Making a great first impression at a job interview may play an important part in the hiring decision, and the right look (outfit, hair, and makeup) can certainly make a difference. While the best look to opt for can vary slightly depending on the job, a very simple but polished makeup look can ensure that your professionalism and skills (not your makeup) are going to get all the attention.

woman holding a makeup brush

Lilly Wallace

Things You'll Need


Step 1: Skin

Opt for a lightweight foundation or tinted moisturizer with light to medium coverage. Full-coverage foundations look great in photos, but in real life, and especially when fairly close to other people, it can give a “mask-like”, cakey look. If you need extra coverage to camouflage a pimple or scar, use concealer only on the blemish.

Step 2: Eyebrows

If your eyebrows already have a flattering shape that suits you well, use only some brow gel to keep the little hairs in place. If you need extra color, use a tinted brow gel. If you have bald spots in your eyebrows or if you need to correct their shape, use a brow pencil to fill in the gaps but keep a very light hand. Overly drawn-in eyebrows can become very distracting during a conversation.

woman brushing eyebrows

Lilly Wallace


Step 3: Eyes

Eye shadow

A job interview is definitely not the best occasion to choose colorful eyeshadows. Use only neutral colors like beige, brown, taupe, and gray, and avoid anything shimmery or glittery. Eye shadows with a luminous finish are fine, as long as they give only a subtle sheen. Opt for eye shadow that does not look very dark against your skin tone (like dark gray and black eye shadows on fair/light skin tones), as they may make your eye look too intense and dramatic for the occasion.

Eyeliner

If you like to wear eyeliner, opt for a dark brown, plum, or gray instead of black, and definitely avoid blue, green, and anything with shimmer or glitter. The line should be as close to the lash line as possible, and if you decide to wing it, the wing should not be elongated much.

Mascara

Apply one to two coats of mascara as you please. However, make sure that the lashes look natural and not clumped together with a “spidery” effect, as it may be distracting.

woman applying mascara

Lilly Wallace


Step 4: Cheeks

Choose the texture that better suits your skin type (generally cream for dry skin and powder for oily skin). Opt for a color that resembles the natural look of your cheeks when you’re flushing. Bright colors and shimmery products are a big no-no. You may also use a bronzing product that suits your skin tone, but make sure to apply it lightly.

woman applying powder to the face

Lilly Wallace


Step 5: Powder

If your skin is oily or partly oily, make sure to apply powder on those areas of your face that tend to get shiny. However, use just enough to prevent getting shiny, but do not overdo it, as it may give you a noticeable cakey look.

Step 6: Lips

Avoid any trendy, bright colors and choose a lip product that gives you enough color to enhance your lips but not enough to become the center of the attention. A rosey color works beautifully on most skin tones, but again, stay away from anything shimmery. Tinted lip balms work well for this purpose as they enhance the lips and keep them comfortable and moisturized. Skip lip gloss as well, as glossy lips catch the light and may catch the attention of the people in front of you.

woman applying lipstick

Lilly Wallace

  • If your skin is oily, carry some blotting sheets in your purse to touch up your skin before the interview.
  • If your skin is very dry, carry a hydrating face mist with you to spritz your skin as needed.
  • If you have a big, distracting-looking blemish, carry concealer with you for touch ups.
  • Try to get a good night of sleep the day before the interview, as it will make your skin look brighter and your eyes more awake.