How Much Makeup Do You Wear For Work? (Open Thread)

how much makeup do you wear for workWe’ve talked a lot about MLBB lip glosses and tinted lip balms lately, as well as how much time you spend on your hair for work — but something we haven’t discussed in a long while is makeup for work: how much makeup do YOU wear to work on a regular basis? What do you consider your essentials — and what do you consider your “big day” makeup? As you’ve gotten more senior (both in your company and with age) how has your amount of makeup changed? (Would you ever wear a super bright lipstick to work, like in the stock photo? What else would you consider “know your office” for makeup at work?)

We’ve talked before about the studies that show that people equate makeup with competence (read the NYT article about the study here) and how the best interview makeup really just makes you look awake and alive, not necessarily like a glamazon. I’ve also written before about how my own beauty minimum changed after having kids. Right now I have two extremes: the regular day makeup looks like blush, lippie of some kind, concealer for my eye area, and eyeliner — lately I’m alternating between waterproof liners in a dark brown, a dark gray, and a navy. (I love the look of mascara on me but it really seems to irrirate my eyes lately — so particularly if I plan to be in glasses all day, I skip it.) On the other hand, for big days where there may be a lot of eyes on me (or if I’m wearing my contacts) I ramp up to a light mineral foundation, blush + highlighter + contour, multiple shades of eyeshadow (usually in a peachy/brown or gray/plum family for my brown eyes), eyeliner, mascara or false eyelashes, and a proper lipstick.

How about you guys — how much makeup do you wear for work? What are the essentials for you — and why do you wear it (to enhance, conceal, look alive, feel put together, etc)?how much makeup do you wear for work - image of a woman applying lipstick

Picture via Stencil.

We had a fun question for our professional readers: how much makeup do you wear for work on a regular basis -- and how has it changed as you've gotten older and more senior in your career? Great discussion if you're wondering how much (or how little) makeup you can get away with at work.


  1. Anonymous :

    Would appreciate some lip advice.

    Recently I appreciated recommendations on natural/nude lip options to increase my coloring that many of you posted recently.

    Wondering for those of you that wear something on your lips normally, what your routine is? Just the lipstick color alone? Do you put a layer of ?vaseline/lip balm first and then the color? Do you exfoliate, and if so how?

    I only just with (search on the web) what that yucky white “line” of debris is that builds up when you wear lipstick. Never knew before and its presence was one reason I avoided lipstick. So now I realize what people were “blotting” their lips for! Never knew!

    I also realize that with lip color it shows every wrinkle in my lips so I must stay hydrated or it looks awful.

    Any pointers that are simple are appreciated. I am not going to be someone that lines and fills in their lips multitple times a day.

    • Anonymous :

      When I wear lipstick, it’s usually Revlon Colorstay Overtime because I cannot be bothered to keep reapplying it. I apply it over bare lips, and I use the gloss coat it comes with the first time, then just apply chapstick as that wears off. It stays on very well, even when I eat, especially if I reapply chapstick before eating. (If the chapstick has worn off, you can get crumbs stuck in the color, and it’s tough to get them out without messing it up.) You do have to keep your lips super-hydrated, though.

    • Anonymous :

      If I’m planning on wearing a matte lipstick, I’ll exfoliate first with a sugar scrub so it goes on really smoothly. Otherwise I just slap on colour and go. Never bother with liner. I usually buy creamy brands so I don’t need gloss or lip balm.

      Don’t overthink it!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I also use the Revlon Colorstay but don’t bother with the gloss coat because it feels gloppy to me. It lasts well enough.

      I would love to rock a bright lip but for some reason it just makes me look like a hag so I stick with more natural-looking colors.

    • Eeertmeert :

      Every night I apply a layer of Aquaphor on my lips before I fall asleep. My lips stay hydrated this way, and the tube lasts forever.

    • chapstick :

      I use tinted chapstick. It’s winter here and it helps my very dry skin. Also, adds just a tiny bit of color. On the down side, it doesn’t last super well. I basically keep a tube by my desk and reapply everytime I drink coffee.

    • Anonymous :

      What is this white line people are talking about?

    • Revlon balm stain in any color. They are great
      Tinted moisturizer drugstore
      Under eye concealer boing or revlon aging
      Mineral powder bare minerals
      Tubing mascara and curled lashes
      Brow pencil or gel or cream benefit or mac

      Above plus
      -gray black or brown liner rimmel
      -the balm or Burberry eyeshadow stick
      -bronzer or blush benefit brand
      -stila stay all day lip or revlon lip stain balm

  2. Under eye concealer, tinted moisturizer, blush, powder, natural-looking eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick. I have dark circles so makeup is necessary for me to not look tired. I have the same routine on the weekend minus the tinted moisturizer.

