Do you think about makeup when you are asked to dress professionally? An often neglected element of the professional look, makeup is an essential tool used to feel and look your best on the job. However, it can take its place on the back burner for a busy, career-driven woman; so, we did the work for you. Allison Prynn, self taught makeup artist to the stars, including but not

Allison Prynn
Allison Prynn

limited to Paula Abdul, Sarah Palin, and Imagine Dragons, gave us her list of the best makeup products for easy, quick application that offer the perfect coverage for the workplace. We also split them into two sections — splurge vs. steal — so that any woman on any budget can feel and look her best in the workplace.


Primer is an essential product that is used after cleansing and moisturizing the skin. Primers aid in preparing the skin for smooth application and giving the makeup something to stick to all day, increasing durability. If you are willing to splurge, a light layer of Hourglass Mineral Veil ($73) will help to reduce fine lines, minimize pores, and blur imperfections as well as even out the skin tone. However, Allison’s favorite drugstore primer is NYX Angel Veil ($15); specializing in minimizing shine unlike its high end dupe, this primer which is a fraction of the price is an excellent substitute for Hourglass Mineral Veil. Try either one of these products and see if they help your makeup last during your 9 to 5 workday.


While some women find that they may not need foundation, foundation is a universal product that is used to create a cohesive canvas on the skin. Specializing in hiding discoloration, foundation comes in many different forms ranging from liquid to powder and everything inbetween. Allison’s top high end pick for foundation was Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat ($55); a weightless fluid with an SPF 19 for skin protection, this foundation is used to highlight and contour the shadows of the face to provide a natural yet polished look to the skin. Providing a similar finish is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup ($11). A product that is a fifth of the price, this drugstore dupe can be used to provide the same healthy glow to the skin while providing light/medium coverage that is perfect for the workplace.


Conceal, conceal. If you’re not a fan of wearing foundation all over your face, try concealing just your problem areas with a concealer like Benefit Erase Paste ($35) or Maybelline Fit Me Concealer ($4). Providing a camouflage for the blemishes or dark circles on your skin, Allison’s favorite concealers are a must have in your morning routine.


If one product is named to be the most universally used among most women, it is probably mascara. Providing the lashes with a voluptuous and lengthening boost, mascara helps to set the focus on your eyes and make for a truly professional look. Allison recommends high-end Chanel Le Volume ($32) and drugstore L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black ($8) for long, dark, and full lashes.


To line or not to line? Eyeliner is a popular step in the makeup routine used to draw focus to the eyes and define them. While eyeliner comes in many different colors ranging from electric blue to chunky gold glitter, in the workplace, it is most appropriate to work with neutral tones like black and brown. However, it is also acceptable to try dark tones that will enhance your natural eye color; for example, if you have hazel or green eyes, opt for a plum eyeliner. The purple tones in the eyeliner will help to contrast with your lighter eyes and really enhance them in the light. If you have blue eyes, try a navy tone that will help bring out the blue in your eyes while defining them appropriately for work. And of course – every makeup professional’s favorite trick for tired eyes – try out a nude or white eyeliner on your waterline to really open up the eye and make you look awake and alert. Allison provided us with her favorite traditional eyeliners that range in a wide variety of colors for that subtle yet striking look; she recommends Urban Decay All Nighter Eyeliner ($20), a creamy pencil that provides a line that will remain stationary all day. It’s also easy for those early work mornings when you’re on the go; without a need for sharpening or pencil shavings, the pencil is really easy to apply. A dupe for this high end product would be L’Oreal HIP Eyeliner ($10). With a similar smudge proof formula, both eyeliners are perfect for a full work day.


To look more lively and healthy, try using some blush on the apples of your cheeks. Just a little bit of a rosy pigment can go a long way in providing that polished look to the face. Allison recommends La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush ($70), a blendable, radiant formula with an opalescent shimmer that gives the face a more lively look. For a similar effect, try NYX Cream Blush ($6) for that same dewy, long-wearing glow.

The lips

Finish it off with some lip stain! As opposed to a lipstick or lipgloss which often require frequent reapplication (which is not ideal at the office), try using a lip stain with an indulgent and rich color that will stain the lips with a pigment that will last all day. Allison recommends Rouge Allure Velvet Intense Long Wear Lip Colour by Chanel ($35) or Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain ($8) for moisturized and pigmented lips that finish off the perfect office look.

Choose some or all of these products to try out in your collection! Allison highly recommends the  L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara and the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain to try out in drugstores – while she prefers high end makeup products, she thinks this list of products is a good substitute for her high end picks.

A makeup routine for the weekday morning should be easy, quick and durable for the day’s activities. We hope this list allows you to think less about the makeup and think more about the things you prioritize.