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My mother attacked me with a makeup puff.

I feel violated. O.O

She thinks I should wear makeup to this interview; she says it will help me look 22 (my real age, rather than 16 (what I look like). Since I never wear makeup (and only know how to do stage makeup), I think this is foolish. Opinions?


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
*sigh* I'm sorry, sweetie--I had this argument with my mother many, many times. My attitude is think serious, act serious, practice your answers to some likely questions, and don't worry about the rest. Good luck! M.
Jul. 15th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
Maybe it's a generational thing? Mom also keeps insisting I should wear skirts to interviews. And when I take my driving test. O.O
Jul. 15th, 2009 10:21 am (UTC)
Possibly yes on the interview. WTF on the driving test!

And honestly, I think you could wear a good, professional suit with slacks rather than a skirt to an interview. But since I don't have a suit that nice, I usually wear a suit with a skirt. Interviews are extra professional dress up time. Unless it's not that kind of job.

Makeup? When you don't usually wear it? (Not to mention the pitfalls of trying to apply it when you don't usually wear it, and you certainly don't need to add to pre-interview jitters by doing it yourself OR asking Mommy to do it.) I have NEVER worn makeup for a job interview, and I have never felt it impacted my chances. If you don't usually wear it, you will feel awkward and nervous and self-conscious about the crap on your face and be distracted and off. I always am when I put the stuff on. And sure, maybe if you were interviewing for partner or the partner's executive secretary, but not if you are interviewing for a lower level position. I think the world has come a long way in regards to how we have to tart ourselves up for getting hired.

In my experience makeup is not required to appear professional.

Also, you do look your age. I don't know who is feeding you the lines about looking 16. If you dress as professionally as your wardrobe allows, it will be moreso.

My two cents, worth exactly that. But I could not be more opposed to the makeup. Not on the basis of it being makeup, but on the basis of how it will impact your whole behavior and mood the day you wear it. If you decided to buy into the arguments that you need to wear it for whatever reason, start doing it every day so you will not feel odd THE DAY OF AN INTERVIEW!

Jeez. Makes me wonder in what ways motherhood is impacting MY commonsense, knowing your mother's line of work and her clear inability to apply more professional to her own child's life.
Jul. 15th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
General concensus seems to be that women who want to look professional wear makeup. Personally, I like the way I look with makeup on but don't generally want to be bothered. But for an interview? Yes, I would definitely wear makeup.

Just keep it understated.

Jul. 15th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
It's a part-time retail position. It's not that professional.
Jul. 15th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)
No, but the way you present yourself at the interview is a separate thing. You're showing your willingness to do what's expected and required. Once you're hired you can figure out what the other employees are wearing and do whatever you're comfortable with, but (right or wrong) just like a man might put on a suit and tie, a woman is expected to put on makeup for an interview.

It's a silly convention, but we do it to increase our chances of getting hired. You can be dismissed out of hand for the smallest things. I've even been advised what kind of watch band to wear! (Leather, in case you wanted to know, lol.)
Jul. 15th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Problem is, it would be my mother doing my makeup. Even though I'd be the only one to know, isn't that kind of the opposite of "I am mature and responsible"?

Eh, I don't know. I'll see how I feel about it tomorrow.
Jul. 15th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
Oh, no. I don't see a problem with that at all. It's no different than having someone else do your hair for a special occasion.

Jul. 15th, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
It's interesting that you feel so strongly on this. I do not wear makeup, never have, and I have never worn it to any interview, and yet, I have not had problems getting jobs. I wonder how hard and fast this makeup rule is? Although it must be said that I haven't done retail since I worked at McDonalds when I was sixteen. Does that even count as retail? I have worked in a variety of paralegal positions. Although I have always had client contact, selling wasn't a big issue. Anyway, tidy and clean, professinally dressed (even occassionally in slacks), but I never did anything but wear my hair and skin normally. *shrugs*
Jul. 15th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
It isn't that I feel strongly about it. It's that I've been told that interviewers sometimes feel strongly about it. They get so many applicants for every job that gets posted. Errors on your resume will get you tossed from the pool right away; wearing too much perfume at an interview can lose you the chance for a second interview; failure to put your napkin across your lap at a lunch interview can lose you the job.

So even though I never wear makeup or skirts, I go by what the job-hunting articles in the newspaper and the people conducting the class at the local library tell me. And then if I get hired I lose the makeup and skirts pronto! *g*
Jul. 15th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
I think it's possible that as with a lot of things, there are general rules that can be applied to situtations where you aren't sure, but when you now the culture you are interviewing for, you can go into the interview ready for the corporate culture and not be penalized. Possibly why I don't get penalized for lack of makeup is because in the cultures I'm going into, makeup is just not an issue, and I look like the kind of person the interviewer is interviewing for. Heck, for all I know, maybe lack of makeup is even a plus in these jobs - look more serious/intellectual/whatever, get taken more seriously?

Also, in the interest of honesty, I have not gotten every job I've interviewed for (though I have never been unemployed for mroe than a few weeks, either), but I have put that down to being quite frank with interviewers at large firms about my total lack on interest in overtime. And it is large firms where I have failed to get jobs. Where HR was interviewing me, rather than my immediate boss. Maybe HR is more superficial, whereas the lawyer looking for a paralegal just wants a kick-ass employee and is more content focused? Dunno. Ha! One great reason to find a job with a good boss and hold onto it for dear life! :D
Jul. 15th, 2009 07:50 am (UTC)
Sorry, but I agree with your mom on this.