  3. Never heard about the white line. I use MAC Prep + Prime for lips.

  4. Did we know that The Limited’s clothing has been resurrected at Belk? This was news to me just now as I was browsing! They have petites and plus! I have half a dozen things in my cart right now.

    • Anonymous :

      !!!!! this is great!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m confused. What does this mean? I thought The Limited had just come back already. Or is this sort of like J.Crew being carried at Nordstrom now? I just haven’t heard of Belk before.

      • Anonymous :

        Not sure what it means for the Limited or if it’s similar to the J Crew deal , but Belk’s is a department store chain, mostly in the Southeast, similar to Macy’s or Dillard’s.

  5. Losing a loved one in the midst of crazy work schedule :

    My grandfather in China died suddenly this past Tuesday. I was in the middle of a major filing that just finished last night. Another team that I am on is really busy and the partners and seniors on that matter are not very happy with my unavailability so far. Although I have 5 days of bereavement leave I can take, and the funeral is on Saturday in China (will have to fly there from the US), I have decided not to take the bereavement leave or let anyone at my company know about my grandfather’s passing.

    Now I am feeling really guilty (even though I am already exhausted from working 60h+ this past week) about not being able to attend. I lived with this grandfather until I was 9, so throughout the day, I’ve getting flashbacks to memories of him from when I was growing up. My father passed away three years ago from a medical malpractice accident, so compared to that, the pain from this death is much lesser. All in all, I think it will just take me some time to stop having these flashbacks.

    However, would it make sense to take one day of bereavement on a Friday. I will still not be able to fly to China with just one day off, but it would be nice to have the day off to myself. However, I’m pretty sure the partners and seniors on one of my teams will not be happy about this. So I am inclined to not take any time off at all.

    Has anyone had to face handling the death of a family member in the middle of crazy busy work schedule?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Just take it. Take it.

      You teach people how to treat you, and it is insane to go through the death of a parent-figure (because that’s what this is) without even telling anybody about it.

      Take the 5 days and go to the funeral. Do it do it do it.

      Please. Please.

      One of my rules is “always go to the funeral” and it applies times a million here.

      • Yes.

      • +1 million to this

      • +1 million. Go! You owe it to yourself and you will be glad you did. Work will get over it. Don’t fall on your sword over this.

      • Even if it’s too late to make it to the actual funeral service, consider taking the time off and making the trip anyway. Sometimes the importance of the “funeral” is less about the actual service and more about going to where the person spent their life, remembering them, paying your respects, and spending time with family. (In fact, I think it’s legitimate to tell you coworkers you are going to the funeral even if you can’t get there in time for the actual service.)

        Think hard about whether you’re really in a frame of mind to work right now anyway. Even if you don’t realize it right now, grief is hard on the brain and your work is probably suffering. I hope you’ll at the very least tell your co-workers what is going on (and explain that you lived with him as a child so they understand this is a parent figure to you).

        This stuff is really hard. I’m sorry for your loss.

      • Agreed. I am a biglaw partner and I think you should take the leave and go to the funeral if you can still make it. If not, still go and grieve with family. This is important and your coworkers will be ok without you.

      • Agreed. Hug’s! Go. Don’t hesitate. You will never regret goeing. Only not goeing. I am worried that this will be me soon with Grandma Leyeh and Trudy both in their late 80’s, and not the same as they were 30 years ago. There is no way I am working when that happens. FOOEY on work!

      • I LOVE Senior Attorney’s comment “You teach people how to treat you.” I was talking to a friend earlier this week who got a kidney stone because she didn’t feel she had time to take bathroom breaks at work. I think that is absolute insanity, and I told her. Advocate for yourself as you would your clients. Go to the funeral, no apologies.

    • Anonymous :

      TAKE IT. You will regret not taking it. You won’t regret not killing yourself for people who won’t even remember you in 5 years.

      • +1
        Agree that you should take the 5 days and go.

        If you don’t want to go, at least take a few days for yourself to do your own bereavement.

        I had a local funeral on a weekend but taking an extra day helped me decompress from all the bereavement and family time.

    • I know this is not always actionable advice, but if your colleagues give you grief about bereavement leave for a parent-figure, it’s time to find another job.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I’m sorry about your grandfather. I really hope you go to the funeral.

    • Take time off. In 5 years, missing this couple of days isn’t going to matter. Missing your grandfather’s funeral/not taking even a day off to commemorate him will.

      Work will always be busy. Partners will always grouse about availability. But (ime) people will be more understanding than you think about the death of a close family member.

    • Anonymous :

      Your colleagues might also surprise you. I have worked for some partners with real reputations about being jerks, and across the board every single one of them has been respectful of associates on my teams taking the time they need around funerals. Many of them sent flowers or otherwise offered condolences.

