by Bri Kilroy • photography by Two Eagles Marcus
“It’s not about using makeup to change. It’s about enhancing what you already have.”
– Erick Gerson, professional makeup artist
Doing your makeup for important events may have you thinking you need to go above and beyond to impress a potential employer. Grand Rapids makeup professional Erick Gerson of E.G. Makeup urges women to show their beauty rather than cover it in an interview-friendly (and work friendly!) makeup tutorial.
Gerson, who is a nine-year makeup industry professional, began his makeup career by accident while volunteering at the Wyoming Theater Company. He chose to ditch his graphic design schooling and follow what excited him. After years of freelance and working for M.A.C., Gerson branched out on his own.
Gerson has a home studio in Alder Heights for consultation and some small sessions. He usually travels for events such as theatre performances, commercial work for companies, and weddings, but is always open to trying new challenges. He presented this interview-friendly makeup how-to at the Women’s Resources Center earlier this year. Follow these simple steps to achieve a look that will complement your natural features while keeping the work at a minimum.
Tip: When getting ready for an interview, give yourself extra time with your makeup. If you take five minutes to get ready in the morning, allow yourself 15.
Step 1: Prepping and Preparing the Face
Moisturize your face before you begin. A well-hydrated face allows makeup to perform at its best and reduces dryness, making your skin an excellent canvas for laying foundation. Apply an oil-free moisturizer with UVA/UVB protection after washing your face. Choosing an oil-free product will keep your face looking healthy rather than greasy. Let dry for a few minutes before applying foundation.
Tinted Moisturizer vs. Foundation
Determine your skin tone by checking the veins on the inside of your wrist. If your veins are more…
- blue, you have a cooler skin tone.
- green, you have a neutral skin tone.
- purple, you have a warm skin tone.
Tip: Keep in mind that your skin color changes throughout the seasons. Keep different foundations to use throughout the year.
Those who have minimal flaws in their skin can get away with a dab of tinted moisturizer. It will hydrate while smoothing out blemishes and uneven skin tone. However, it will not substitute for concealer or foundation.
Foundation offers more coverage and comes in different textures, such as a matte and satin finish, to suit all skin types. When choosing a foundation, match the color to your neck rather than a spot on your hand to achieve a tone closer to your natural skin color.
- Start in the center of your face, just between your eyebrows. Using a makeup sponge, dab a little bit of foundation onto your face and blend into the skin working outwards.
- Apply a little extra foundation in areas that have more redness. If you need more coverage in a particular spot, add concealer.
- Blend from the face into the neck to avoid a foundation border at your jaw line.
Finish by setting your foundation with a translucent powder that will absorb excess oil. Avoid a facial dust storm by tapping the brush on your wrist to get rid of excess powder.
- Using a powder brush, apply with gentle taps in the center of your face starting at your forehead.
- Follow down to the side of your nose, under your lips and on your chin.
Step 2: The Eyes Have It
It’s no discovery how important eye contact is during a job interview. Eyes reveal interest, confidence and professionalism, so it’s priority to give them care.
Eyeliner opens up the eyes and creates the illusion of thicker lashes. Skip the liquid liner and use a black or brown pencil that will keep your look soft and subtle rather than harsh and drastic.
- Create little dots starting from the center of your eyelid where the lashes meet the skin. Dot to the corners of your eye.
- Connect the dots with your pencil. This will achieve a straight line without any gaps or uneven elevation with your eyeliner.
- Repeat on your opposite eye.
- Use the same technique on your lower lid with a softer shade of liner like brown or grey. It will aid in opening up the eyes without looking like you dramatically outlined them.
Tip: If using eyeshadow, neutral colors look good on all skin types and are best for job interviews. Use a shade such as tan, brown and cream.
Well-groomed brows frame your eyes and face, and show that you pay attention to detail. Tweeze any stray hairs growing outside your eyebrow outline and consider using brow gel or a little bit of hairspray to keep your brows in place.
- Choose a pencil at least one shade lighter than your hair color to keep them from looking too stark. If your brows are blond, use a shade darker than your eyebrow color.
- Start by drawing in individual hairs in the bare areas within your eyebrow.
- Use a light, feather motion as you continue at the base of your eyebrow towards the tail, making your eyebrows more defined.
Mascara is a must and shouldn’t be skipped in your makeup routine. Use up to two coats of mascara for longer, fuller lashes.
- With your brush, get as close to the roots of the eyelashes as possible.
- Wait a couple of minutes for mascara to dry before applying a second coat.
- Add a touch of mascara on your lower lashes.
If you get mascara on the skin below your eye during application, wait for it to dry before reaching for a Q-tip. Letting it dry allows you to simply brush it off rather than risk rubbing off any foundation.
Step 3: Add Some Color
Applying a little bit of blush makes everyone look healthier. Use blush rather than bronzer for a natural-looking, healthy glow. A peachy pink tone will look good on everyone and will flatter all skin tones.
- Sweep your brush lightly over the blush. Tap the handle on your wrist to get rid of excess powder.
- Apply a minimal amount of blush on the apples of your cheeks in a sweeping motion, and blend out toward the temple.
Tip: A cream blush can be used to achieve a more natural finish and is recommended for mature skin types.
Wear a lipstick that add color and looks formal for a job interview. It is better to look more formal than too casual. If your lipstick is a nice peachy color, it can double as a blush.
- For a pop, choose a color just a little darker than your natural lip color, giving your lips a nice tint without overpowering the rest of your features.
- Keep lipstick at the front of your lips. Applying it too far back could lead to stained teeth.
Voila! Your work-confident makeup is complete.
Bri Kilroy is a Grand Valley and AmeriCorps alumna who learned to type through vigorous Mavis Beacon trainings. She also passes as an artist, illustrator and author of this bio.