December 5th, 2007
In the book Drop Dead Brilliant, Lesley Everett, described by her publisher as “the United Kingdom’s leading professional branding expert,” writes:
It is a fact that women who wear make-up in business generally get better jobs, get promoted more quickly and get paid more… in a survey, 64 per cent of directors said that women who wore make-up look more professional and 18 per cent of directors said that women who do not wear make-up “look like they can’t be bothered to make an effort.”
Well, colo(u)r me not making an effort. I wear makeup so infrequently that when I do I feel like a mime. But before you cry foul! blasphemy! sexism! know that men are not immune in Everett’s perfectly quaffed pod-person workworld:
Men also need to consider make-up, which is something they should be aware of for diminishing minor skin imperfections that could be distracting. Foundation or base make-up should be considered if your skin tone is uneven or blotchy, and certainly if you are presenting under bright lights or making a TV appearance. Always apply your base after a moisturiser. Choose a colour close to your natural skin tone and you will give your skin a healthy and natural appearance.
Everett certainly isn’t the first career consultant (or whatever you call someone who’s making a living by telling people they need to go shopping) to say that image is everything, and I’ll be the first to admit that in some circles it is, however stupid or unfair. I quoted an HR expert saying as much in this article. And I’ve certainly been known to wash my hair and wax my eyebrows and use deoderant before a public reading or TV interview.
But in the interest of not making an effort, I’ll stay the hell away from cookie-cutter corporate cultures that won’t let me wear my worn-out jeans and hand-screened T’s to meetings. And if I have to meet a client face to face (which rarely every happens, thanks to the interweb), I will take a few extra seconds to throw a beloved vintage blazer over the whole ensemble. More often than not, I’ll be the one who’s overdressed for the meeting.
Entry Filed under: Coffee break