      My grandfather died the weekend before the bar exam, and the funeral was the day I sat for the exam. I couldn’t go, and my family understood, and it was really, really hard.

      • Veronica Sawyer :

        My grandfather passed away in the middle of a major negotiation that I had been working on for MONTHS (NY biglaw). It was a Saturday night after I had spent 12 hours in the office that day and had been planning on going back in on Sunday. I took the bereavement leave. My partners and the associates who covered for me completely understood.

        That’s my actual experience, but from me to you – I’m so sorry for your loss. My grandfather was one of my best friends – it’s been 3 years now and I’m still tearing up writing this. Grieve how you need to – please at least take the day if not the trip to China. I didn’t go to my great-aunt’s funeral in college (it was just close family who I would see a few weeks later anyway), but I regret it to this day. Sending lots and lots of hugs.

    • Belle Boyd :

      First, I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

      I absolutely second every word Senior Attorney and LF have said here. Take the bereavement time. You are a human being who needs to deal with your grief and say your goodbyes to your grandfather. You are not a robot without feelings. LF is right — if your colleagues can’t allow you the time to go to your grandfather’s funeral and process your grief, that is not the place to be working.

      Funerals are important. That’s why we have them. They are a huge part of the grieving process. If you don’t go, you’ll likely regret it. Don’t put that weight on your shoulders. Take the time, go to the funeral. Your co-workers will deal with it. Trust me on this.

    • Anonymous :

      So sorry about your grandpa. +1 to the suggestion you attend the funeral.

      I was in your shoes with a coworker who asked for advice about taking time off for his grandma’s funeral during a super-hectic time. He did, our company understood, and he later told me he was grateful that I encouraged him.

    • I missed my mom’s funeral on a Friday. Traveled over the weekend and back to work Monday. Then got put on PiP shortly after because my manager felt I was not giving 100%. He took several months off with no notice when his wife got sick then passed away, and I picked up the slack, same for his previous boss who at the time was my boss, she disappeared for months twice.
      I will never get my mum back, it took me a long time to actually get into grieving mode.
      No job is worth it. Go bid your grandpa farewell and give yourself time to discuss your childhood memories, cry, dance, or even smell his clothes. Take care of yourself. No job is worth missing that.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry. I’m a junior associate so I understand where you’re coming from. But really– tell the people on your team what is going on. It’s so much more likely that they will be understanding if they know why you need time off. If it were me, I would take the time and go to China for the funeral.

    • Anonymous :

      If you don’t go to your grandfather’s funeral, you may regret it the rest of your life. My one regret is not going to see my grandmother before she passed – I had a chance to see her, I talked myself out of it. I would do almost anything to go back in time and change my decision. I would hate to see someone else make the same mistake. Go. Be there for your family. Work will always be there.

    • One of my biggest regrets today is that I did not go to my grandmother’s funeral in China. Looking back, it was really stupid. I was in high school, and it was just at the start of the varsity tennis season, and I was a junior or something so I wanted to do really well. The death happened suddenly and a decision had to be made quickly. My mom just flew to China by herself. I also lived with this grandmother for extended periods of time while I was growing up. Given the special relationship (this was not just a grandparent but someone who was your primary caretaker who you lived with) you should try to go and people will understand.

  6. Clementine :

    I wear makeup most days. Bare minimum is foundation, brow pencil and mascara as I have very light brows and lashes.

    Average workday is foundation and underage concealer (set with powder in the summer), RockStud rose gold blush, eye shadow, liquid liner on top only, lazy ‘not really highlighting’ with a laura mercier sponge tipped pen, brows, mascara, and chapstick. Sounds like a lot but takes maybe 5 minutes.

    For big meetings, I spend more time on my eyes and curl my lashes. I also tend to spend more time on my hair – usually I fake a blow out using a straightener.

  7. Kat, did you realize you and AAM have basically the same open thread today?
    Great minds, I guess!

  8. Mrs. Jones :

    Light foundation, concealer, one shade of eyeshadow, eyeliner, lash primer, mascara, blush, and lipstick.

    • Anonymous :

      This is good to hear. I always feel like I should be using multiple shades and be more creative.

  9. Anonymous :

    Thanks to everyone who commented on my post about getting a sonohyst today. It was fairly painful but only for about a minute, and my doctor was wonderful (and a wonderful nurse held my hand). The results were negative — no polyps, growth, nothing unusual. So now I am going to go back in next week so she can check if I am ovulating or about to ovulate, and if I am not, I may need to take some kind of meds to tell my body to ovulate. But the doctor did not seem worried.