I'm usually not the make-up type, but for interviews I always wear some. Not much, just something subtle, but enough to give the impression of making an effort and professionalism.
Jul. 15th, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
Well, this is Express and they usually have a certain type of staff and clientele -- notably the trendy, make-up-wearing set. It's about whether or not you personally want to work with that type-casting or if you just want to go it alone. Personally, I would just make sure your hair is swept back neatly, that you have a clean face, some chapstick, and if you're feeling it, a dash of mascara. I never wear more than mascara, eyeliner, and lipgloss to an interview but I make sure that everything about me is neat and in its place. The one time I was sloppy because I didn't realize I was being interviewed, well, I didn't get the job.
Jul. 15th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
Last comment, I swear. But remember that dance in seventh or eighth grade when Jamaal asked me to go? My mother burned my neck when curling my hair, put on way too much black eyeliner (and it hurt too!), and horrible amounts of make-up. And I spent a lot of the dance crying in the bathroom with you there. Remember that? I have never wanted to wear that much make-up again and I won't, even if I was interviewing to be a prostitute. [Theatre doesn't count for any of this, tbh.] There is a balance for you there in determining where you want to be aesthetically, I believe it. I'm still looking for my own balance, but at least I have the make-up part figured out.
Jul. 15th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
I'm weighing in on the side of professional != decorative

sidlj has a point that makeup is part of the way we demonstrate our willingness to assume the socially acceptable (and thus employable) image: proof that we are willing to put aside our individual comfort in favor of representing the company image.
Others have a point that the socially-accepted image of professionalism has changed since the time when all decent ladies always wore makeup and (modest) skirts for all serious & public occasions--and you can't know whether the interviewer/hiring authority is conservative or relaxed about "professional standards of appearance".

For me it comes down to how much I'm willing to guess at other people's hidden preconceptions (not at all) and how much I'm willing to misrepresent myself to satisfy them (not a whole lot, and generally more by omission than commission). I figure this probably loses me some opportunities... but most likely the ones I probably wouldn't have wanted anyway, because an environment with conservative gender roles and formal social roles would be uncomfortable or even hostile for me. I am fortunate in that I have never been so desperate for work, or so limited in my options, to have to take such an uncomfortable job for survival. (We'll see if my good fortune remains in the face of university budget cuts & layoffs. Even so, I'd still sooner shovel horseshit for $5/hour than be obliged to wear heels & hose with a skirt suit for $15/hr.)

Jul. 15th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
One summer in high school, I worked as a secretary for a friend's family's life insurance office. Since I owned no dress slacks at that point (I have a lot of trouble finding pants that fit, always have), I wore skirts, pantyhose, and heels every day. It killed my soul just a little bit.

It was kind of ridiculous, actually, because while I was the first thing people saw when they came into the suite, I was sitting behind a solid desk the whole day (I usually sat down and kicked off my shoes, and unless I got up no one could tell) so it wasn't like anyone could see me, anyway. But, I certainly wasn't going to wear jeans, so I was stuck.

And incidentally, I didn't wear makeup. :P
Jul. 15th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
If you don't want to wear make-up, then don't.

Okay, so I read all the above comments re: professional appearance, conforming to company standards, conservative employers, and how just as men are expected to wear suits, women are expected to wear make-up, and it's actually that last point that always drives me nuts.

We wear clothes to represent ourselves to the world; when we are representing a company, our appearance reflects on said company, yes. But I see a huge difference between dressing professionally (and I don't think women should still be required to wear skirts, to do this), which is a non-gendered requirement, and having to smear crap all over your face, which is definitely a gendered requirement.

And I actually LIKE make-up. I own tons of it. I think it's pretty. But I don't wear it on a daily basis or because I feel like I have to, ever.

I have similar issues with other gendered clothing standards, actually -- if a guy wears something tight or short or revealing or that's falling off, he just looks sloppy, and he might be judged poorly based on his appearance, but the judgment doesn't come with sexual connotations. Whereas a woman wearing something short or tight or revealing or that's falling off gets called a slut, etc.

Anyway, um. What was my point? Oh, yes. There are lots of conservative companies that probably still want women to wear skirts and make-up and heels, but not too high a heel, because that's too suggestive. Of...something? And if you want to play into that (and I will completely understand if you do, because we all need to get jobs and, you know, eat), you should go ahead. But poorly-applied make-up is WAY worse than none at all. Because then you run the risk of looking like a whore.

And now I sound like a bitch again, yay.
Jul. 20th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
i NEVER wear make up, except eyeliner when i go to a club. and then only sometimes. i got offered a job at victoria's secret once WITHOUT any make up on. other than that, i've done a fair number of job interviews (in person) without wearing makeup and was told that i looked extremely professional. the only time i would feel compelled to wear make up is if i was interviewing for a law firm or investment banking job, honestly. i think in general, it's more about having style than wearing make up.
Jul. 27th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
Only just read this post (still catching up from being away)
I only started wearing make-up about a year ago, and that was just for going out at night or whatever. I'm 19 and my mum has always tried to get me to wear make-up.
I have to say I did wear make-up to job interviews. I think the interviewers see you've made an effort or you take pride in you appearance. I for one don't care what other people think but if it's going to get me a job I'll play along fine.

(PS. I'm you're SOS artist. I'm currently reading part 1 you sent. *thumbs up!*)
Jul. 27th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
Hiya! Nice to finally meet you (as it were). When you're done, feel free to send me an e-mail and I can tell you the scenes that might be getting removed and other stuff. And, if you give me your e-mail addy, I can send you part two directly as soon as it's done.
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