The transition from student to career girl is a difficult one for most girls. You’re suddenly plunged into a world of desk sitting from 9-5, when not too long ago you were constantly on your feet walking from class to class. Not only is your schedule different, but the days of waking up and throwing on your college hoodie are over. Now you’re expected to look professional from head to toe. What’s a girl to do? Whether you just started your first job, you need some help dressing for your next interview or you just want to try out a new look, here are some tips for giving yourself a career-ready makeover.
Professional Curls, Coils and Waves
Most ladies are under the impression that textured hair is unprofessional. This is false. Frizzy, unkempt and un-styled hair is unprofessional — not because it’s textured, but because it shows that you put little to no effort into your hair. The same could be said for straight hair. So how do you get perfectly styled curls that convey your confidence? The key is caring for your curls with a well devised regimen.
- Add a leave in conditioner to your regimen: Leave-in conditioner can reduce frizz and add moisture and can help you get a clean, polished appearance.
- Reactivate your styling agent in the morning: You don’t need to wash your hair every morning to get that freshly styled look. Instead, use a mist of water or a spray such as Kinky-Curly Perfectly Polished to get first-day-looking curls on the second day.
- Add a finishing product to your regimen: To ensure that your hair looks neat and professional, apply a finishing product after styling. If you have wavy or curly hair, often a light serum is enough. However, if you’re hair is coily, try the Original Moxie Hair Shine Pomade.
- When all else fails, pull the hair away from your face: Most employers would agree that hair hanging in your face is the most unprofessional look you can wear to the office. If you’re having a bad hair day, remedy it by taking the strands closest to your face and pinning them behind your head. Get creative with a curly updo or a coily updo to make an old twist out look fabulous and professional.
Read More: The Politics of Hair
Makeup for the Office
A good rule of thumb for appropriate office makeup is to keep it simple. You don’t want anything flashy that screams "I’m going clubbing right after this." You want to look gorgeous, but not unecessarily glamorous. As with the hair, a well done face shows that you sacrificed time to look presentable. For those sales driven jobs that require face time with prospective clients, looking presentable is even more important.
- Cover up blemishes: Use a long lasting foundation that can cover up blemishes for the entire work day.
- Finish with light powder: Cover a shiny nose with a light layer of powder.
- Use a rosy blush: A rosy or natural-looking blush will help you look energized and ready for the day. It will look the most natural if its close to the natural warmer tones in your skin.
- Stick to neutral eye shadows: Use brown, beige or pearl eye shadows that will help you look awake, but won’t draw too much attention to your eyes.
- Use natural-looking lip color: Stay away from glossy reds or purples that are too conspicuous. Go for colors that almost almost match your actual lip color.
- Don’t forget the eyebrows! It may seem unnecessary, but clean, well groomed eyebrows show attention to detail that employers appreciate.
For some reason, people believe the phrase “professional attire” is synonymous with “boring.” But looking presentable doesn’t mean sticking to white button up blouses and gray slacks. You can still be unique and dress professionally. Take a look at this professional outfit – it’s stylish, colorful, and fit for the office. Next time you’re out shopping, look for these items to help you complete your career outfit makeover.
- Pencil Skirts: A solid black pencil skirt is a great fall back solution when you’re running out of fresh ideas, but colored pencil skirts are great for adding some fun to plain tops.
- Scarves: Tie them around the neck or drape them down your chest for a sophisticated look. If you can’t get away from monochromatic office look, throw in a multicolored scarf for a splash of color.
- Shoes: High heels are often the preferred office shoe because they’re professional and stylish. However, there’s nothing wrong with sporting comfortable flats or one inch heels. Look for pointy toed black flats – they’re the easiest way to look professional and be comfortable.
- Blazers: It’s good to always have a black blazer on hand, but next time you’re at the store, try looking for a blazer that really adds to an outfit. When paired with the right shoes, colored or pattern blazers can really pull an outfit together.