    Also, I heard her telling the nurse that I had 6 or 7 follicles on each ovary. I’m trying not to google so I don’t drive myself crazy, but in your experience — is that normal?

    • Start following the reddit subs trying for a baby, still trying and infertility. You will learn so much. The number of overall follicles doesn’t mean much. What matters is how many mature large enough to produce an egg. Those are the ones that count. You will have different amounts different cycles and depending on what meds you are on. You ideally want one mature one per cycle but if you are struggling to conceive, some people shoot for 2 or even 3 before an IUI. More than that, the risk of multiples is too great and the procedure is usually cancelled. For IVF, you take lots of meds to make as many mature follicles as possible to collect as many eggs as possible.

      • The number of follicles is a way of measuring ovarian reserve. So having a lot of follicles in this circumstance is a good thing!

    • Yes. (I think it’s often actually a positive sign.)

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Lots of follicles is totally good. Do not worry.

    • Ask your doctor! There’s nothing wrong with calling and asking. They should have told you at the time, but a lot of times they don’t.

      • (I should add that if it was anything abnormal I think they would have told you. So no need to worry, but I’ve found that doctors often don’t explain things well unless specifically asked.)

  10. I wear less as I’ve gotten older. More confident in my own appearance and less fussed about looking “perfect” for regular workdays.

    Routine at 25: Concealer, base, eyeshadow primer, eyeliner, two colors of eyeshadow, brow product, mascara, blush, lip gloss.

    Routine at 33:
    Always – Light moisturizer, concealer, one neutral color of eyeshadow, brow product, mascara, blush, chapstick
    Big day – add BB cream, eyeliner, lipliner and real lipstick

  11. light moisturizer w/ sunscreen
    some sort of Burt’s Bees with color
    Bare Minerals b/c I still have oily skin

    no mascara @ work b/c I’m a brunette and wear classes to read and the mascara litter is very noticeable against my skin

    examine brows — tweeze / fill in random patch that seems to be thinning out

  12. Dr. Jart’s color correcting cream, tinted lip balm, and eyebrow mascara, daily, add under-eye concealer if I feel like I look like a zombie in the morning. I used to wear eye liner and mascara on my lashes too, but my allergies have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and my eyes can’t tolerate it for a whole day anymore.

    I wear blush, lipstick, and full eye make up to go out in the evening if I feel like bothering, which isn’t very often.

  13. Anonymous :

    I work in a tiny office and IDGAF, so I only put on eyebrows and MAYBE mascara for work. I actually love makeup but it’s reserved for going out and dressing up. If I had a forward-facing role or important meetings I would maybe consider wearing more, but I don’t.

    • Anonymous :

      Also want to add that I never wear foundation or any kind of cover up unless I have a pimple. This is one of the benefits of being a skincare freak. My skin is nice on its own.

      • Anonymous :

        If I had to guess I’d say you’re in your 20s. Oh, how I miss the days when I needed no foundation.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m in my mid, edging towards my late, thirties and don’t need foundation.

          • Same, my skin is better now than in my 20s, and I super do not care if my skin doesn’t look “perfect”. Keeps my innards in place, it’s pretty good imo.

        • Nope. 33. My skin is better now than in my 20s.

      • Hmmm, I take great care of my skin but I still break out occasionally and have hyper pigmentation. I wouldn’t assume that women who have skin issues and need foundation don’t take good care of their skin. Just saying – your comment came off as rude.

    • I work in a huge office and idgaf. I used to wear eyeliner everyday, and then it became eyeliner + lipstick. Now it’s just moisturizer and sunscreen. I only wear foundation to weddings and holidays.

  14. Anonymous :

    I love makeup, but I’m an all or nothing type of person. If I don’t have time to go all out, I only wear a CC cream and sunscreen plus Trader Joes brand chapstick.

    Otherwise its eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, contouring, blush…rarely lipstick. I smear it everywhere and have thin lips, so I’m not a fan.

    My colleagues are used to my all or nothing routine! I always put on makeup for meetings. If I’m in the office at my desk all day, I frankly don’t care.

    • naijamodel :

      This is basically me! I either wear a full face (foundation, concealer, powder, brow pencil, mascara, eyeliner, blush, lipstain) OR I come in with moisturizer and sunscreen on, showing acne, hyper-pigmentation and minor eczema.

      I keep a bag of makeup in my desk for surprise meetings, or if I have one meeting that day I may put my face on just before that. Takes me 10 minutes. My colleagues have learned to deal either way.

  15. Under eye concealer, Bare Minerals powder, blush, curl eye lashes, mascara.

    I’d like to become a person who wears lipstick, but it’s hard to break out of my routine. And one day recently when I did wear lipstick an older male coworker asked who I was trying to impress.

