Tuesday, February 18, 2014


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You probably already know that I’m a lawyer by day, and while I love wearing what ever I want on my days off, weekdays are spent in my corporate wear. If you work in an office, like me, then you know it takes time and money to build up an office wardrobe. After all, great presentation at work is so important, so you should always look your best.

As Canberra organisation Communities@Work is holding their ‘Best Dressed Weekend’, a preloved designer corporate wear sale, this week (21-23 Feb), I’ve decided to dedicate this week on my blog to office styling. That, of course, starts with office makeup.


Looking professional necessarily means you should tone down the makeup. In face, for the office, the trick is to look your best without looking like you’re wearing any makeup at all. My mantra when it comes to corporate makeup is ‘be like Hemingway’, that is, apply as little as humanly possible. The key is to get that ‘fresh faced’ look, by evening out the skin, and defining your features subtly. We’re also looking for long wear, so no fear of panda eyes by the end of the day. The trick to doing this is to blend your makeup well so that even if accidents do happen, it won’t result in patches or streaks. Finally, gloss and shimmer are definitely to be avoided, as nothing dresses down a corporate look faster.

Here’s how I do it:

1. Base

The most important step which can make all the difference is good base makeup. I recommend against using a foundation, or at least one that is on the heavy side, as often this just screams ‘Look at me, I’m wearing makeup!’. Opt instead for a BB Cream, or Tinted Moisturiser. As I always say, it’s not important to have flawless looking skin, if the trade off is looking caked. Having imperfections look real, while looking plastic perfect is just freaky. I’m using Maybelline Dream Fresh 8 in 1 BB Cream – I highly recommend it for great coverage without the bulk.

For particularly prominent blemishes, add some oomph with concealer.

Importantly, set your base makeup with some sheer power, to mattefy and extend wear. I’m using Guerlain Météorites – trust this magical box of pearls to give you an inexplicable healthy glow.

Soften up the look with a subtle blush. I love Nude By Nature Virgin Blush for everyday.


2. Brows

Opera once said that getting your brows done is as good as a facelift. I agree wholeheartedly. If you’re lucky enough to have well defined, lush brows, then apart from cleaning them up and giving them a brush, you should just leave them alone. I, on the other hand, can count my brow hairs in one sitting, so for me an eyebrow pencil is a must. Always a brow brush to blend a little. Revlon Colourstay Eyebrow Liner is great, and comes with a handy brush on the end.


3. Eyes

For eyes, the key word is ‘definition’. Simply bring out the natural form of your eyes with some neutral shades. I personally only use a midtone and a dark shade. I skip the highlight as it can make you look a too shiny.  You can’t beat Mac eyeshadow, which is always as pigmented as it promises to be. It pays to invest in a two or three tone palette, and choose matte eyeshadow with minimal shimmer.

Note: Assess the risk before wearing mascara to work. Once smudging, flaking or running is almost an inevitability when you’re expecting 8+ hours of wear.


Follow the natural shadows of your eyes with the midtone. This will generally be under your brow bone, and in the outer corner. Blend out well (finger blending for best results) so no one can tell you’re wearing any at all. If you have deeply set eyes, you can afford to apply a lot more without looking too done up. A nice fluffy round brush is great for this, but honestly, your finger tip probably works even better for blending.


Using a flat brush, further darker the outer corners of your eyes with a dark shade. As we are staying completely away from mascara, this will give the illusion of lush lashes without the risk.


A defined black liner is a dead giveaway, so I stay away from these for the office. Instead, using an eyeliner brush, apply a dark shade of eye shadow along your lash line, drawing out into a subtle wing if you wish. Using your finger, blend upwards for maximum subtlety. If you want a little more definition, wet your brush a little first before applying.


We didn’t do much at all, but can you see the difference it made?


Finally, apply a nude lipstick, or just go nude with some lip balm. My favourite lippy of all time is Nude by Nature Minieral Lipstick in Demure. It’s an incredibly natural colour, so it events out the pigmentation of my lips without adding too much colour. Again, go matte all the way. Lip gloss is for the beach not the meeting room!


I recommend:


Stayed tuned for the next installment of Office Week at Closet Voyage. Next up, I show you how to get a ton of outfit options out of a few key corporate pieces.


Communities@Work Best Dressed Weekend is on from this Friday to Sunday! The details:

WHAT: Best Dressed Weekend
WHEN: 21 Feb – 23 Feb
WHERE: Lakeview Ballroom
               Tuggeranong Community& Function Centre
               245 Cowlishaw Street, Greenway

Day 1 is VIP night, and tickets can be purchased for $35. Register here!

See you there!

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