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Interview Makeup: Do’s, Don’ts & Best Practices

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Before you begin the interview process, there’s a lot of prep work you need to do. Part of that is figuring out how to present yourself in front of potential employers.

That includes everything from what outfit you wear to the eyeliner you put on. So, if you’re wondering about appropriate interview makeup, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll dive into what cosmetics are suitable for the workplace. We’ll also discuss what makeup trends to stay away from.

Should You Wear Makeup to an Interview?

There are a few rules that candidates have to follow when considering what to wear to an interview. Part of these guidelines discusses the cosmetics you wear.

Typically, it’s appropriate for job seekers to put on some makeup before walking into a meeting. However, this will depend on the type of interview you’re attending.

Some companies welcome cosmetics, while others have a major issue with them. For that reason, you have to be careful about how much makeup you wear.

You have to keep in mind that the employer will spend the majority of the meeting looking at your face.

That’s why it’s best to keep the makeup application simple and sophisticated. That way, the interviewer will be able to focus on your skills and achievements.

Interview Makeup Dos and Don’ts

Makeup is a major part of female attire for a casual interview. Unfortunately, figuring out the right look to apply can be tricky.

So, to eliminate some of the guesswork, we’ve compiled a list of what to do and trends to avoid.


Here are quite a few helpful makeup tips that’ll make getting ready before job interviews a breeze.

Match Your Foundation to Your Skin Tone

As we all know, the foundation is one of the most crucial parts of any beauty routine. That’s because this layer covers your entire face and neck.

To ensure that you look professional, make sure the foundation matches your skin tone.

Wearing the wrong shade may make an applicant seem like they have a mask on. That can signal that they have something to hide.

This will make it more difficult for the interviewer to connect with the candidate.

For that reason, it may be worth your while to spend a little time finding your foundation match. You can even ask the makeup artist at the cosmetic counter for help.

They can help you figure out your undertones, which will make the process easier.

Remember to Moisturize

Job interview applicants should always aim to look fresh and ready for any challenge. This can be a little tough to achieve after a long night of interview prep.

A quick solution to this problem is to use a good moisturizer. The cream will soften your skin and make you seem bright and alert.

This can boost your confidence and help you relax during the stressful meeting. Besides that, the lotion will help protect your skin from any cosmetics you put on afterward.

Even if you’re not a huge fan of makeup, a little tinted moisturizer, or BB cream, can go a long way. These can help hide blemishes and dark circles around the eyes.

Prepare for Blushing Under Pressure

Everyone has a different reaction to stress. Some people turn bright red as soon as their hearts start pumping.

This can give the interviewer the impression that the applicant is out of their depth. Because of that, it may be a good idea to plan ahead.

You can do that by wearing the correct foundation shade and by applying blush.

The colorful powder isn’t just a tool that gives you rosy cheeks, it can also hide imperfections. If you apply some blush, you can disguise the natural redness of your face.

As a general rule, it’s best to apply light dusting to the apples of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose.

Go Easy on the Lipstick

Lipstick is an excellent way to add a pop of color to your makeup look. Although, you have to go easy and be careful not to overdo it.

During an interview, it’s crucial that you maintain eye contact with the hiring manager. That can be challenging if they keep darting their eyes toward your lips.

For that reason, you should wear understated lipstick. For a formal interview, it’s best to pick a nude shade that matches your outfit.

On the other hand, in a more business casual setting, you have more color choices. For instance, you can go with a soft pink or a light brown.

Finally, avoid wearing a bold color like red lipstick. In addition, it’s best to leave out the gloss altogether.  

Wear Mineral Powder to Avoid Nervous Sweat

Mineral powder is a version of skin foundation. They both serve the same function, but they have different consistencies.

As you can guess by the name, the powder is a dryer formula. That means it can soak up some of the moisture and oils from your face.

This will help the makeup last longer and will make you seem more confident and alert.

Emphasize Your Brows

Your eyebrows take up a sizable portion of your face. Therefore, they’re one of the first elements the interviewer will see.

In addition, brows are essential to facial expressions. They can help people convey their feelings without saying a word.

For these reasons, all interview applicants must emphasize their eyebrows. The easiest way to do that is with a couple of tweezers and a bit of eye shadow.

Make sure to remove any stray hairs and clean up the brows first. Then, you can use a small makeup brush to gently add a little dimension.

This will help you stand out, but not too much.

Check Your Hairline

Once you’re done with your eyebrows, you can turn your attention to your hair. Most of the time, there are no strict rules as to what the hairline should look like.

The key is to keep it simple, with few to no strands covering your face. Typically, that means most applicants will go for a sleek ponytail or a classy bun.