    • Eeertmeert :

      What an obnoxious comment! My eyes just rolled so hard my retinas got whiplash.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Well he seems like a peach :(

      I also wanted to become Someone Who Wears Lipstick and now I am. I started with pretty sheer tinted balms and wore lipstick more on the weekends/going out. I played around with drugstore options (Wet n Wild $2 lipstick FTW) until I found colors that I liked. So much of it is the hurdle of getting used to seeing yourself with lipstick.

  16. Blonde Lawyer :

    There is a very similar question on Ask A Manager today.

  17. Anonymous :

    I wear makeup to work probably 50% of the time. I’m more conscious about wearing it when I’m really tired or have a meeting with the executive suite. I’m young for my job and some natural makeup does make me look more “polished” and gives me a little more gravitas.

    5 minute “normal” makeup routine in order of application: liquid eyeliner, mascara, BB cream, pressed powder, bronzer, blush

    10 minute “interview” makeup: I add eyelid primer, neutral eyeshadow, and undereye concealer to the above routine.

  18. Unless lip balm (not tinted) and moisturizer count, I wear no makeup at all for work. I’ve put on lipstick for a big presentation, but that’s it. I put my primping energy, such as it is, into skin care, hair care, and selecting my clothes and having awesome glasses. I used to loooooooove makeup, but it’s not a priority to maintain these days.

    • Anonymous :

      I envy you. I have (genetic) under eye circles and uneven redness on my face, so I get the “are you ok?” comments when I go without makeup.

      • I’m pretty fortunate to have high contrast between my skin and features (pale skin, dark hair, dark eyes, dark lips, defined eyebrows), and my glasses definitely do some of the lifting for me. But I do have redness in my skin and have decided to just live with it because I hate foundation desperately. I feel like some of it is setting others’ expectations: If I never wear makeup, everyone knows what I look like without it.

  19. Eeertmeert :

    I have a lot of acne scarring and redness, so I even out my skintone with some BB cream/medium coverage liquid or powder foundation (otherwise I look as though I have a rash all over my face).
    Mascara, sometimes one eyeshadow color or eyeliner (not both). Always brows (mine are fair) and blush or bronzer.
    Lips are tinted balm, cream or matte lipstick in either a mlbb or bold color, depends on my mood.

    Takes me about 5 – 10 minutes to do all this and my hair.

    Bare minimum: powder foundation, mascara, brows, blush, tinted lip balm.

    Also, I love makeup and will never apologize for wearing it. I maybe wish I had smooth, perfect skin, but you would still have to pry my mascara, blush & brow pencil from my cold, dead hands. Harumph.

    Fancy dress up: liquid foundation set with powder, neutral eyeshadow, mascara,brows, blush, strong lip.

  20. Rainbow Hair :

    I do a very thinned out foundation (as in, I put a drop of foundation in my moisturizer to be “tinted moisturizer” I guess) and eyebrows every day. Lately certain colors near my face have been making me look… idk, not as bright/awake as I want to be? … so I’ve been trying to do something on my eyes like a little darker shadow in the crease or some mascara or liner. Just something.

    I’ve been wearing lipstick lately, most days at least, because it’s fun and I decided that people should be used to seeing me in it, so I don’t get that “who are you trying to impress?” nonsense.

  21. Fellow depression sufferers, talk to me here. In 2016, my GP put me on Paxil…and it just stopped working about 15 months in. I saw a psychiatrist and she weaned me off the Paxil and put me on Zoloft. I’ve done everything I can think of to help the depression – clean eating, supplements, exercise, and prayer – but I’m afraid to admit to my doctor that now, after 6 months of me telling her, “Yeah, things are pretty good,” that things aren’t great. I have absolutely no motivation to do even the simplest tasks, getting me to socialize with anyone other than my husband requires major self-coaxing, and I’m mentally exhausted even though my job’s in a big lull right now. (I’ve had a physical – everything’s in good shape.)

    I’m afraid this is the beginning of Zoloft just not working for me. The transition from Paxil to Zoloft was so traumatic that I really don’t want to try switching drugs again. Nor do I want to take a higher dose of Zoloft because we’re TTC starting in May. I’m afraid of looking foolish in front of my doctor (things were “fine” and now they’re not), afraid of harming our future child, afraid of never getting to see my old self again who used to be outgoing and energetic (…5 years ago). Tell me this gets better?

    • Anonymous :

      It is really, really normal to go through several drugs throughout a course of treatment. There is no shame, you won’t look foolish. It just means that you haven’t found the right drug yet. Your doctor’s job is to help you with this. If you don’t bring it up to your doctor, you won’t get better.

