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Red lipstick and the job interview

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by ThePowderKeg, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. ThePowderKeg

    ThePowderKeg One of the Regulars

    I have a job interview this week and I'm torn over lipstick. I know it sounds silly.

    Conventional wisdom says to dress really conservatively for interviews, but you're also supposed to give the company a sense of who you are. I am a woman who wears red lipstick. It makes me feel confident and more like myself. Part of me keeps asking myself, "would I not hire someone because I didn't like her lipstick?"

    So, what have you done in this situation... dialed it down and gone with something more neutral or stayed true to your red-lipstick loving self?
  2. RodeoRose

    RodeoRose A-List Customer

    Well, when I was applying to Universities and going to those interviews, I opted for my Revlon lipstain and a thin cat-eye in liquid liner. I wanted to stay true to myself and my vintage sensibilities, but not come across as a total freak show (that side of me could be revealed after I received that acceptance letter lol). The lipstain is a great compromise because it's a nice bold red, but it's not quite as dramatic or potentially costumey as lipstick. Plus you're free to eat or drink in it without having to check your compact constantly, which could give the wrong first impression (that you're high maintenance and/or hopelessly eccentric).
  3. I've been having to go to court a lot recently (husband's ex-wife issues :rolleyes:) and I don't want to look like I'm crazy in front of the judge, so I tone it down. I wear red lipstick, but a lighter shade. Although red lipstick is "in" according to my daughter, so it'll say you're fashionable ;)
  4. If that's what you normally wear, then go with it. As long as you are dressed appropriately, i don't think it will send out any negative signals at all. I for one always think it looks classic and timeless.

    Break a leg by the way! x
  5. Isis

    Isis One of the Regulars

    I agree with the above comments. Stay true to yourself, but, if you feel the need, to tone it down. Do you know the general tone of the workplace? If you know the dresscode, then it could be a help. When I applied for my job I knew that the dresscode was extremely lax, so even if I dressed nicely, I didn't go over the top in elegance. :)

    I hope the interview will be a success!
  6. Kirstenkat

    Kirstenkat New in Town

    As long as your other makeup is lighter I don't see why it would look unprofessional. I always thought lipstick made a girl look more womanly and mature personally. And of course your dressed professional.
  7. Gracie Lee

    Gracie Lee A-List Customer

    I like the lipstain idea; when I want to be understated but still keep red lips, I opt for a sheer red. Clinique's Black Honey goes dark red on me, and I don't think it looks overblown at all. RodeoRose - what lipstain do you use?
  8. RodeoRose

    RodeoRose A-List Customer

    I have Revlon's Just Bitten stain in Gothic; despite the name, it's a very bright and clear blue-based red. I really like it; it's also great for days when my lips are too chapped for 'stick, or if I'm just feeling lazy :D
  9. zombi

    zombi A-List Customer

    I feel that any red you'd wear for every day - not a night out, but for day wear - would be appropriate for an interview. :)
  10. I suppose it really depends in the local *and* business culture. I think it could come off as overdone or inappropriate (nightwear or even too sexual). Of course you may decide that you don't want to work for anyone who could be so close-minded.
    Personally, I have always gone for soft pinks/muted roses for interviews, but I think that a lip stain or a muted red would be a safe bet.
  11. Julius8122

    Julius8122 New in Town

    I have been both the interviewer and interviewee and I always wear my red lipstick. It's part of who I am and I won't compromise that. But if you're having these doubts then don't wear your red. You won't be comfortable and you'll be second guessing yourself. Interviews are stressful enough without that to think about. Wear what you think is appropriate and what you'd be comfortable in. I hope the interview goes well.
  12. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Okay, perhaps I have got this all wrong, but since when is lipstick a part of who anyone is?

    Frankly, at a job interview, I often plan to intentionally be as generically professional looking as possible (unless my appearance is part of the job) and let my work and personality speak for themselves. I don't want to be remembered as the 'red lipstick girl'.

    No, don't wear RED lipstick to a job interview. Mute your colors to be daytime corporate appropriate, and then when you get said job, gradually work up your normal red comfort level.

    I totally understand the idea of self expression and individuality, but when you are hoping someone will employ you, now is not the time to highlight that and be offended that you can't highlight it. Conforming from time to time is just as important is a person's individuality and to think otherwise frankly to me demonstrates a juvenile mentality.

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  13. I would probably go for a more subtle red than my usual pillarbox if I was going for an important interview in a corporate environment. While there's a lot to be said for just 'being yourself', if it's something you really, really want, and you're even remotely worried about whether bright red lipstick will affect your chances, then don't risk it - go for a more subtle stain or muted shade.

    That said, if it's a creative role, less corporate or more casual, then I'd probably just go for it.
  14. I would tone down the lip colour for the interview and wear something neutral - good luck and do let us know how you get on!
  15. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    I agree with toning it down a bit. The people interviewing you may not get your style, so I think it's best to stay on the safe side. Best of luck!
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  16. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    Once again, Lady Days says what's on my mind -- better than I ever could.

    There is a time and a place for red lipstick. I do love it and do wear it to work every now and again (can't get any redder than Ruby Woo!), but sometimes you have to put "you" aside and "play the game." Once you've gotten the job, by all means begin to wear your lips as red as you want if it's appropriate to the job.

    For the interview, no. No vintage, either. I wore black pinstriped slacks and a plain white blouse to my current job's interview. I also ditched my cat's eyes glasses and wore my "normal" ones lol My makeup was "normal" (no cat eyliner, bold eyeshadow or RED LIPSTICK.) I was a afraid they wouldn't take to my dyed black hair (at the time), but I got the job and now I wear what I want.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  17. Tifa

    Tifa Familiar Face

    I agree, tone it down a bit.
    You never know who you will meet at the interview, you might have bad luck and meeting Mr/Miss All-natural who will right away see the red lipstick as too much .
    I believe this goes for eye makeup as well.
    I think that when at a interview you want them to judge you by your experience and personality. Not your looks.
    Sounds so boring saying it, but sometimes you have to play the game...

    Only time showed my personal style is when I applied at Agent Provocateur.
  18. ThePowderKeg

    ThePowderKeg One of the Regulars

    Thank you all. So - no red lipstick. I will find something neutral to work with my gray skirt suit, white blouse, and sensible gray pumps.

    OT: Part of me knows I'm freaking out and obsessing over silly things because I've worked at the same place for 12 years and I'm intimadated by the prospect of going somewhere else, even though I know ulitmately, I will be a much happier person once I finally make my escape.
  19. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    Good luck with whatever you do!!

    I also forgot to add -- red lip stain should be fine if you feel your best with something on your lips. But just a tiny bit. I've actually had negative experiences with wearing red lipstick at jobs (after I got the job and started to wear it, of course!) But that's a whole 'nother thread lol
  20. Having worked in HR, I know that what you look like doesn't come into it. Interviews are meant to be about the answers you give and how you give them. When I worked in recruitment, we once employed someone in jeans... However, despite this being the way that things should work, it doesn't mean that people always follow these rules. I've always dressed as myself at interviews and have never been turned down for a job, but I've never worn a full, vibrant red lipstick. However, if I didn't dress my own way on that very first meeting, I would have been scared to do so afterwards in case my employers thought they'd been tricked into taking on some crazy who owned a tardis, rather than the professional they saw at interview.

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