A smart woman knows to always be prepared, especially when it comes to beauty.
But sometimes, lugging around a makeup kit with your day’s essentials isn’t always possible, so the next best solution? Making sure you’ve got a few handy products stashed in your desk drawer for those unexpected moments, necessary touch-ups and even a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Because all offices may not offer the luxury of a giant cupboard or vast vanity for all of your beauty products, you may need to be a bit more tactical with your desk essentials, so we’ve put together the absolute must-haves for every woman.
For the fuss-free
Even if your mentality is ‘work is work’, and the thought of mixing an elaborate beauty kit with stationery essentials isn’t a priority, it’s still a good idea to consider having a few hydrating products and mood-boosters around.
A hand cream
Think of how many bathroom trips you make in the day. And how often you wash your teacup. And even how cold the air conditioner makes your office feel. All of this is actually drying out your skin, including your hands, so it’s important to keep a nourishing hand cream in your drawer for a few applications in the day. Try Lanolips All-Over Everywhere Multi-Cream – even though it’s an all-over cream, it absorbs super-quickly, so you can get on with your work pretty much immediately after you've applied it. Plus, it’s handy to have when you realise your legs are looking a little dry, too!
A face mist
Just like your office can dry out your hands, it can dry out the skin on your face, too, so a hydrating face mist is a great way to keep your complexion soft and nourished, while giving you a bit of a wake-up call when you need it. Spritz some Bobbi Brown Face Mist throughout the day to hydrate and soothe your skin, and revitalise your makeup.
A perfect product if you like to touch-up your scent during the day, if you’ve forgotten to spray your fragrance before you left the house, or if you just need to smell something good to enhance your mood. While some perfumes are quite strong and not exactly office-friendly, there are a fortune of fragrances that your coworkers will appreciate, including Chloé Eau De Parfum.
For the gym-goer
Morning gym sessions may leave you feeling revitalised and ready to tackle the day, but a serious workout sweat doesn't usually work well in the office. If you shower and get ready at the office, you’ll need a few beauty bits to look work-ready.
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer, right? Just make sure you’re caring for the skin under your arms while tackling any sweating by using a nourishing formula like Dove Invisible Dry.
A dry shampoo
If you don’t have enough time to shampoo, condition, dry and style your hair, dry shampoo is your post-gym best friend – no matter if you’re quickly styling your hair up, down or a somewhere in between.
After your shower, spray an oil-absorbing formula, like TRESemmé Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo at your roots, wait a minute or so, and massage the powder in.
A BB cream
After a good sweat session, your skin might be a bit dehydrated, and chances are you’ll want some coverage for the workday ahead, so use a BB cream to kill two birds with one stone. Estée Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup SPF 30 will add the nourishment your skin needs, while smoothing and evening out your skin tone for a radiant finish.
For the back-to-back-meetings manager
Your day is hectic and you probably barely have enough time to eat, but if you’re in meetings – whether internally or with clients – you need to look polished at all times. So these quick beauty solutions will ensure you’re looking flawless without setting you back time-wise
No one wants to look shiny in any situation, let alone a professional one, so keeping a compact of blotting papers, like jane iredale Facial Blotting Paper Compact, will help you quickly absorb any excess oil on your T-zone and nose.
A nude lipstick
A nude lipstick that’s your lip colour but just a shade darker will give the perfect barely-there finish to your look, and because the hue is so natural, you don’t have to spend the time fussing about straight lines when you’re doing a quick touch-up. Just a quick slick of your Rimmel London Lasting Finish By Kate Nude Collection in 45 and you’re good to go.
Busy days can take it out of you, and while tiredness isn't always the reason behind dark circles, it can be a contributing factor, so it’s a good idea to have an under-eye concealer, like Dior Diorskin Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen, on hand to hide any signs of lack of sleep or stress and brighten your eye area.
For the socialite
If your evenings are mainly spent heading straight from the office to drinks, dinner, and the like, chances are you’re going to want to have a few products on hand to not only touch-up your day makeup, but to give it some nighttime sparkle.
An eyeshadow palette
An eyeshadow palette that features a variety of shades in a variety of finishes is your best bet, that way you can create several eye looks while only having the one product taking up precious drawer space. We rate L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude Eyeshadow in Beige – you've got all the shades for a single wash of colour, a neutral smoky eye, and every other eye look imaginable.
Like we said, office conditions tend to dry out your skin, and that can leave your complexion looking a little dull and lacklustre, so before you head out, sweep some Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder on your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and on your cupid’s bow.
A statement lip colour
Every girl knows that sometimes all you need to transform your look in an instant is a good red lipstick. For a quick fix, keep a fire-engine red, like YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 01 Le Rouge, to swipe on once your work day is done.
Main image photography by: Edward Urrutia
Stationery supplied by: Kikki K
Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.