Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I had a job interview yesterday.

In an attempt to present myself as professional as possible, I emptied my bag of potions and colors and colored in the lines. My hair was dried with product (a root boost) and then straightened with an iron. I was wearing my contact lenses, not my glasses - despite all my sensitive eye issues that I have been having. I took out my nose piercing, simplified my jewelry, applied a foundation, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, powder and lipstick - wow, can you believe I even have all that stuff!? And of course, I wore high heels with my beautiful pant suit and was conscious of my colors and fabrics- i want to appear professional, but not cold or hard or stuffy. How do you sell yourself in only 30 minutes? 

Last night, I washed my face before I went to bed to remove all the muck. Doons and I had a talk about all the makeup I was wearing (I don't usually wear makeup beyond occasional mascara). He said that wearing makeup has nothing to do with looking professional. I told him that it absolutely does. We've been having this debate for some time. When I used to travel for Sponsorship, I would dress like I do when I go to interviews with suits, heels, makeup, and all. And he has never thought that wearing makeup makes me look any more professional (in fact he never even notices the difference most of the time). So, the reason I set out to write this blog today was really to get your opinion.

The question is not whether I should wear makeup to an interview or not.

The question is, in your opinion, does makeup make a woman look more professional? Please answer in the poll provided at the top of my blog.

And please only vote once (i'm looking at YOU Mr. McBRAYER!)

Thanks for your feedback!

And, you really should take a look at this:


Kara said...

I wouldn't say more or less professional, but more put together. It looks like you care enough to present yourself like a grown woman.

I wear very little makeup to work normally, but a little powder, mascara and colored chapstick never made someone look worse you know? When its a job interview or presentation, then I add blush and some eyeshadow and real lipstick.

bboutique said...

I don't think professional is the word... I think it would be more polished. I don't wear makeup most days since I work from home, but usually put it on when we are getting together with people or going on a date because I feel more finished or put together.

didn't watch the video though- I have a hard time with those videos because her bias is so big but you know me, I always have an opinion. :)

I hope you don't mind, but I think I am going to try to finish that pillow that we started doing this week. I have fabric for another one so whenever you want to get together to work on it again, let me know!

Anna said...

I think that our culture is so steeped in makeup and it's association with professionalism and prestige that yes, most people will register it as such. Now whether that is how it should be is a totally different discussion. JP doesn't like it either and is totally fine with me dressing down every day minus makeup. And although I don't wear makeup, ever outside of colored lip gloss, it certainly turns his head when I do which makes me feel really good.

Sarah said...

i voted yes in the poll, but would like to clarify a little. I don't think it makes one look professional, but I do think that we should step it up for job interviews. As you said, we only have 30 minutes (if that) to make an impression. We want to look our best, be clean, and put together so we can nail that first impression. I interviewed at a placement agency and the lady straight up told me to cut the hippy hair, put on some lipstick and WEAR A SUIT. I cried all the way to the mall/salon but I did what she said (cuz I neeeded $$). She placed me in less then a week and I had been searching for a long time.
Plus, when we look good -- we feel good and confidence is key in interviews, especially in these hard times.
Good luck, Hannah, it'll all come together for you :-)

Erin S. said...

You can't ask men about makeup. They pretend they know, but they don't. It just frustrates both of you.

They don't voice an invalid opinion intentionally. They simply don't know.

doons said...

I can make blanket statements, too. Here's one: "Women don't know anything about make-up."

The reason is that having an opinion about makeup does not constitute knowledge of any sort. And opinions, of course, are gender-neutral. What can we draw from this? Well, we can see that everyone has the capacity to have an opinion about makeup, and that opinions are not normally things that can be true or false.

On another note, so far we have views that makeup makes women seem more "polished" and "put together" and "prestigious." But who is to decide that those are predicates of the notion of "professionalism?"

My own view is that they are not. In other words, what someone's face looks like has nothing to do with how "professional" they are. Are men without beards more professional than those with beards, or vice versa? Clearly not. If you think so, you'll have to come up with a way to treat the strange cases--of men that wear makeup and of women with beards, for example.

Professionalism has to do with ACTION.

aaron said...

doons, after reading your comment i realize just how removed i have become from that style of language. makes me a bit sad. and happy at the same time.

your line, doons, about 'who is to decide that those are predicate of the notion of professionalism' seems to be the point that matters. this is exactly the point - no has decided this to be the case necessarily, but it is the case when it comes to expected norms. it likely isn't as high on the list as something like 'dont look like a prostitute,' but seeing as how there is a social norm of how a professional looks (divorced from their action) and makeup correlates with that norm, in the case of an interview it could only aid the 'presentation of self.'

on the other hand, hannah, i am not sure that your poll is applicable to the question. while it is closed ended and forced response, it is not exhaustive and treats a non-dichotomous prompt as though it were, thereby likely skewing the results. because few people probably think that makeup makes a woman look less professional they are forced to answer 'yes.' in the same way, those who answered 'no' would likely answer in a different, more affirmative way had the responses been more nuanced. so we cannot be sure of what the outcome of the poll actually means.

disclosure: i was not compensated in any overt fashion by doons for posting this comment. input was merely solicited.

doons said...

Hey man, prostitutes are professionals!

Hannah said...


haha.. aaron, i was so so so hoping that you would comment on this post - thank you!

Landon agrees that my poll can't actually determine anything because the results are encouraged to go in favor of "yes" simply because of my blog post with 2 pictures of me and i'm not even wearing the same clothes. Landon said that if there were no pictures at all or if there were pictures of someone else, then readers may have felt less pressure to answer "yes".

i get it. and I wasn't hoping that people would have to qualify their answers - to me it seemed like a pretty straight-forward yes or no question, but i have realized that this kind of question can rub at sensitivities. I have appreciated everyone's feedback. it's been very fun.

Erin S. said...

I suppose men who apply makeup to their own faces and wear it daily probably know as much as women about makeup. I stand corrected. That is makeup application (not theory).

Having been a woman in the working world for a number of years. I have made more than a menial living and I have a little experience with getting hired. It isn't about sexy. I am quite middle aged. It is about conveying an impression of competent, polished, professional and trustworthy.

How you look matters. It isn't fair, but that is how it works. In a perfect world our enthusiasm, intellect, talent and deeds would be rewarded equally. Not in the perfect world yet.

Anonymous said...

Looking "put together" matters in the workforce. It implies having it together, and caring about yourself therefore you will care about your job. Disappointing, but true. We could look at people deemed successful and see how many women are pictured without makeup and men in beards versus the others.

Lindsay Schneck said...

i also rarely wear make up, but i tend to look like a 16 year old without it. so, in a job related or "professional" scenario i always wear a conservative amount of makeup so people will be more likely to take me seriously. otherwise they treat me like their teenage daughter. it can be kind of annoying. on the other hand, i think if you wear too much make up you will in fact look like their teenage daughter and entirely defeat the purpose of the make up.

i typically carry the "i don't care what people think of me" attitude, but it is hard not to care when other people's opinions translate to "job" or "no job."

Brooke Hereth said...

I like the 2nd picture better. (: i love these videos you put on!

Glen Turnbow said...

It is interesting and partially true. However, there parts in the "story" that did not comply with what they were trying to state. Though I agree we should try and make things better and safer this video is a little over the edge.

Brie said...

i agree with brooke i like the second picture better:) but you always look pretty. love you!