columnist

JAN
2015

Grooming tips for working women

Publisher : Magna Publications - CITADEL Pune

New year brings with it lots of resolutions and promises. Some we like to keep and some we conveniently forget! With the onset of a new calendar, let’s take an opportunity to review some of the most important grooming tips for a working woman of today.

Being a successful woman is beyond just being only a ‘woman of substance’. It is not just about being professional in your attitude but also in your looks. Depending on the industry that you represent, you need to dress and behave accordingly keeping in mind some definite Do’s and Don’ts that compliment an impressive personality. For example a belly baring top in the workspace is a NO, but well painted nails is a YES. It’s all about small detailing which is observed and deciphered at a sub conscious level that translates into personality traits of an individual.

Personal grooming and paying attention to the way you present yourself maximizes your visual impact which in turn speaks volumes about you. People judge you first on how you look and then on what you have to say. The judgments based on your first impression then leads to opinions about critical factors like how trustworthy you are, how good you are at your job, how successful you are, your educational background etc. If your business attire is distracting because it is too sexy, drab, or colorful, your business contacts may focus on how you look, not on your business skills.

Women today strive to balance home, family, work and social obligations with equal aplomb. And what they should not miss out on is their own look at home or work. Earlier round-the-clock performance was like an impossible dream, but today it is most women’s claim to fame. For the working class, time is money and dressing for success is inevitable! This does not just include choosing the right outfits or accessories, but also personal grooming and makeup. Frequent travel and power point presentations might leave them tired, but their professional appearance ought to match their personal achievements.

For instance, for a formal event at work keep it simple and dress for your personality. Also, it is always better to dress conservatively if you are unsure of what will be acceptable. Neutrals paired with one accent colour also works beautifully for such occasions. The whole point of makeup is to enhance your features, not to create new ones. You should keep your makeup as light and natural as possible and leave out the bright eye and lip colours for parties. In my experience of working with women in India though, I have not found over the top makeup, because most women don’t wear any. A lightly made up look will make you look more polished and presentable than a barefaced look. The same goes with accessories. A brooch or smart stud earrings can make fabulous focal points and look very corporate chic. However, dangly earrings and charm bracelets will only be distracting for you and your colleagues so leave those at home.

I personally stick to the rule of having pants, skirts and blazers in neutral colours. Neutrals are not only restricted to grey, brown and off white - you can also take advantage of the beautiful navies, forest greens, burgundies, tans and caramel tones around. Pair these neutrals with blouses, scarves or other accessories in accent colours - ruby red, purple, teal blue, soft metallics and pinks are some examples. Looking like a Christmas tree or as if you are going to a wedding is so unwanted. Avoid big bold patterns. Wear close toed shoes not strappy sandals and keep your hair well groomed.

So much said, these are extreme essentials to have in your handbag if you are an image conscious working woman and are determined to progress in a dignified manner:-

1. If you aren’t a tech savy person, go the old school way of carrying a small diary/planner to keep a tab of your meetings and schedules.

2. A make up kit should comprise of basic necessities to take care of your fresh look while in office such as a compact with mirror, neutral matt finish lipstick, lip gloss, Kajal / liner and ear buds to fix any make up bleed.

3. Hair brush or a comb is extremely important to keep the untangled look intact. Neatly tucked non frizzy hair are always a visual delight adding to a pleasing personality.

4. A lady is known with the fragrance she carries, but avoid strong smells which might attract a lot of attention and sneezes around. A mild perfume to make you feel fresh at all times is most desirable specially during the days when we have extra odour.

5. Working blue ink pen and a black OHP marker make you ready to scribble notes during any business meeting or a conference.

6. A pen – drive is an absolute essential element to carry all the time. With obvious benefits of keeping crucial work files accessible from anywhere it is a must have.

7. Battery Charger with multiple usb ports makes life easier during increased traffic hours involving work commute. It helps you stay in touch with your work and social commitments.

8. Hand Sanitizer and pocket tissues keep you infection free from contacting any infection at the workplace. It is always better to precautious than sick.

9. Pepper Spray is important too from a point of women security and safety. Being safe begins with being ready for any adversity.

10. A floral scarf and long earnings make you save time in changing your look from sophisticated to a dainty elegant, ready to party straight from work.

If you've got dark circles, it will make you look sleepy committing a major workplace sin. Don't look tired at the office, it doesn't help you in any way. So chose the right concealer and foundation to match your skin tone. Make sure to use a ‘primer’ before applying day long make up to prevent skin damage. Nothing should be glossy and shiny on your face. Always moisturize your skin and keep it hydrated because nobody wants to see dry, flaky skin. Adding a little bit of mascara will help you look more awake.

Ladies, show that you care about your personal appearances! It communicates a willingness to connect with the person you are meeting, much before you start talking. Paying attention to little details sends a message to others that you will also pay close attention to business details and the needs of your customers and clients. So let’s take a pledge to make a difference to our own success in 2015.