Women tell me that wearing make up at work is a load of nonsense.
Seven years ago I surveyed my database to discover what they thought of women who do wear make up and those who don’t. Overwhelmingly they said that women who don’t wear make up are lazy or gay. If you wear too much, caked on, then you are trying too hard. I’d like to think that this attitude has changed.
Some months ago, I posted the same question on Facebook. The post went viral. Women got very engaged and had a whole heap to say about it. One woman used make up to cover up her depression last year. It worked for her. Another loves how a little make up makes her feel. And yet another refuses to wear any make up for any occasion. There is no right or wrong here. What angered them was the expectation that they ‘should’ wear it.
What I know for sure is that consistency with your brand is crucial. It communicates trust and reliability for your clients.
2016 research from the University of Chicago and the University of California, has made the link between income level and grooming habits such as wearing make-up, styling hair and choice of clothing.
It’s the first study to show that the “beauty premium can be actively cultivated”, and it examined nation-wide data of more than 14,000 participants.
The “beauty premium” refers to the way physical attractiveness can increase income; a phenomena that has been shown in research time and time again. This study confirms the existence of the beauty premium, but says grooming also plays a part. In fact, salary differences between women of varying levels of attractiveness can be put down (almost always) to grooming habits.
“We find that attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness, but this gap is reduced when controlling for grooming, suggesting that the beauty premium can be actively cultivated,” the report states.
I remain annoyed by the fact that as human beings we DO judge a book by its cover. I want to believe that mysogeny and sexism in Australia does not exist, but it does. However, I am heartened by the research around grooming applying to both men and women.
The corporate world is a sucker for a good looking employee. Fact. So, attractiveness matters. It’s proven by research. For over a decade now, I have been in the styling and personal branding business. I have styled clients in a way to serve them as individuals for their corporate roles and business and I have seen them promoted and earning more money. Their confidence increases. When that happens, all bets are off. Anything is possible.
First impressions are crucial. Old research suggested that in the first seven seconds an impression is formed. I say it’s in the blink of an eye. Malcolm Gladwell writes about this in Blink. I don’t need seven seconds.
So is it about make up or is it about good grooming? Let’s get back to your brand. What are your values? What do you stand for? What are you selling? We all sell something. Everyone is in sales. Do you look like the fee you charge?
For both men and women there is no compromise around good grooming. Four elements for you to consider:
1. Clothing - Quality, clean and in good condition.
2. Hair - Well groomed in a style that serves you. If you choose to colour your hair, attention to regrowth is not negotiable. You can have a hairline part colour done to save money. Alternative is to leave it natural. Going grey is cool by the way. A good hair stylist will help with this.
3. Skin - Often overlooked. A simple daily regime of caring for your skin will make a difference. Check out this range for ease and effectiveness.
4. Accessories - Shoes, mobile phone, hand bag and jewellery in good condition.
What I know for sure is that we do business with people we like and trust and consistency plays a role here. Being consistent with what YOU say your brand is.