If a candidate has a sparse hairline, they can use a little eye makeup to fill in any gaps.

Bring Touch-up Supplies

During the commute to the interview, there’s always a chance that something may go wrong. For example, the weather can be particularly windy or it may rain.

That’s why it’s important to have a touch-up kit on hand. This will help you fix any smudges or flaws that arise during the day.

All you need is a mineral powder compact, a fluffy brush, and lipstick. In addition, it may be a good idea to pack a few makeup wipes just in case.

Stick to Neutral Colors

Colors are an excellent way to express ourselves, but they can also be a source of distraction.

Overly flashy or bright colors can pull attention from the meeting. That’ll make it tougher for the interviewer to focus on what you have to say.

Because of that, neutral shades are usually the best way to go. They give you a chic look without disrupting the flow of the meeting.


Now that the dos are out of the way, we can move on to what not to do. This is a list of things to avoid wearing.

Wear Fake Eyelashes

Long eyelashes can make your eyes seem wider, which makes you look alert. So, adding false eyelashes may sound like a good idea, but that’s not the case.

The extensions add a dramatic flare to your makeup look, which may not be suitable for the interview. Plus, avoid clumpy mascara because it can make maintaining eye contact challenging.

Ideally, you’ll only need one or two coats of light waterproof mascara on your natural lashes.

Go Overboard With Eyeliner

Everyone has a preference for what their eyeliner should look like. Although, for an interview, simple is better.

Staying away from crazy wings and bulky eyeliner will help you leave a better impression. It’ll show the interviewer that you mean business.

Wear Anything Too Bold

As we mentioned before, there’s no place for flashy colors in a work environment. That includes your attire, accessories, and, of course, makeup.

So, avoid bright eyeshadows or bold blushes.


An interview may not be the right occasion to test out a new makeup look. If it goes wrong, the interviewer may have a hard time taking the candidate seriously.

Therefore, when in doubt, stick to a basic application with little experimentation.

Wear Lip Gloss

As humans, shiny surfaces have a tendency to grab our attention. That means when an applicant wears gloss, the interviewer won’t be able to look away from their lips.

This will hurt the candidate’s chances of landing the position.

Overdo the Perfume

Perfume can be a major source of distraction in the workplace. It’ll pull focus and disrupt the normal workflow.

So, if you want to spray on a nice scent, make sure it’s subtle.

Wear Highlighter

The main function of a highlighter is to bring out your cheekbones. Just like gloss, this creates a distracting shiny surface.

As you can guess, this isn’t all that appropriate for a work environment.

Do Your Makeup With Your Interview Outfit On

One of the biggest struggles people face when applying makeup is fallout. These are tiny specks of residue that cover your outfit after putting on cosmetics.

Generally, this isn’t all that noticeable unless there’s a lot of fallout. However, when you walk into an interview, you want to present a neat, clean overall look.

For that reason, it may be a good idea to do your makeup before you put on your interview outfit.

How to Do Your Interview Makeup

With the dos and don’ts out of the way, we can jump into how to apply your interview makeup. Here are a few tips you can follow to make the process go by faster.

  • Give yourself plenty of time
  • Begin the routine with skincare
  • Moisturize your skin and lips
  • Use a primer to smooth your skin and make sure the makeup lasts longer
  • Blend your foundation and concealer thoroughly
  • Wear a little blush
  • Go for a neutral color on the eye
  • Check the makeup application in different lighting
  • Put on your outfit after you’re done with the makeup

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Wear Lipstick to an Interview?

Interview applicants don’t have to wear lipstick, but they can. Although they should stick to subtle or neutral shades.

Is It Unprofessional to Not Wear Makeup?

Makeup isn’t essential to look professional. However, it can help enhance your natural tones and make you seem more alert.
This will boost your chances of connecting with the employer and landing your dream job.

Should You Wear Eyeliner to a Job Interview?

You can wear a little eyeliner for an interview, but you don’t have to. If you choose to put it on, keep the shape subtle and understated.

Should You Wear Makeup to a Zoom Interview?

Interview candidates should treat a video interview just like a traditional one. That means all the same rules about makeup apply to this process.

You don’t have to wear makeup, but you’re free to do so if you like.

Wrapping Up

Figuring out the best job interview makeup style to wear can be a little challenging. To make the process a little easier, there are a few dos and don’ts you can follow.

For starters, the dos include matching your foundation and applying moisturizer. Besides that, be sure to emphasize your brows and bring a touch-up kit.

As for the don’ts, they consist of wearing anything too bold, putting on lip gloss, and overdoing perfume.

Other than that, avoid experimenting with your makeup and wearing highlighter.

If you have any more interview makeup questions, be sure to leave us a comment.

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