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to talking, I make sure my lips are as moist and soft as possible. I don’t even like matte lips to begin with and definitely don’t recommend them for interviews as they tend to look harsh. Perhaps, if you are interviewing for the fashion, beauty, or creative industry, you may want to make statement. Definitely go for the satin or creamy finishes in your sea of lip options.

I have the most lipsticks of all makeup products in my collection so it’s hard to just recommend one. Nars’ Creamy Lipstick in Barbarella is definitely my go-to, but Revlon’s Lip Butter in Cotton Candy and MAC’s Creme Cup are also close runner-ups. The key is to go for the nudes, baby pinks, or nude pinks.

What do you think?

You won’t get an offer every time you leave an interview. You’ll probably end up failing so many times like myself, that you’ll finally come to your senses to reflect how you can do better next time. Once you have gone to a fair number of interviews, you’ll get the jist of how they’re performed though they’ll vary from company to company. By then, you’ll hopefully have a standard pick-me-up makeup routine that you can apply with your eyes closed. (Don’t take this literally, of course.)

Going simple, clean, and polished on your makeup gives peace of mind to both parties. What are you prep tips before an interview?

    • Lisa, I love your idea of putting on happy music! I agree confidence is everything and it can mean different things to different people. I feel confident going out without make up on a daily basis and can not care much what others think of me, but when it comes to an interview, I feel more confident throwing on some color and definition on my face because I’ll need to hot sell myself, which may or may not make me a bit shy sometimes lol.

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