Fashion & Beauty

7 Mistakes that Ruin a Professional Image

By Sheila Dicks

Some of us are aware of it and some us are not. But it can make all the difference in your business social success. What is it? A professional image. Good grooming, self-care, and an appropriate wardrobe are significant factors in a successful career. Following are the seven top mistakes that will ruin a professional image, and advice for avoiding them.

1. Hairstyle

A polished look means being polished from head to toe, not neck to toe. A neatly groomed person wearing a great, well-fitting suit can commit image suicide when she forgets to attend to her hair and makeup. Hair, makeup and wardrobe should be in harmony or professionalism is brought into question.

By harmony I mean the hairstyle should be the same style as the clothing; sporty clothing - sporty hairdo, professional clothing - professional hairdo. For example, long, straight hair when worn down will look good on most occasions. However, when wearing a suit in a business setting the hair will look more in harmony if it is worn up or neatly tied back. Hair has a significant impact on image; it can make or break it.

If you are trying to project a professional image, keep your hair in good condition, without splits or ragged ends or a two-toned look.

2. Posture

Poor posture is a common problem that can ruin the image of a woman who otherwise has a professional image. A well-dressed woman with an appropriate hairstyle and makeup can ruin it all with poor posture. One frequent contributor to poor posture is wearing shoes with heels that are too high, pushing the body forward. High-heeled shoes have their place - they make your legs look great - but if you find walking difficult, your heels are likely too high. If your shoes are fine but you know you have a posture problem, try some abdominal strengthening exercises.

3. Lipstick

Lipstick can add color and life to your face and outfit; however, too much caked on lipstick looks unprofessional. Also, lip liner should not be seen. Lipstick should be dark enough to hide the liner. The liner is meant to give lips an even look and stop them from bleeding; it is not meant to be a border. Be very careful if you want to make your lips appear larger and decide to go outside the line. If not done correctly, this can look messy and overdone.

4. Matching eye makeup and lipstick

The darkness of eye makeup and lipstick should match. If you like to wear dark eyeliner and eye shadow, ensure you avoid light lip colors. If you have light or blonde hair, dark eyeliner is overpowering and looks unprofessional. If you have light-colored hair, stick to lighter shades.

Regardless of your coloring, to be on the safe side, avoid dark eye makeup and lipstick in professional settings.

5. Eyebrows

Eyebrows frame the eyes and can add to a professional image or ruin it. Three things to avoid: first, eyebrows that are much darker than hair color; second, eyebrows you can barely see with heavy eye makeup; and finally, bushy, unkempt eyebrows.

6. Nervous habits

You may have habits that are detracting from your image. If you have a habit such as nail biting, hair twisting, knee jerking, nose-scratching - work to get it under control. Although this is not a habit, nothing ruins your image more than chewing gum. If you want to create a professional image, never chew gum in public.

7. Voice and Attitude

A pleasant voice and a friendly attitude are characteristics that people respond to positively. If those characteristics are not evident, no amount of training or grooming will make up for it.

Sheila Dicks is an Image and Wardrobe Consultant who teaches women how to dress to suit their body type and look slimmer. Visit her at http://www.sheilasfashionsense.com to download a copy of her ebook Image Makeover and get How to Build a Wardrobe free.


 
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