    • BelleRose :

      That can be so hard to be doing so well and then feel like things are slipping away from you again! Especially with the added stress of TTC. Hang in there!!! <3 <3 <3

      One thing for sure is don't be afraid of telling your doctor! When we get into depression zone, it can feel like we are a failure for having depression…NOT TRUE!!! If you tell your doctor exactly what you just said ("I was doing okay, but now not so much for these reasons…"), they will not judge you — and if they do, you need a different doctor asap — but their immediate first response will be "how can we make this better?" Also, talk with them about your TTC concerns asap; they've certainly dealt with pregnant women before, and have an idea of the best medications and treatments.

      One thing to consider…last time you felt like this, was it around wintertime? Some people have seasonal affective disorder, where their depression is worse in the winter and better in the spring. Certainly true in my grey, grey city! If so, talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplements or even Wellbutrin.

      Best wishes with everything!

    • Are you relying only on medicine or do you have a therapist? Therapist in conjunction with the medicine will be far more useful.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh, I have something to contribute! I went in after a few months on Zoloft with a similar thing, and the doctor was like, “oh yeah, this happens” and slightly tweaked my dose. It really helped.

      My understanding is that Paxil is one of the ones that it’s really brutal to go off of — Zoloft less so. (But I’m not a doctor and have no experience with Paxil, so what I’m saying is not highly valuable.)

    • Depression meds do sometimes lose effectiveness over time. I’ve been through quite a few over the last 20 years.

      Also, sometimes your circumstances change and something that was working fine isn’t sufficient for the new situation.

      Also also, the last time my meds quit working and I switched, wow! I was so glad it quit so that I found out how much better the new one is! The old one just got me from depressed to functional; the new one got me from depressed to NOT.

      Your doctor won’t think you’re foolish if you say “This was working okay, but now it’s not cutting it.”

      • Thank you all so much! Internet hugs. I have a routine appt with my dr in a couple weeks and I’ll mention this to her.

        Parfait, when you said “from depressed to functional” vs “depressed to NOT”, it was like a light bulb! I’m functional, but I’m not all set.

        And Rainbow Hair, thanks for your words about Zoloft dosage. Maybe that’s just the thing for me too.

        BelleRose, your words were so kind <3. I certainly do need some more sunlight in my life!

  22. BelleRose :

    everyday: under eye concealer, slight contour/blush, powder, mascara, brows if they need it. I am also the one who wears lipstick almost every day; my favorite is Revlon ColorStay “Stay Currant.” (~3min)

    interview/super professional: add taupe eyeshadow, not-quite-as-bold lipstick (~5min)

    going out: eyeshadow, eyeliner, heavier contour/blush, BOLD lip color. Takes…who knows how long? depends how much fun I’m having playing dress up :)

  23. I wear a “professionally” done face of makeup. It’s cultural, I can’t do BB cream and go out.
    Professional here refers to my makeup application skills, I can use at least 10 products and still look subtle instead of key and contoured. Had to learn this during different acne phases (normal acne, accutane 1, accutane 2, hormonal acne)

    • Metallica :

      Samesies. My mother would let me hear about it if I went about without my face on. But I really, really enjoy makeup–I wear a “full face” every day, and love special occasions and travel because I go nuts. When I went to India, I did my level best to imitate Bollywood makeup (which I LOVE) every day. I kind of wish I worked in a less conservative environment so I could indulge myself in this department a bit more on the daily–bolder colors, etc.

      • Metallica :

        …why is this in mod?

      • haha my mother would also comment about why are your eyes so pale (from not wearing khol) or do something for these satellite dishes (referring to ears that don’t have earrings on)… oh sweet childhood…

  24. Anonymous :

    A light foundation, blush, eyebrow filler, mascara, and black honey lipstick

    When I ramp up for a big meeting I add some neutral eyeshadow and eyeliner.

  25. Minimum: nothing. I have an elaborate skin care regime and wear 50 SPF every day and my eyebrows are dark and thick, eyelashes dark and long, so I dont feel like I “need” anything.

    That being said, I loooove make up, so half my days are:

    Dr. Jart BB cream with a little bit of concealer under my eyes and on any pimples, pressed powder, swipe of blush, burts bees tinted lip gloss and a swipe of diorshow mascara

    Other half of days:

    Face: Smashbox primer; dior concealer (under eyes, down the sides of nose, cheeks where redness develops and any pimples), dior airflash foundation applied with a brush; a liquid highlighter on cheekbones and by brows; laura mercier pressed powder; blush.

    Eyes: line the bottom water line with Marc Jacobs nude for me color; Urban Decay primer on the lids, Marc Jacobs black eyeliner top and bottom (I omit this many days); Urban Decay “Naked 2” palette eye shadow; benefit gimme brow swiped on brows (I dont need to pencil, but if I did, I would); I do one swipe of mascara, then curl, then apply mascara again (Diorshow) to top and bottom lashes.

