First impressions count—especially when you’re in public relations. That’s why you have to look and dress the part. Whether you’re stepping in front of a camera or pitching the media, represent your clients and yourself the best you can by brushing up on these 15 need-to-know beauty tips:
1. Consider your background. If you’re going to be on video, don’t wear clothing with lines (horizontal or otherwise), as the camera will distort them and you. The same goes for patterns-keep them minimal so they won’t clash with the background. Additionally, don’t wear green if you’ll be taped in front of a green screen. No one will see you!
2. Stop fly-aways. Your hair might look perfect in the mirror, but bright lights and cameras can pick up a lot of details, including hair frizz and fly-aways. Use a shine serum on your hair as part of your normal beauty routine.
3. Wear a watch. Not only do watches add an elegant and professional look to your wardrobe, but they also make sure you’re on time. Wearing a watch also allows you to look at the time without taking out your cell phone and perhaps getting distracted by your text messages.
4. Pack an emergency beauty box. You never know when that small bottle of static guard or face powder will come in handy. Check this list of the ultimate emergency kit items.
5. Avoid getting lipstick on your teeth. Instead of wearing lipstick, wear lip gloss. If you refuse to give up your favorite shade of lipstick, test it out before you wear it to that big client presentation.
6. Give your face a lift with makeup. Draw “whiskers” around your nose and mouth with a matte concealer stick. Blend it in with a brush. This will give the effect of lifting up your cheekbones.
7. Be clean shaven. Both men and women should keep their hair trimmed or shaved to look professional. If hairiness is a problem, check out hair-removal gadgets like the No!No!
8. Use foundation on your ears. Makeup isn’t just for your face. If you know your ears or neck tend to get red when you give presentations, apply a dab of foundation to your ears and neck for some extra coverage.
9. Dress the part. While you should always be dressed to the nines, focus on wearing sleek, streamlined clothes that are modest. Not only will the clothes fit well, but they’ll be professional and flattering.
10. Invest in slips and undershirts. To avoid showing your bra or panty line—it’s tacky and embarrassing—make slips and undershirts your new best friends. Also keep a slip, tank top, and even an extra outfit in your car for emergencies. (You might not realize you’re wearing a see-through shirt until after you leave home.)
11. Test your perfume. It’s always nice to smell good, but make sure you don’t leave a trail of fragrance wherever you go. You can test this by putting a tissue where you applied the perfume. If the tissue sticks, you’ve put on too much. Remove the scent with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. To avoid plastering yourself with perfume, spray it in front of you and walk through the mist.
12. Practice your walk. High heels make you look tall and lean, and if you can walk in them well, you’ll look confident. But what if you can’t walk in them? Ditch the heels, or at least bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. An uncomfortable walk won’t benefit you or the impression you’re making.
13. Keep your nails manicured. People may notice your face first, but they’ll also notice your hands—especially when you go in for a handshake. Keep your handshake strong and powerful and those nails manicured. To prevent chipping, ask your manicurist to apply a polish-gel hybrid. If you don’t have your nails painted, keep a nail file in your purse.
14. Prevent dry skin before it happens. Dry, cracked hands aren’t pretty, nor are they comfortable. In the winter, make some adjustments to your beauty routine. Use a humidifier at night, and switch out your moisturizer for one that contains lactic acid. Safflower oil also works well to keep your skin soft.
15. Practice smiling with your eyes. Or as Tyra Banks says, smize!
Follow these beauty tips, and you’ll soon be working the room with confidence.
A version of this article originally appeared on MillerLittlejohnmedia.com.
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