Do you wear make-up in work?

Do you wear make-up in work?

Wearing make-up to work is a big draw for a boss, according to new research which found that over two thirds of UK bosses said they would be less likely to employ a female job applicant if she didn’t wear make-up at interview. 

The survey by leading UK beauty retailer also showed that 49% of bosses said it would be a major factor if the job was in sales or was a public-facing role in the company.

Figures were similar for promotion prospects with 60.8% of company executives saying that if female staff members didn’t wear cosmetics on a regular basis it would have a detrimental effect, and 39.2% said female staff would be much less likely to get promoted if the job entailed meeting people and members of the public.

The survey also showed that 67% of bosses would take a dim view of female staff not wearing make-up at key business meetings. There does appear to be some justification in this however, as two thirds of female staff said they would feel much less confident if they were at a high-level meeting without cosmetics on. Beauty Editor Emma Leslie said: “Whether rightly or wrongly, British bosses clearly think that keeping up appearances at work is an important factor for female staff if they want to get on in their career.

"It's also quite startling to learn that women feel that they need make-up in order to impress at work, and our survey showed there is a strong psychological element to wearing make-up that makes women feel more poised, confident and 'put together'. We would like to point out that great skincare, healthy diet and positive attitude are also fantastic for boosting confidence, and that should also be an attractive thing for employers.”

Clearly the message was getting through from employers as 63.8% of female staff surveyed said they would always wear make-up at work, and 98% said they would wear make-up to a job interview.

There was one exception to the “make-up at work” rule however; most women said they would go without make-up at work for charity, and said that Breast Cancer Care’s #DareToBare campaign was one such example.

The charity provides support for women and families suffering from breast cancer, and they are asking women to get sponsored to go to work without make-up on throughout Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

Just over half of women said they could #DareToBare for a week, another 27% said they could just about manage it for a day, and 10% said they would put up an au naturel picture on Facebook or twitter.

The campaign has already attracted quite a few celebrities who have gone without make-up – Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff, Binky Felstead from Made In Chelsea, actress Roxanne Pallett and Apprentice star Luisa Zissman have all posed without make-up for #DareToBare and women can sign up for the campaign at

Emma Leslie from said: “There clearly is one exception to the rule that you should wear make-up at work if you want to get on, and that's if it's for a very good cause - and Breast Cancer Care is certainly that.

"It might seem a bit strange that a company such as that sells cosmetics is actually asking women to stop using them for a day or two, or maybe even a whole month, but that’s how strongly we feel about this cause and we hope that with Dare to Bare we can really make a difference.”

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