    Lip: I exfoliate with a sugar scrub then apply any of a number of lipsticks, lip crayons or glosses. Often a rich or bold color, sometimes neutral, depending on my mood, my outfit, the season and my schedule. I havent figured out how to use liner yet.

    • Anonymous :

      I am out of Gimme Brow and you can’t currently buy it because of some manufacturing issue and it is ruining my face.

  26. I have a history of acne that is mostly cleared up now, but I do have some scarring. I also have light redness on my nose.

    This is my routine every day, even weekends
    Diorskin nude B.B. cream
    Tr1sh mcev0y eye base essentials (my only eyeshadow)
    Stila liquid liner in moss
    Tr1sh high volume mascara (a Tubey type)
    A quick sweep of tarte blush (I have a palette so I change up the color)
    Laura mercier sheer lipstick in healthy lips

    I reapply the lipstick after eating. Everything else stays put. I only put more makeup on if I’m going out after work, in which case I may add more B.B. cream if needed, and will usually use a Bobbi Brown plum colored fat pencil on my lash line and lightly under the outer corner of my eye.

    • I forgot to add brow pencil. I use Clinique in medium brown and then brush through with a spoolie brush

  27. biglawanon :

    Based on the other comments here, I must wear a lot of makeup to work. I like wearing makeup. I am in biglaw, but my firm has a “you do you” culture with no dress code, so you get everything from jeans/hoodies/flipflops to true business casual like dresses/pencil skirts/blazers/silk blouses. I do more the latter.

    For makeup, I do moisturizer/foundation/loose powder, tightline with a black, brown, blue, or green pencil, 3-4 shades of eyeshadow sometimes muted sometimes bright, blush, finishing powder, and lipstick sometimes bright (have a shade like in the photo, but also love red) and sometimes nude depending on the rest of my look. I love eyelashes. Sometimes I have eyelash extensions, and when I don’t often wear falsies of a moderate length. Although I bought a blue mascara recently that is amazing and wear that sometimes.

    For “big days” like court or depos I wear less makeup, not more. Stick to moisturizer/foundation/loose powder, only earthtone/grey shadows, blush, and a nude lip. Just simple black mascara if not wearing extensions.

  28. Oh so anon :

    Daily: moisturizer, primer, foundation, powder, brow gel, mascara, lipstick. I add clear lip liner (urban decay) with lipsticks that are prone to feathering. Special occasions get highlighter on cheek and brow bones and winged eyeliner.

  29. Anonymous :

    I have terrible skin (oily + acne + dry in spots + wrinkles), so my makeup routine consists of

    Heavy moisturizer on the dry spots
    Undereye moisturizer
    Green primer
    Green concealer on any particularly awful blemishes
    Pink concealer under eyes
    Skin-colored concealer over green and pink concealers
    Urban Decay [email protected] Skin foundation, applied as thinly as possible with a brush
    Setting powder
    Bronzer and highlighter to put back the contour that the foundation took out
    Eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara to make my small eyes look bigger
    Lip liner to contain lip color
    Some sort of subtle lip color–tinted balm, Clinique Almost Lipstick, etc.

    With the exception of the eye makeup, I don’t even want anyone to notice that I am wearing makeup. The goal is just to make my awful skin look halfway normal.

  30. cake batter :

    Under eye concealer (YSL touch eclat), lash curl + mascara (orange Cover Girl), gel blush (Pixi from Target), tinted lip balm when I remember, and light brow pencil. Thinking of getting microblading so I can skip the brow pencil step.

  31. I get bummed out when people imply that if I just took better care of my skin, I wouldn’t “need” makeup. Look, dudes, I’m trying. But I’m blessed with dark undereye circles and rosacea (both inherited). I’ve been dealing with this since my late teens, and trust me, skincare only does so much. Why should I feel bad for wearing makeup to even things out and make me look brighter? For whatever it’s worth, my skin is actually *better* when I wear makeup regularly. All that sunscreen and vitamin-whatever added to my foundation is apparently doing something.

    • Me too. Also have dark circles and rosacea which got worse in my 30s

    • Eeertmeert :

      Exactly! As I mentioned above, if I don’t even out my skin tone using cosmetics I look like I have an angry rash all over my face. Theres no rash! It’s just scarring!

      I have a great skincare regimen that improves the quality and texture of my skin, so I am happy for that. But I drew the short stick in this genetic department, and it will take a long time to reverse the hyper pigmentation and damage.

      My face started breaking out at 10 and just recently got a handle on the active breakouts. I’ve had years and years (and more years!) of looking in the mirror at red, blotchy, pimply skin. It’s not fun.

