Whether you realize it or not, your appearance can say a lot about you, especially in the office setting. If you come to work with your hair uncombed and wet, for instance, it allows people to assume that you woke up late and had no time to prepare. But if people notice that your locks are properly tied, your blouse nicely ironed, and your breath fresher than 10,000 mint leaves, they will see that you made a little effort for yourself. When you project to others that you are able to take care of yourself, you are also projecting in a way that you are able to take care of the responsibilities and tasks assigned to you.

That said, you don’t need a whole inventory of beauty products to look clean and polished. Here are just five items you can invest in that will serve as “hard workers” for your everyday office look.
Work-friendly beauty basics (Clockwise from left): Suesh’s Choose Your Own Palette Concealer Corrector Color Pots, RMK’s Sheer Powder Cheeks in Natural Rose, Dolly Wink’s Eyebrow Powder in Dark Chocolate, Lumiere’s FlowerColor Lipstick in Coral Crush, Palgantong Cosmetic’s Vita White BB Cream SPF 30


I’m all for letting your skin breathe, even with makeup on. I still love using foundations for special occasions, but for everyday use, I happily stick to a trusted BB cream (like Palgantong’s Vita White BB Cream). Not only does it even out my skin tone, it also provides SPF coverage, and even helps in clearing up my skin. If you have oily skin, dab a bit of loose powder over the BB cream, just to give it a matte finish.


Dab a few dots under the eyes, the corners of your nose, and just over the little zits and dark spots you may want to keep incognito. Make sure you pick the right shade of concealer. You don’t want to have inverted raccoon eyes—you know, having two white rings under your eyes? Yikes! I suggest getting several shades and blending them together to achieve the right match for your skin. Check out Suesh’s Concealer Corrector Color Pots to see what I mean.


Oftentimes, girls tend to neglect their brows and go straight to their cheeks and lips. Brows frame your eyes and can really make a world of difference on your overall aura. Brows that are unruly may make you look frazzled, or worse, mataray!! Having them groomed by threading or waxing will do wonders, and keeping them defined with a nice powder brow kit like Dolly Wink’s Eyebrow Powder (coming soon to BeautyMNL) will make you look more polished.


Finding the right shade of blush can get quite tricky. Be sure you are working with a blush that complements your skin color (right now, it’s RMK’s Sheer Powder Cheeks in Natural Rose for me). A coral blush might look fabulous on your morena friend, but it might look orange on chinita skin with yellow undertones. Try to imagine yourself looking flushed and sweaty at the gym: what color do your cheeks turn into? Is it peachy, red, or light pink? Once you’ve figured it out, then that’s the shade that you should try to apply on your cheeks for a natural, oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this look.


Chances are you’ll be talking a lot between your nine-to-five work shift. You’ll be hopping from one meeting to another, and officemates will notice one thing when you talk—your lips. For the office, you might want to tone it down a bit so as not to distract your bosses during your presentations. Ditch the neon shades, the bright reds, and goth-looking purples, and stick to softer pink shades (I’d suggest Lumiere’s FlowerColor Lipstick in Coral Crush). The idea is for you to not look too pale but still manage to exude work-appropriate. Try to use a lipstick that also has a moisturizing component so it works as a lip balm as well.

Remember, your boss hired you for your intellect, skills, and values, and you shouldn’t let your appearance overshadow all these amazing qualities. In the same way that piling on too much makeup may get in the way, slacking off in the beauty department can also show that you don’t value the job that you’re in. Making a little effort to look presentable each day will definitely go a long way. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Photos courtesy of Patty Laurel-Filart