The reasons why we wear makeup are vast and can be hugely personal. For some, the effect of a feline flick or a red lip can go beyond just the surface, and recent research from Mintel , exploring the emotional ties UK women have when ‘putting on their face’ illustrates how powerful it can be. 64 per cent of the women surveyed said that wearing makeup made them feel confident, 43 per cent said it made them feel attractive, 16 per cent felt more professional and 15 per cent more empowered; and, with sales of UK colour cosmetics set to reach £2 billion in 2017 (up by 7.2 per cent from 2016), the nation’s love of beauty products shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
At GTG, we love to have an inquisitive (okay, maybe nosy...) rummage through the makeup bags of those in the industry, but with so many of us turning to cosmetics for a confidence boost, what do some of the biggest names in beauty put on to feel good when they’re at work?
From a podcaster to an executive coach, nutritional therapist to a makeup artist, here some of the industry’s most high-flying experts share their go-to ‘work face', be it a stay-at-home makeup-free vibe or their so-called game face for when they really mean business...
Emma Gunavardhana, podcaster, writer and consultant
“I’m a podcaster, writer and consultant and over time each role has acquired its own particular look...
“When I’m editing my podcast and writing from home, I won’t wear a scrap of makeup despite the fact the first piece of advice I’ll dole out to anyone who ventures into self-employment is ‘don’t fall into the trap of elasticated waistbands and no makeup…’ For me, these days are all about efficiency, so I trim the fat of getting ready and roll out of bed and into my office via some leisurewear - the intention to exercise ever present, but in reality my way of giving off an ‘I am awake and I am doing something productive’ vibe when I sign for a parcel from the postman at 11am. In spite of the toothpaste/yoghurt stains that are likely on my chin/top…”
Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse Solid Cleansing Oil + Cleansing Cream , £24.
Chanel Blue Serum , £81.
BareMinerals Bare Haven Moisturising Soft Cream , £24.
Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Eye Cream , £63.
“It’s a different story when I have a day of meetings, presentations or consultancy; that’s when I apply a ‘game face’ the crucial component being an emphasis on either eyes or lips. My thinking being to get an audience’s attention with something bold like a vermillion lipstick or a sculpted, smokey eye and hold it thereafter with a combination of expertise, experience and wit?! There’s also something mentally readying about applying this type of makeup, the unspoken mantra of ‘I mean business’ present in every brush stroke.”
Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Leader , £26.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Ole Flamingo , £8.99.
Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Quad Eye Shadow Palette in Smoke , £17.
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in The Glamour Muse , £39.
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Curl Addict Mascara , £7.99.
“Then there are ‘running around days’ when I might grab an hour here or there with my laptop, show my face at launches and work events and blur the lines between work and play with late afternoon meetings that turn into dinner and drinks. This is my comfort zone, when a little goes a long way and I don’t require the armoury of high-pigment lips to get through my day; tinted moisturisers, washes of eyeshadow that take under 10 seconds to smudge in, a skin-brightening amount of bronzer and regular reapplication of lip balm.”
“I learnt long ago never to venture to work makeup free. Unless, that is, I want to get sent home sick on account of looking so rough. That said, I’m really not prepared to spend any more that five minutes tarting the old mug up. I have two kits - a desk kit and an emergency car kit - and they both contain variations on the same trusted products.
“This one is my home kit. Vitally important at my age (50) is the base; Algenist’s Elevate Cream , £78, came my way via the office, and it’s excellent: hydrating without being heavy, and it does seem to have a discernible lifting effect. Next it’s foundation - always something with an SPF. Currently I’m enjoying KIKO’s new Daily Protection BB Cream , £9.90, but an old friend is Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Glow , £34. This goes around the nose and cheeks, applied in an outward movement (with fingers) so as to avoid any unsightly edges. If I’m looking a bit shiny, I layer Pur’s 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder , £29, over the top, which delivers a beautiful, flawless finish and tones down any redness.