      Having soft, even looking skin helps me feel confident.

      It’s fine if those born with good to passable skin don’t get it, but it’s annoying to hear how I Shouldn’t Have To when I Want To.

      I want to experience what it feels like to not be self conscious of my skin. I think we’ve earned it!!

      :steps off soapbox:

    • Anonymous :

      I take great care of my skin (really) and I still need makeup. I have broken capillaries (genetic) and as I’ve gotten older, my skin tone has gotten uneven and my lips have gotten paler. I just look better with makeup. I make no apologies for wearing it.

  32. Linda from HR :

    BB cream, brown eyeliner, mascara, berry cheek stain, highlighter, and lipstick. My choice, I could certainly wear less if I wanted to, I could also wear a little eyeshadow if I wanted to but I still need to brush up on my application skills.

  33. I used to put on more noticeable makeup, since I look younger than I am and I tend to be the youngest in the department. Then my skin got way better and now I go with no-makeup makeup because I finally can.

    Work (regardless of big meetings): BB cream, under eye concealer, mascara (up to 3 products), brow pencil/tinted gel, blush, dab on lipstick (I hate noticeable lines), maybe powder

    Going out: eyeshadow and highlighter

    All other occasions: no makeup, just skincare (My bf hates makeup on me and I got used to not wearing makeup when I’m not at work)

    To be fair, I am a skincare junkie.

    Hair routine: wash and dry at night, wake up, part hair and tuck behind ears (to be fair, my hair is easy to manage when it’s long and looks better when I don’t do much with it)

  34. Moisturizer and spf
    Undereye concealer
    Spot concealer
    One color cream eyeshadow
    Brush brows
    Tinted lip balm
    Pressed powder on t zone

  35. Biglaw (but small office) and IDGAF. I wear my hair wet to work, I assure you I’m not wasting time on makeup. I put on moisturizer plus Neutrogena mineral sheers pressed powder to even out my psoriasis, which takes less than 30 seconds to swipe on. I stopped wearing lipstick outside of work because I like to kiss my husband a lot and he hates lipstick prints (and anything smudge proof is too drying), and that’s spilled over into my work life. For a very, very special occasion or family portrait session, I pull out the foundation stick from my wedding (which I probably need to replace given how long its been), blush, eyeshadow trio palette (and I use the dark to make a liner with some primer), mascara and lipstick.

  36. mAd Woman :

    I work for an ad agency. I wear a full face every day: primer, foundation, setting powder, eyeshadow, eyeliner, contour, blush, highlighter, mascara, brow gel, finishing spray and lipstick. I don’t really change anything for big days.

  37. I wear makeup to work everyday. I feel
    Unpolished if I don’t wear it. I wear primer, a medium coverage foundation, undereye concealer, regular concealer, loose powder, a light contour powder, blush, a subtle highlight, eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow, brow pencil (applied subtly), brow gel, mascara, tinted lip balm.

  38. ALWAYS Dr. Jart’s BB cream (for moisturizer and very thin foundation/under eye)
    tinted chapstick or clinique chubbies

    EXTRA eyeliner & eyeshadow, highlighting/contouring.

  39. I, personally, cannot imagine showing up to work without a “full face” of makeup, but my routine takes me 5-10 minutes, tops. For spring/summer makeup, I even out my skin tone with tinted moisturizer and a light-coverage concealer, set with powder, do a light contour with a bronzer/blush/highligher palette, fill in my brows, apply a neutral eyeshadow all over my lids, line the top, curl my eyelashes and apply mascara, and swipe on a sheer rosy lip color (all Bobbi Brown).

  40. I do not wear makeup to work, I do not wear makeup to job interviews, and I did not wear makeup while campaigning for public office last year. I just don’t believe in it and as an older person I am trying to set a good example for the younger generation. Makeup should not be required for women.

    One exception I make is if I have a noticeable blemish, I will cover it up with concealer sometimes. I also wear a small amount of makeup for dress-up occasions and also when I appear in stage productions of various kinds.

  41. Anonymous :

    I used to not wear anything at all, and decided to try it out and see if I liked it. I’ve been building up over time. Work: concealer, BB cream mixed with moisturizer, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, brow gel, lip gloss. I’m working on getting used to lipstick and wearing it more frequently.
    Weekends: moisturizer with a drop of highlighter, lip balm.

  42. Very little actual ‘makeup.’ I wear bb cream w/spf, tinted lip balm that I also dab on my cheeks, clear brow and lash gel. Eyeliner and black mascara when I’m fancy.

  43. A lot, lately :

    Eyebrow pencil
    Tinted moisturizer
    Shadowstick in two colors
    Two kinds of blush
    Makeup fixative spray

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