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How to apply the right makeup for a job interview

Written by:  Michal Sasson

To supplement the written information contained in a résumé, candidates for a position are invited for a personal interview to get better acquainted; this is their chance to make an impression. I refer to women and men alike; nowadays I make up grooms as well as brides, since the right appearance is important to both sexes, especially facial appearance. In fact, after the résumé, this is our calling card in the first face-to-face meeting. This meeting can be critical in making a positive impression and getting the desired position. I will explain later how to improve your facial appearance and how to achieve the right look for a job interview, a look that showcases your personality and talents.

The right look for a job interview is presentable, conservative and elegant. Of course, the look and the makeup has to be appropriate for the desired position, but in all cases one has to be tidy and well groomed, clean and fresh-looking – makeup, styling and the total look. The main purpose of makeup for a job interview is to hide imperfections such as dark smudges, signs of fatigue, pigmentation and blemishes, and to emphasize good features in a natural, subtle way.

In some of the following stages, I will relate also to men.

The stages for a winning look for a job interview are as follows:

A clean face – men and women alike. The feeling of freshness and cleanliness is good for the skin, good for our feeling, and certainly important to properly prepare the face for makeup. I recommend using facial soap, because there's nothing like soap and water.

Moisturizer – preferably facial serum or primer, but any good moisturizing cream appropriate to the skin type is beneficial to both men and women for a healthy appearance and a pleasant feeling.

A smooth, even face provides a good, stable base, with a minimum of maintenance and repairs. This stage is relevant to both sexes, because we all have to cover up all kinds of imperfections in our skin, such as pimples, redness, pigmentation, signs of fatigue, and dark circles under the eyes. So, we'll start with a good foundation (either one containing sunscreen or, alternatively, a tinted moisturizer) in a shade that matches natural skin color, and smooth it over the face and neck, taking care to cover the area completely and evenly for a natural look. In places that require more coverage, such as blemishes, apply more makeup, but don't overdo it, and blend it in well. When time is short, I recommend a combination foundation-powder, because there's a big difference between properly applied foundation and none at all. This product is also good for touching up later in the day. To complete the coverage and hide signs of fatigue and dark circles under the eyes, apply concealer above and under the eyes, one shade lighter than the foundation.

To set the foundation and the concealer, for a long-lasting matte look, especially in our humid summers, dust powder all over the face and neck, especially in the T area; apply less powder to wrinkled areas.

It is preferable to emphasize the eyes more than the lips, because the desired look should be conservative and natural. Eye shadow is recommended for women who want to add a little color. Natural, light, neutral colors should be used – shades of brown, beige, peach and cream. Avoid shiny or sparkly shadows and go for a matte finish. If you're not used to using makeup, or don't have time, you can put blush also on your eyes. If you want to add a little more, you can apply eyeliner in a thin line on the upper or lower eyelids and smudge it a little with brown eye shadow. The finishing touch on the eyes will be mascara on the upper and lower lashes, in black or brown only.

Eyebrows should be "disciplined", forming a complete, shapely line. An out-of-place hair can be annoying and distracting. Because if the rest is neat and well-formed, why shouldn't the frame of the eyes be so as well?  Therefore, men and women who until now haven't shaped their eyebrows will now smooth gel on their eyebrows, comb them and apply a natural-brown pencil to fill in the missing spaces and shape symmetrical brows.

Liven up your cheeks. If you prefer brown shades, apply bronze blush to the cheek bone and a little on the temples, nose and jaw line. If you prefer less of a chiseled look and a more doll-like, subtle and fresh look, apply antique rose or peach blush to the fleshy part of the cheeks.

Healthy, natural-looking lips are essential to complete the look for men and women alike. For women, although we paid more attention to the eyes, we won't neglect the lips. Dry lips require ongoing care, and on the day of the interview, apply lip moisturizer. For men, that is the final step. Women can use a product that includes color, such as Lobello. Women may also use lipliner and lipstick in natural colors, or a subtle color that matches the blush.

Correctly applied makeup, far from looking like a mask or calling attention to itself, flatters the face, emphasizes natural beauty and adds vitality and color. It helps the candidate feel comfortable and confident and contributes to a successful outcome of the interview.

One final tip I always give my clients – take a small makeup bag with you for last minute touchups. It should include foundation/powder, blush, lipstick and a small mirror. Before you go into the interview, check in the mirror to see that everything looks okay.

Dear interviewers, I wish you success in making the right choices.

Michal Sasson – master and consultant in the art of makeup and styling. I love the creativity in the art of beauty and style. In my work I stress natural beauty and add style to each and every one.

Rating of master in makeup: Beauty, brides, evening makeup for occasions, fashion, fantasy and special effects (stage, television and movies) and styling to create a harmonious, complete look.

Individual and group consultations as a birthday present, as an activity for singles parties, workshops for company events and workers' committees, community centers, and schools for media and drama.

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