women

We're Talking About Making Up

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How much do you rely on your make-up to boost your confidence at work?

Description: Making Up

Would you rejoice at the idea of never again having to waste precious time putting your face on every morning?

Imagine the scenario. You’re happily ploughing through emails at work when you receive a memo from your boss announcing a company-wide ban on employees wearing ANY make-up in the office. Now ask yourself honestly, how would you react? Would you rejoice at the idea of never again having to waste precious time putting your face on every morning? Or would you immediately start typing out your resignation letter before anyone could force you to go bare-faced in front of colleagues? The latter alternative might sound extreme, but with a recent survey revealing that 70 per cent of UK women wouldn’t feel confident going into work without a full face of make-up on, it might not be that far-fetched.

Added stress

Description: Added stress

But why is it that so many of us have now become dependent on your make-up bags to give us the confidence to go to work?

While more than half the women surveyed claimed they’d happily see their friends, family and partner without make-up on, it seems the notion of going bare-faced in the work arena is an entirely different matter, with 65 per cent rating it more stressful than attending a job interview. Even British heptathlete Jessica Ennis recently confessed to always earing a full face of make-up to compete, explaining, ‘I definitely think if I look good, it makes me feel more confident’. Sounds logical enough, we’re sure you’ll agree. But why is it that so many of us have now become dependent on your make-up bags to give us the confidence to go to work?

Face value?

With recent UK unemployment figures showing women are losing their jobs at a disproportionately greater rate than men, there’s never been greater pressure on us girls to demonstrate we’re more than competent in our work. Unfortunately, this pressure can mean that, for many women, showing signs of fatigue, stress and even ageing just aren’t an option, making us reach for the Touche Éclat faster than you can say Job Seekers Allowance.

Description: Showing signs of fatigue, stress and even ageing just aren’t an option

Showing signs of fatigue, stress and even ageing just aren’t an option

‘There’s also an assumption that for women, good grooming equates to doing a good job,’ says make-up artist Sarah-Hane Froom. ‘But there’s a strange dichotomy at play. While women are expected to look awake, bright and glowing, they also shouldn’t look like they’re wearing a “mask”. Last year, a study found that one in three bosses think female employees wear too much make-up, for instance.’

Description: They also shouldn’t look like they’re wearing a “mask”.

They also shouldn’t look like they’re wearing a “mask”.

Whether our desire to look healthy and radiant comes from within – or from a perceived pressure from employers – it seems the old adage of ‘less is more’ still applies to make-up. Considering that the top reason given for using cosmetics is to ‘cover imperfections like dark circles and spots’, we also can't help but wonder if we should all be focusing more on leading healthier lifestyles in the first place, rather than having to spend so much time (an average of 21 minutes to apply a full face of make-up every morning) masking the evidence of a poor diet, lack of sleep and high stress levels. Why not give it a try? In addition to boosting your health and looks, it’d be worth it just to cut down on your monthly spend at the beauty counter!

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