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Whether it’s a requirement from the company, or whether we just like to rock the look, many of us wear makeup to work every day. Unfortunately, our attempts to beautify ourselves could also backfire horribly. You may be making these makeup mistakes at your office, so read on if you don’t want to look cake-faced during your next big presentation or give your colleagues a bad impression of yourself!

1. You do all your makeup at your desk

office makeup mistakes 1

This is an extreme scenario, but we’re just putting it out there. Everyone’s rushing for time in the mornings, but make an effort to wake up earlier to do it in the privacy of your own home, and not in public view of your entire office!

Even half an hour is enough time to do a light coverage, natural makeup look. If you’re really running late, throw the final steps like setting powder and lipstick into your pouch and do that when you reach the office.

Touching up your makeup or refreshing your lipstick a few times in a work day is absolutely fine. We’re talking about the extremes where people might mistake their office desks as their vanity tables.

2. You don’t pay attention to the lighting

Most offices have white light installed, which is great for staff productivity but terrible for makeup application, as it could often make you look more pale and sickly.

If you have to touch up, bring your makeup pouch to the nearest window so you can take advantage of natural lighting. Most washrooms have such windows, but a lesser-frequented corridor might also do the trick. Remember to pop a small mirror in your makeup pouch!

Don’t worry if it’s gloomy out – even the worst natural light is still preferable to white fluorescent ones.

3. Your brows aren’t flattering you

If drawing your brows are optional to you, it’s time to change that. The rest of your makeup would usually overpower your brows, and you could look like you have no eyebrows at all!

The reality is: having well-drawn brows can really make you look way more put together and presentable. Unless you have naturally bushy brows, you absolutely need to draw them in.

Experiment at home or when you’re about to go out with a close girl friend, then get them to help you evaluate your brows. Be open to feedback and ask them to let you know whether you need a little more, a little less, or if it’s just right.

4. Your foundation cakes on you

While full coverage foundations may look flawless and smooth when you first apply them, they can quickly settle in the creases of your face, especially in the dry air-conditioned office air.

To circumvent this, use a lighter coverage foundation that would even out your skin tone without looking too much. Keep some kind of refreshing facial mist at your desk so that you can easily spritz it when you need a boost of hydration.

Of course, use base makeup that’s appropriate for your skin type. If you have dry skin, do not go for matte foundations or setting sprays, as those will cake up on your skin even faster. Instead, go for more hydrating, dewy-finish foundations (try them out with samples first before purchasing).

If you have oily or combination skin, you might get away with matte foundations and setting sprays, but still keep an eye out the first few times you wear them! Keep oil blotting paper at hand just in case.

5. You don’t do blush, or you overdo it

Blush, when done right, can add a right amount of youthful glow to your skin. However, some ladies choose to skip it as an optional step in their makeup routine, but this is a huge no-no. Foundation gets rid of the natural redness under your skin, so you need to add some of that back just so you don’t look like a ghost.

There’s also the other end of the spectrum. Packing on blush or using one that has overly-intense pigment is not a flattering everyday look.

Instead, go for something that looks subtle and natural on your skin, and go in with a light hand. Having to layer your blush to get enough pigmentation to show is always preferred to having Pikachu cheeks.

If you’re really particular about your makeup, try on different blushes to find one that blends naturally and looks like part of your skin, rather than those that are more chalky and sits on top of your skin like a visible layer of pigment.

red lips_jamie chung

Jamie Chung

DV Tip: When rocking a bold red lip, your first instinct may be to go easier on the blush so your whole look doesn’t come off too intense. Instead, go easier on your eye makeup but put on your usual amount of blush. The blush actually balances out the red lip and makes your whole look more flattering.

DV Recommends: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush from Sephora. It’s so good, and we’re not alone in this opinion – check out its stellar reviews on Makeupalley, Influenster, Sephora USA, Sephora SG, and Ulta.

6. You’re checking yourself out too frequently

midday touchup

We know you’re not a narcissist but sometimes we may get overly anxious about the state of our makeup, especially if we’re trying a new product or look that day.

Unfortunately, digging into your makeup pouch every 15 minutes for your small mirror just to check yourself out isn’t going to make a great impression on your colleagues.

Instead, do your touch-ups only when you are taking a washroom break from your desk or before something important, like a meeting with your bosses or clients.

If this doesn’t alleviate your anxiety about your makeup, however, try positioning a small mirror (make sure it’s able to stand) somewhere inconspicuous near your computer monitor. Now you can easily check-in with your makeup just by glancing at the mirror – you don’t even need to pause in your work!

7. You pile on the glitter

We get it, glitter, shimmer, and metallic make that scream bling are also usually irresistible. You may, however, want to save them for a night out or a special date.

While we’re sure they look bomb, they may not exactly be best appreciated by your colleagues, clients, and bosses, and it may affect their impression of you too.

We’re not telling you to stay away from them completely, though. There are products out there with glitter or shimmer subtle enough that they add just that hint of a glow to your skin without being over the top.