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A few weeks ago I received two photos from a friend. In one photo she was wearing a loose-fitting shirt, pajama pants, and slippers. “Outfit of the day,” written below. In the other photo, the contrast could not be bigger: black pencil skirt, white blouse, tights, and boots. “In better times,” she added. It made me laugh.
Wear makeup at home
A few days later we spoke on the phone. She told me how depressed she felt and how she hadn’t touched her makeup in ages. She thought it was pointless to dress properly and apply makeup nicely now that she was working at home. Besides the occasional video meeting, no one would see her beautiful appearance.
I know how she feels. It seems a shame to waste my energy and money when I am working from home. Even so, I wear makeup while working from home and advised her to do the same. Just like putting on “normal” clothes, wearing a bra, and combing your hair. I supported my advice by saying that it gives the day a little more routine.
A few days later she told me she had followed my advice and was feeling better. This conversation got me thinking about the effect of makeup when you work at home. How come you feel better when you use cosmetics? And what are the other effects? I delved into it and found three reasons why researchers and experts say it’s smart to apply makeup when you work from home.
Separation between work and private life
As I mentioned, having a routine when working from home is important. This not only ensures a rhythm in your day but can also separate work and private life.
Samantha Boardman, clinical lecturer in psychiatry and assistant psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, points out that appearance plays an important role. “I advise female clients who struggle with the separation between work and private life to put on lipstick in the morning. Presenting yourself differently can help to distinguish between work and private life.”
Besides separating the two worlds, makeup also affects your productivity, according to Boardman. Studies have shown that wearing makeup while taking tests can lead to higher scores. So it makes sense that for some, wearing makeup can boost productivity.
An interesting statement that I immediately wanted to know more about. And yes, strange as it may sound at first, a 2017 study found that women who wear makeup score better on tests than women who don’t.
This is not so much to do with cosmetics, but more the fact that wearing makeup has a positive effect on the self-image. As a result, the women felt more confident, which lead to them performing better in the tests. This is a shortened version of the research, I will go into more detail on this later in a separate article.
Moment of calm
In addition to productivity and the separation between work and private life, there is another important benefit. According to Tara Wall, an associate professor of psychology at Barnard College in New York, this has to do with your self-awareness. Her research and work with clients focus on the use of mirrors and reflections to build self-awareness and emotional resilience.
This crisis is a great opportunity for people to look at themselves in fresh ways, before the crises the focus was always outward. Instead of thinking, “How do I view other people?”, you can bring the attention back to yourself. For some, the makeup ritual can be the perfect starting point.”
So you see, makeup has more of an influence on your mood, self-confidence, and productivity than you would expect. So ladies, what are you waiting for?