Want to get promoted this year? Harvard says wear this makeup


So I hear you’re killing it at work, babe. Your presentations are slick. Your minions love you, and your bosses ask you more questions than you ask them. Basically, you’re a boss. So why aren’t you being offered a seat upstairs?

Like it or not, image is important in the workplace and your makeup can make or break your chances at a promotion.

A long line of research has shown that makeup can affect the way others see you, for better or worse. In 2013, managers were asked if not always wearing makeup to work or meetings would  be bad for promotion prospects and two thirds of them said it would. Now, a recent study conducted by Harvard and Boston University researchers can tell us how to make sure others see you for the better.

What they found was that wearing makeup greatly boosts how competent you look over not wearing any at all. A professional look with red power lips, groomed eyebrows and eyeliner, makes you more likable, while a natural look where you skip the red lipstick and eyeliner makes you look more trustworthy.

Researchers also found that the glamorous look makes you look less trustworthy than any of the other looks. So, maybe don’t wear your go to smoky eye and big blush to the office even if you are feeling particularly perky.

That look that will help you bag that promotion? Stick to the natural, but professional. That means light, approachable and well groomed.

So how do you achieve this?

  1. Keep you brows well groomed, but light. Maybe channel a little less Lily Collins.
  2. With the eyes, stick to natural eye shadows. Some shimmer is OK, but glitter is a definite no no. Top it off with dark brown mascara and brown eyeliner. This way you can still frame your eyes, without being too imposing.
  3. Keep blush minimal and contour around the cheeks and around the forehead. Avoid the neckline and under the chin, we don’t want to go for Jay Leno.
  4. Finally, use a light (but not bright) pink matte lipstick with beige undertones. Make sure the edges of your lips are well defined, but avoid using lip liner that’s darker than the lipstick.

And then all that’s left to do is to keep rocking your workplace like a boss!


In an ideal world, your makeup shouldn’t affect how you work, but while the system is like this, why not game it?

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