Ace your signature style

Is your beauty look (or lack thereof) holding you back at work? Here’s how to make an impact.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Is your beauty look (or lack thereof) holding you back at work? Here’s how to make an impact.

Photography: Corbis/click photos & tpg/click photos.
Photography: Corbis/click photos & tpg/click photos.

What do Lauren Conrad and Kim Kardashian West have in common? Both have been building their brands using their ambition, charisma, and one very subtle strategy: a signature beauty look. Don’t think of it as just hair and makeup—think of it as your professional PR.


“Consistency—even in your look—makes people trust you. It sends an unspoken message that you can be counted on,” says Laurin Sydney, who coaches people for public appearances. “If you go to work with a bare face on Monday and aqua shadow the next, it creates the perception you’re spending too much time experimenting with your look, not focusing on work,” she says. Sydney admits it’s unfair, and often inaccurate, but “at work, perception can be reality.”


Keeping your beauty game tight also conveys maturity. “Twentysomethings who are experimenting with their identity can appear like adolescents who are still trying to figure it out,” says Vivian Diller, a psychologist who specialises in women’s issues. “It’s assumed that as an adult, you would know yourself, your values and your look. Changing it often signals that you’re insecure and unsure of yourself.” Take Victoria Beckham: after playing the soccer wife (with numerous highlights, spiky pixies, and extensions in between), now she maintains a trademark bob to match her critically acclaimed fashion career.


Once you stop hopscotching between beauty trends, you’ll stand out—in a good way. “A beauty signature creates a way for people to remember you,” says Diller. It doesn’t have to shout—Jennifer Aniston has made the natural look her thing for over a decade! Still, your personal look can still have some range. If you love bold lips, try peony one day, poppy the next. “Be creative within the bounds of your trademark style!” says Sydney.

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