Office etiquette – Nine easy ways to get the runway look at work

Office etiquette – Ten easy ways to get the runway look at work
Editor, Juliette Lie
Photography by Chris Nicholls

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Office etiquette
Ten easy ways to get the runway look at work

Dress, Lisa Biday. Top, Holt Renfrew Private Brand. Gloves, Mango

1. Parisian peach We loved the chic Parisian look at Emanuel Ungaro with soft peach tones on eyes, cheeks and lips. It’s most apropos for the boardroom, too. “The best shades for a professional environment are neutrals – soft pinks and corals,” says Chase Aston, international makeup artist for The Body Shop. Try The Body Shop Eye Colour in Golden Paprika, $13.50; The Body Shop Cheek Blush in Golden Pink, $16; and The Body Shop Sheer Lip Shine in Sheer Peach, $14.50.

2. No-nonsense lips
Team sharp suitings with the reddest lips, as spotted at MaxMara. When wearing a scarlet pout to work, keep the remainder of your makeup to a minimum. Professionally groomed eyebrows and one coat of Dior Diorshow Unlimited Ultra-Lengthening Curving Mascara in Black, $30, will do. Stay on trend and shape your arches so they look as full and natural as possible.

If your coworkers cringe at a pucker with pow, Ross Burton, national artistic director for Lancôme, suggests mixing your best red lipstick with clear lip gloss for a subtler shade that won’t intimidate the interns. Pressed for time? Colour your lips with a soft finish in one step with Lancôme Potion of Love Lip Stain in Vin Celeste, $29.

3. Jewel tones
Makeup junkies hooked on wearing not-so-neutral shades on eyes and lips should opt for a jewel-toned eyeliner (try emerald, sapphire or amethyst) and a berry lip stain, a smart, low-key look we saw at Bill Blass. For a lip stain that lasts the day, Tayaba Jafri, international makeup artist for Laura Mercier, suggests starting with Laura Mercier Flawless Fix Lip Pencil, $24, in a shade to match your lip tone. Fill in your entire lip, then apply Laura Mercier Stick Gloss in Peony, $26, and blot with a tissue. For a lasting stain, repeat the whole process.

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Jacket, Arthur Mendoça. Gloves, Bebe.

4. Metallics
Bored of wearing taupe eyeshadow to work? Upgrade to the season’s obsession for bronze or copper, but choose the texture of your new hue carefully. “No glitter, no micronized pigments, no multidimensional flecks,” warns Jafri. Wear it well in a semi-shimmer finish such as Shiseido The Makeup Accentuating Color Eyeshadow in Enchanted Bronze, $27.

5. Smoky eyes
Requisite on the catwalk, but not so much at the office. If you can’t live without your kohl, take the steps to tone it down for 9 a.m.: warm the tip between your fingers before applying it as closely as possible to your upper lash line, then smudge it slightly with your middle finger. Added bonus: fake the look of fuller eyelashes by adding several coats of black mascara to the roots of your eyelashes. FLARE’s pick: Origins Automagically Eye Lining Pencil in Jet, $18, goes on soft, smooth and sexy.

6. Fake it
Brigitte Bardot is a timeless fashion and beauty icon, for sure, but please leave her bedroom eyes at home. “A full strip of false eyelashes at work is a no-no,” says Aston. “But a few individual clusters at the outer corners of the top lash line are totally acceptable, as they elongate and open up the eyes.”

7. Bronzer
Bronzing is ubiquitous in runway makeup repertoires, but put the brakes on wearing your summertime bronzer in November – Burton warns it will look too harsh against your pale winter skin. Instead, warm up your skin tone with a translucent face powder two shades darker than your regular powder and, using a brush, apply a light layer all over your face. FLARE’s pick: Cover Girl Outlast Pressed Powder, $14, is a finely milled pressed powder that feels extra-light on the skin.

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Trench coat, Hugo Hugo Boss.

8. Black polish
We’ve been touting black nail polish as the “it” shade for nails, but if you’re not in the fashion or entertainment game, higher-ups may frown at your goth sensibility. Instead, try an extra-dark plum polish such as Lancôme Vernis Magnétic Unfailing Nail Lacquer in Molten, $18.

9. Dewy skin
A sparkling, luminescent face is romantic and ethereal on the runway (à la the ghostly babes at Alexander McQueen). Off the runway—and under harsh office lights—you run the risk of appearing sweaty. Limit the shimmer to two facial features such as an eyeshadow in sheer gold or glimmering beige applied into your upper lash line and a subtle sweep of Estée Lauder Platinum Illuminator All-Over Face Powder, $39, along your cheekbone.

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