In recent times there has been a push for body acceptance, and makeup has been a big part of the discussion. Some women love wearing makeup, and others don't. So while you should always be making the best decisions for yourself, there is something else going on here. How is your makeup being perceived in the workplace? Is it helping you get ahead, or is it holding you back?

In a 2016 study by Jaclyn S. Wong and Andrew M. Penner published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility looked at how attractiveness affected income. Their findings confirmed long held beliefs that attractive people, they just make more money. In fact they found that an attractive individual can earn roughly 20% more than an average attractive person. However, makeup has to be added into that equation and the study accounted for 'grooming'. They found that beauty can be 'actively cultivated' which means, yes wearing makeup can help you be seen as more attractive and therefore your salary can reflect that.

Does this mean that men should take 'grooming' into account, yes actually. It helps the overall perception of attractiveness and competence, but men aren't judged nearly as much on that as their female counterparts are. So yes men should be grooming, but it isn't nearly as important for them as it is for women. Lucky us.

Competent, trustworthy, approachable? What Do You Think?@malvestida

In a different 2016 Dr. Viktoria Mileva and her team looked at the way makeup was perceived across gender lines with their results published in the aptly named journal, Perception. The study was done using computer software generated standardized makeup looks. Volunteers rated these looks according to attractiveness, dominance, and prestige. This is a clear example of where we can see the gender divide when it comes to opinions of makeup in the workplace.

Men and women both agreed that the makeup wearing faces were more attractive, but when it came to dominance and prestige the opinions differed. Women rated fellow women as more dominant while men rated them as more prestigious. The researchers found it likely that men don't see women as physical competitors and therefore didn't rank them as dominant. A follow up study found that the women's rankings were more based on jealousy, and they saw the made up women as more promiscuous and attractive to men than the non-makeup wearing counterparts.

Prestigious, in control, untrustworthy? What Do You Think?@malvestida

This leads to an interesting dilemma for women in the workplace. How do you do your makeup, for the men or the women in the office? Is it possible to please both? Should you shift your makeup looks depending on the situation? To look at that, there is even more you need to know about office makeup.

A study by Nancy L. Etcoff and her team, published in 2011 here, studied people's perceptions based on how much makeup a woman was wearing. Offered three looks from bare to heavy makeup the results show how tumultuous the 'Survival of the Prettiest' can be. There is no foolproof makeup look, and it has to change based on the situation. Cosmetics can wildly change people's perception of you from how smart you are, how approachable, how in control, and how competent. Your makeup can make you more attractive, but you could also be perceived as more untrustworthy.

Who would you hire? Figure 1 - Plos

So really, what does it all mean? Well really it's good and it's bad news. It really means that at the end of the day, women are judged on their appearance more than men are. It means to get ahead of a man with equal skills, you have to take your physical appearance into account. It means that makeup can help women be perceived as competent put together people, but with the double edged sword that too much makeup can give you a very different reputation. It means women can use makeup to their advantage while the world uses it as a weapon against them at the exact same time.

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I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.

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Southwest Airlines Sale 2022

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Quiet Quitting is the latest trend among Gen-Z TikTok that encourages setting boundaries at work

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Toni Morrison has an anecdote about her first ever job, which was cleaning some neighborhood woman’s house. The young Toni arrived home after work one day and expressed her troubles to her father. But he didn’t provide the sympathy she expected. Instead, he gave her something better — his advice:

“Listen. You don’t live there. You live here. With your people. Go to work. Get your money. And come on home.”

Years later, she wrote about this remarkable experience for the New Yorker and said, in hindsight, this is what she learned:

1. Whatever the work is, do it well—not for the boss but for yourself

2. You make the job; it doesn’t make you

3. Your real life is with us, your family

4. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are

What Morrison so eloquently articulated was setting boundaries. I revisited this piece during the pandemic when working from home ramped up in earnest. Back when work was one of the few things that anchored my day.

Without a physical office, the pandemic shattered the work/life balance for many people. There was no more of that physical separation that Morrison talked about. There is no coming home from work physically. There is no real life to come back to — just a manufactured commute to your laptop in your makeshift home office.

But, par for the course, Gen Z are navigating this boundaryless era using TikTok. While internet gurus promote hustle culture and constant online availability since you’re not getting face time with your managers, there’s a trend in town — “quiet quitting.”


@zaidleppelin On quiet quitting #workreform ♬ original sound - ruby


The trend arose from the depths of the pandemic. Layoffs, salary cuts, and furloughs proved that their employers did not care about their hard-working employees.

The Washington Post dubs quiet quitting as a fresh trem for an old phenomenon: employee disengagement. In many cases, it’s a response to burnout. For much of Gen Z, it’s a way of establishing healthy boundaries in the office and resisting the pressure of the rat race. After all, why work yourself to the bone for a company that just proved it’s ready and willing to let you go?

Despite the term’s negative connotations, Quiet Quitting can provide an empowering shift in thinking for employees.

For far too long, employees have been indoctrinated with a slew of toxic workplace advice. Faced with these old misconceptions and lacking job security or clear paths for advancement, Gen Z is untethering their identities from work.

Quiet quitting — therefore — might be a bit of a misnomer. These employers aren’t completely disengaged. They’re certainly not launching Flight Club-esque sabotage attempts on their employers. NO. Contrary to media panic, Gen Z understands the value of a job — the fickle market they entered ensured that. But they also understand the value of life.

They’re doing what they’re being paid for. Nothing more, nothing less.

According to Chief, a private membership network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders, older generations should learn from this approach.

“Gen Z has already endured the largest seismic shifts to the career landscape than any previous generation, having started their careers in the middle of a pandemic that changed office culture forever and a gig economy that makes piecing together work more viable. They’re taking both those realities and therefore demanding more autonomy and flexibility than any other generation.”

Gen Z are less attached to job titles and statuses. They’re more concerned about their lives. Sure, this can lead to problematic outlooks on money and experiences — see the “I can earn my money back” TikTok trend. But it’s better than hustling for no reward. Besides, as some Gen Z-ers put it on TikTok, the office isn’t even a vibe.

“With the ability to work from anywhere and for more than just one place, Gen Z-ers are forging their own paths that don’t rely on old patterns set by previous generations and are redefining what “career success” looks like. Gen Z can take note, as more and more leaders are similarly pursuing multiple income streams of their own through the form of a portfolio career. The way in which work looks like and where it happens is evolving.”

With less single-minded focus on one job, some TikTok business gurus advocate shutting your laptops precisely at 5 pm. And then jump onto your side hustle. Do nails or lashes on the weekend. Become social media managers for your phone. Sell soap on Etsy (again … perhaps not in the Fight Club way).

But this valorization of side hustles is not about hustle culture, either. They say job security isn’t guaranteed. Learning new skills and develop an alternate income stream/s to keep you afloat. Just make sure you’re not left in the lurch. BTW inflation is here. So every little bit helps.

But where do you start? Watching TikToks can only get you so far. Try a course on LinkedIn Learning to sharpen up your skills and learn new ones that you can turn into a verifiable side hustle — or leverage in your job search if quiet quitting leads to … real quitting.

Learn on your own time with bite-sized videos or in-depth courses. Watch them after work, before you clock in, or on your lunch break. Then, after your courses are complete, you’ll have certificates prominently displayed on your profile that prove your skills.