There is no denying it; women have made quite an impact in the business world today, and rightly so. We hold our own in the board rooms, find new ways to “think outside the box”, and close deals just as well, if not better, than our male counterparts.
I am not implying that we need to be in competition with men, but it must be acknowledged that we have fought long and hard to earn our place and respect in formerly male dominated areas of the business and entrepreneurial world. Despite these hard earned areas of equality, however, there are still aspects of being a female in business that come with expectations that are not necessarily asked of our male colleagues. I reference one aspect in particular, and that is the importance placed on physical appearance.
I am sure that every professional realizes that first impressions are everything in business. Knowing this, we make sure that we do everything we can to put our best foot forward – detailed attention to clothing, grooming etc. Yet as women, there is the added pressure of remembering to put our best face forward. Studies have, in fact, shown that wearing a tasteful amount of makeup can positively affect how a woman is perceived. A 2011 New York Times article even went so far as to say, “It increases people’s perceptions of a woman’s likability, her competence and… her trustworthiness.”
Makeup is likely already a part of our daily routine in one way or another, so I would like to discuss incorporating a little more personality through use of color. For some, adding color might make you more than a little nervous; however it isn’t as daunting as it may sound. You don’t have to start with the whole rainbow, and for this article’s purposes I am suggesting just two versatile colors that work for every skin tone; orange and berry hues, which come in a variety of shades.
If your skill set isn’t at a level you are comfortable with to try experimenting, head to your nearest makeup counter for a short demonstration. This will also be a great time to have a professional assist you in choosing the hue of these colors that work for you. Once you have product in hand, start out by focusing on one feature at a time as you add your color of choice.
Orange and peach shades of blush can be quite becoming on many skin tones. A little tangerine eyeshadow can make your eyes pop against a complimentary jewelry piece or clothing item. An orange lip gloss is a fun touch for those after work cocktails or anytime you want to highlight your pucker.
Berry hued blush is probably one of the most popular blush color ranges and may already be in your makeup bag. If you would like to carve out those cheekbones a little more, choose a deeper shade for contour. Dabbing on a berry lip gloss is almost universally flattering and is very work appropriate. Also, just like orange, there are many fabulous berry hued eyeshadows to add that pop color to your face.
As you become more comfortable with color, try experimenting further. As these color choices will work just as well closing out the Summer months as they do heading into Fall, you will have plenty of time to find what works for you.
To wrap up this subject, I want to leave you with some food for thought. I would like to point out that these suggestions aren’t about changing yourself; it’s merely enhancing what you already have. Taking a few extra moments to add a hint of color can be a perfect complement to that carefully chosen outfit, perfect pair of shoes, manicure and hairstyle that you have spent time crafting as part of your professional presentation. While it is not your physical appearance that makes you a smart business woman, we are reminded of the importance of first impressions. Make it a habit to invest in yourself, and those potential clients will also see the value of investing in you.