How to Style Long Hair for Job Interviews

long-hair-interviewWhat’s the best way to style your long hair for a job interview if you’re a woman in your early 20s? Could wearing it down make you look too young? Reader D wonders:

How should a 20-year-old style her long, straight hair for the interview process for a management consulting job? Is wearing it down and straight too young/collegiate? Is styling it with a curling iron too beauty-pageant/date-y? Just how conservative is the corporate culture of the big three consulting firms? Must hair be pulled back? Interview wardrobe all taken care of, and nails are neat and well-groomed, but what about long hair?

We’ve frequently discussed workplace hair, from whether long hair makes you look young, to whether ponytails at the office are acceptable, to what easy, maintainable hair looks like, to work-appropriate up-dos. We’ve also talked about what your hair says about you at work.

For this post I was going to find a bunch of YouTube tutorials and pictures of women with interview-appropriate updos, half-updos, and long hair. But… here’s the thing: so many of those look totally pageant-y, and on a young woman it’s going to look even more like you’re playing dress up. So here’s my answer:  for an interview, your hair should be neat, recently trimmed, and not something you play with. Ultimately, the hairstyle should be forgettable. I mean that in two ways: first, it should be forgettable for you —  once you do your hair and leave your house, you should be able to forget your hair and focus 100% on the interview(s). No touching, no smoothing, no combing — no thoughts of “ow, these bobbypins are sucking my will to live and when.can.I.get.them.out.please.God.is.it.now.” (Ahem. Personally I hate bobbypins.) Secondly, though, your hair should really be forgettable for your interviewer as well, because you want them to notice your resume and your qualifications and your smarts — not your hair. [Read more…]

Beauty Wednesday: Moisturizers for Dry Winter Skin

Burt's Bees Radiance Night CreamI thought my dry skin last year was pregnancy-related, but I’m finding that I really do need extra moisture on my face. I haven’t yet taken the plunge on something serious like La Mer in part because I really like my affordable Burt’s Bee’s option. It’s 99% natural, moisturizes with “Royal Jelly,” which Amazon describes as thus: “Fed to the queen bee, Royal Jelly contains 8 essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, D & E along with Niacin and Folic Acid. It is the reason she lives 40 times longer and is 50% bigger than worker bees.” Alrighty then! A 2-oz. jar of Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream with Royal Jelly is $14.59 (and even less with a Subscribe and Save order).

Ladies, what are your favorite products for dry winter skin?

Psst: see my other maternity skincare picks.

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Coffee Break: Salux Beauty Skin Cloth

Salux Cloth | CorporetteWe’ve seen several Corporette readers raving about Salux cleansing cloths from Japan, and they sound like a great bet for winter skin. These nylon/polyester cloths are much bigger than a typical washcloth (about 11″ x 35″), and they’re machine washable, making them a much more sanitary choice than bath puffs/loofahs (ew). Salux fans say that they’re rough enough to exfoliate your skin (face, back, etc.) but not potentially damaging like that infamous apricot scrub… They’re durable, too; one reader mentioned that hers has lasted for 2o+ years! (Note: If you’re buying from somewhere like Amazon, make sure you’re getting the original Japanese product and not one of the Chinese knockoffs that are said to be poor quality.) Salux Beauty Skin Cloth

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Beauty Wednesday: What’s Overrated?

Overrated (But Classic) Beauty Products -- and What's Worth It | CorporetteIn the wake of all the makeup sales lately, I’ve been perusing the “best seller” lists, and am continually surprised to see some of the listed products because I’ve tried them and been underwhelmed. I thought today it might be fun to discuss classic beauty products — what’s worth the hype, and which beauty products are overrated? For your review, Sephora has a list of best sellers as well as a list from Allure’s Best Beauty Products of 2014, Beauty.com has another list of Award Winning Beauty; and Ulta has a list of their fan favorites.