“Then it’s Bareminerals Well Rested for Eyes , £22, a product I am so fond of that not even the fact that my dog, Muffin, stole it and chewed the lid can bring me to part company with it (that’s why it looks so mangled in the picture). This goes around the eyes and on the eyelid. While that’s settling, I touch up the eyebrows with a Sainsbury’s Boutique pencil , £2.50 - just the right consistency and colour for me - and brush them out with Blink bbrowbar Eyebrow Gel , £17. Then it’s back to the eyes for a pop of NARS Indecent Proposal , £21, (which is actually my lipstick, but works well as a toner on natural lids, just below the socket bone, and blended with a finger) before a simple flick of L’Oreal Paris Super Liner Superstar Eye Liner in Black , £6.99. Cheeks is L’Oreal Paris True Match Blush , £7.99. Then the finishing touches: lipstick and fragrance, without which I would never leave the house. This summer it’s been Floris’s wonderful Chypress , £80 - fresh and feminine but not too sweet.”
Chloe Bellas, co-founder of clo and flo and barrecore instructor
“I believe a ‘work face’ starts with feeling good about yourself - it’s really important when instructing a class as this will impact how I deliver a session and the energy that I give out during that time to my clients.
“My ‘work face’ starts from within - I drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is the foundation to what gets layered on top. I make a conscious effort to sip it throughout the day. I also cleanse and moisturise morning and night - working in an air-conditioned studio for hours can take its toll on my skin. I use light to medium makeup - my go-tos are tinted moisturiser, mascara and concealer. I believe that it’s important to keep it light and fresh-looking and I love products like Swiss Clinic’s Eyelash Enhancer Serum , £69, which helps my lashes grow and keeps my beauty regime natural.
“I cleanse using Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser , £29, with warm water and finish with a cold rinse to seal pores - it leaves skin feeling fresh and clean. I then moisturise using SPF 50 - at the moment I am using La Roche Posay. Over the years I’ve been slack with sunscreen and as a result I’ve damaged my skin, so I can’t stress how important I feel about using a high SPF now.
“Makeup-wise, I use Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser , £34 - it gives me enough coverage and a little glow without feeling too heavy. I then apply Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara , £8.99, (mascara is my go-to product - always lifts a tired face). I then use MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer , £16. A little just under the eyes goes a long way in freshening up the face!”
Phanella Mayall Fine, co-founder of the Step Up Club, executive coach and author
"As my career has progressed - and as I've worked with so many other women to progress theirs - I have realised the power of makeup at work. For me, the right hair and makeup is part of looking polished and professional. Plus, when I look the part, it's an instant confidence boost. My days are varied: I need to be able to transition seamlessly from a Step Up meeting with a fashion brand to coaching a corporate director - good hair and makeup takes me across both. My fringe plus a bold lip has become my signature look. I feel at my best when I combine that with subtle eyes and a good base. I embrace change and I love to try different brands - I am in Space NK far too often. But when I find something that works, I'll stick with it forever.
“My skin is oily and sensitive so I look after it by cleansing with Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Cleanser , £28, followed by their Rice Plant & Rosemary Bioaffinity Tonic , £30, finished off with Aromatherapy Associates’ Rich Repair Nourishing Cream , £71. I make my kids wear a high factor sunblock every day and so do I - my current favourite is Clinique Super City Block , £18.50.
“Discovering Smashbox Photo Finish Primer , £26, was game-changing - it gives me the smoothest base. I follow that with Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation , £30, applied with Real Techniques’ Miracle Complexion Sponge , £5.99, (I used to use a foundation brush but this sponge gives such a natural blended look) and a light dusting of No7 Perfectly Bronzed Bronzer , £12. I prime my eyelids with NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base , £19.50 - without this my liner slides right off - and then add Eyeko Black Eye Do Eyeliner , £16, and Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara , £20. I ALWAYS finish with a lip - I am fickle but I currently have these on rotation: Smashbox Be Legendary in Fireball Matte , £17.50, Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope in Private Party , £35, and No7 Match Made Moisture Drench in Berry Burst , £10.
“My hair relies on one key ingredient - a brilliant hairdryer to tame my naturally frizzy hair into a sleek fringe. I couldn't live without my Parlux , £59.95."
Caroline Barnes, makeup artist
“My ‘work face’ is neutral. I rarely wear colour on my lips or eyes. I look to perfect my skin as naturally as I can and keep my features polished without looking overly made up. I have always worn my makeup very simply for work - years ago I would only use a swipe of concealer but now I'm in my 40's, I need a tad more!
“I suppose my professional face has a clean simplicity to it as when working with celebrities, it's important to realise that you are there to look after them and not be retouching your own lips throughout the day.”
I currently use:
Hylamide HA Blur , £19
Inika BB Cream Foundation in Beige , £27.50
Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher in 2 , £25
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick in Warm Ivory , £42
By Terry Hyaluronic Powder , £42
Delilah Brow Line in Sable , £20
Benefit Ready, Set, Brow , £20
Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blusher in Soft Copper , £6.99
Ilia In Between Days Silken Shadow Stick , £18.40
Max Factor False Lash Epic Mascara , £11.99
Sensai Kanebo Deep Lift Filler , £97, for my lips
Sisley Phyto-Lip Twist in 11 , £31
Eve Kalinik, nutritional therapist
“For me, I think there’s something about wearing makeup being part of a self care ritual more than anything - spending a bit of time in the morning giving back to yourself. My look is minimal but it’s really giving a message to myself that I deserve a bit of time and effort and that can literally be just a touch of lippy. I think all too often we are rushing about and having that time, even 10 minutes (which is literally the time it takes me, max), is a positive way to start the day.
“I’m generally less is more when it comes to my beauty regime as I don’t like to feel like my face is ‘done’ in any way and when it comes to products, I tend to veer towards ones that are more naturally-based and high performance. I love the new Annee de Mamiel Atmospheriques range which has been created to help protect against environmental damage (especially important when living in London where my skin is constantly exposed to pollution and external stress). I also love May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden Botanical Facial Mist , £68, and her Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm , £174, which admittedly is on the super pricey side, but it lasts ages as you only need the smallest amount. I also use Twelve Beauty products if I feel that my skin needs some additional ‘love’, so to speak. Its Hyaluroil Lip Treatment , £28, in particular is brilliant to plump and moisturise my lips. I also like new brand Disciple for its Dreamy Skin , £42, that contains retinyl to help with anti-ageing - I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my skin since using this.
“After this, I use Ilia’s Vivid Foundation , £36, that contains moisturising coconut as well as a unique ingredient called chios that helps to reduce pore size and shine. It provides a natural medium coverage that gives a radiant glow. I pair this with Ilia’s Concealer , £25, that has arnica and is brilliant for under eye coverage and a dusting of its Fade Into You Translucent Powder , £30, that contains aloe leaf extract plus passionfruit and rosemary oil to soothe the skin.
“My other go-to brand is Kjaer Weis as not only are its products created by a makeup artist, but the packaging is super luxurious too. I love its Cream Blush in Above and Beyond , £41, at the moment and I also use its lipstick in Love , £42, to give an instant pop to lips. My other fave lipstick is Ilia’s Tinted Lip Conditioner in Crimson & Clover , £22, if I’m going for a red lip or Shell Shock for something more muted. I do tend to change my lips and blush day to day depending on my mood, meetings and outfit for the day.
“I tend to go more neutral if I’m in my practice with clients, but if it’s a talk that I’m doing then I think a bit of colour gives confidence and attracts the audience in a way too. When it comes to my eyes, I keep it very pared-down as they’re quite a strong blue and kind of get lost if I overdo it. However, I recently found the most incredible mascara - Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara , £60, - that lengthens and promotes growth. I also go to my failsafe lady Suman to get my brows in check regularly. I think the right (or indeed wrong) brows can make or break the overall aesthetic and she is seriously gifted where that’s concerned.
“Rahua haircare products help tame and moisturise my naturally wavy hair and a few drops of O&M’s Frizzy Logic Serum , £23, leaves my hair shiny.
“I finish my ‘game face’ off with On The Road Edition Perfume by Timothy Han , £120. Every time he brings out a new addition to the range, I’m more addicted than the last. They are truly exceptional and a spritz of this makes me feel like I can take on anything that the day ahead has in store.”
Follow us Twitter and Instagram .