My list of the overrated beauty products includes:

  • Diorshow — Meh. I briefly liked Benefit’s They’re Real!, but am still on the hunt for a good mascara.  I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a mascara gift set for the season so I can try a bunch.
  • NARS Lip Pencil – I have this in a dark mauve and I hate the way it wears.  I’m ok with Clinique’s Chubby Sticks, but I’m always baffled when I see this one on best-of lists. (Note that Sephora has a limited edition Chubby Colour lip set for $25 with four shades.)
  • Naked Palette.  I WANT TO LIKE THIS SO BADLY!  It just seems like a lot of blah to me.  Even for daily, low-key makeup, I reach for a million other things first.
  • Benefit’s High Beam – meh.  I do really like the eyebrow highlighter pencil in a very similar shade, though.  In general, I prefer Nars the Multiple to add a bit of shimmer to my cheeks before I head out for the evening.  I had a gold highlighter from Josie Maran (which they don’t seem to make anymore) that I loved, and was excited to see Benefit come out with a similar gold highlighter, but after watching the video it looks like it isn’t intended for my pale skin at all.  I’ll still try it the next time I’m in a store, though…
  • Benefit’s Benetint – I feel like I’ve been trying to like this one for 20+ years.  Meh.
  • Tarte cheek stains — in fairness, I’ve never owned one of these, but I’ve tried them on in the store a zillion times.  They just don’t look like anything on me.

My list of classic beauty products worth the hype:

[Read more…]

How to Be Taken Seriously When You Look Young

looking young - body languageWhat should you do if you look young for your age, and you do all the basic things you’re supposed to in order to seem older (dress professionally, wear heels, etc.), but you still get mistaken for a college student? What more can you try to get your colleagues to take you seriously?

Reader E wonders…

I’m a college professor (outside your normal demographic, but I really enjoy the conversations here). I often am told that I look like an undergrad. I have two questions. First, how do I respond to this in a workplace setting? With a frosty “Nope, I’m actually in my mid-thirties”? With “I’m told that I’ll be grateful for it one day”? Why do people think this is an acceptable thing to say to someone? Second, how can I actually look older so that I avoid these comments and am taken more seriously? I’m short (5′), which is part of the issue, but I already wear 1-3″ heels/wedges (more would look out of place here and are not my style). I use basic makeup (tinted moisturizer/blush/mascara), wear professional and structured clothing, have nice-looking but understated jewelry (including my engagement/wedding rings), keep my wavy hair shoulder-length and mostly under control, and make an effort to speak in a lower voice. This all feels like Looking Older 101–I need the upper-level class!

Hmmmmn. Hmmmn. We’ve talked about a lot of this before — how to avoid acting young, how to lower your voice, and whether long hair makes you look younger — but it sounds like Reader E has already taken a lot of these tips. What else can be done? I’m curious to hear what the readers say, but I did come up with a few tips. I don’t think everyone needs to take these steps, but for people like Reader E, who have tried everything else and are still frustrated by people telling them they “look young,” these may be the tweaks you need to consider:

[Read more…]

Growing Out a Pixie Cut — and Looking Professional

growing out pixie cutHow can you grow out a pixie cut — without looking unprofessional?  Reader L wonders:

Last fall I cut my hair in a pixie cut and although I love the low maintenance cut I’d like to have longer hair again. As you know growing out this cut can be painful. Do you have any suggestions for keeping hair professional during a grow out? Are hair scarves ever Ok? Is it acceptable to get extensions?

This is a really interesting question, and one I don’t have a lot of experience with — the shortest my hair ever was was after I did the post-wedding chop and donated to Locks of Love.  I can see how growing out a pixie would be a challenge in a professional setting, though.  I poked around Google a bit and found some great tutorials from the bloggers at at Unspeakable Visions, Maybe Matilda, and Hair Romance (studying Carey Mulligan’s pixie cut growout)– these ladies did it right and looked great while growing out their pixie cuts! That said, here’s my $.02 for a corporate setting or other conservative office: [Read more…]