The best makeup for work

Work makeup: the look that will make you more money

In an ideal world, employees are rewarded for their skill and experience rather than their looks, enhanced by perfect work makeup. After all, in an age of diversity, we should accept people for who they are – not what they look like.

But in reality, we all know looks hugely contribute to influencing and impressing others. Why else do politicians and celebrities hire stylists to present the most flattering and confident version of themselves?

Of course it’s not just how people view women – the same goes for men too – but here I’ve just reviewed the research on the effects of different levels of makeup on women.

A telling study conducted at the University of California presented images of potential political candidates with more-and-less competent demeanours. The most capable-looking candidates won a 13 per cent vote swing.

Presenting your best side using makeup is already known to make women appear more attractive, likeable and proficient at their jobs. But how much product should we paint on? And is a natural look better than a glamorous one if we want to command a bigger pay packet?

Why natural beauty is best

First impressions – including how you wear your work makeup – really do matter – especially in the office, according to a study by job search website Monster. It reveals employers make decisions about interviewees within seven minutes while 70 per cent say the way a candidate applies makeup affects their initial thoughts about them.

These quick conclusions are based on three factors, in order of importance

  1. Work experience (36%)
  2. First impressions (24%)
  3. Education (12%)

Other interesting research reveals the amount of work makeup we use to enhance our appearance – has a huge impact on people’s perception of our ability to do the job well. And it can help career progression.

It sways whether an interview candidate is hired, whether they seem competent, trustworthy and likeable and if they will land a top salary. What’s more, once first impressions are made, they are difficult to change.

A US study published in the journal PLoS ONE acknowledges that attractive people are more likely to be hired, promoted and earn bigger bucks than unattractive individuals.

Psychologists refer to this as the ‘halo’ effect and it is linked to ideas that beautiful people are viewed as more socially skilled, confident and successful.

But smoothing out imperfections by caking on cosmetics won’t instantly win you a better wage. Studies show that women wanting to secure a job – or win people over – should apply minimal, well applied work makeup.

A report titled ‘Beauty Is As Beauty Does’ in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology presented images to HR professionals of women before and after makeovers. The salaries of the ‘polished’ females were thought to be 8 to 20 per cent higher than those with less or no makeup.

US research from Virginia Commonwealth University used photographs of women with natural (none), professional (moderate) and glamorous (heavy) makeup to evaluate who looked most accomplished. Those wearing the most beauty products were deemed less capable than applicants wearing little or no make-up.

And when it came to pay, the ‘natural-looking’ group were assigned a higher starting salary than women donning light to moderate amounts of cosmetics.

Work makeup clearly has many beneficial effects – such as making women feel more confident and appear more deserving of top dollars. But too much greasepaint or an overly glamorous look goes the other way.

A study in the research journal Frontiers in Psychology shows light makeup is preferable over heavier alternatives. This is because it is ‘viewed as more attractive and allows for greater expression of individual personality and easier recognition by others.’

It also makes people seem more trustworthy – a characteristic we all want so we can catch that next promotion or client contract.

Natural makeup makes people seem more trustworth

© 2011 Etcoff et al. Faces from left to right: No makeup, natural look, professional look, glamorous look. Findings: the natural look resulted in a significant positive effect on trustworthiness, while the professional look did not have a significant effect, and the glamorous look had a significant negative effect.

Want winning work makeup? Perfect this one easy look

If you want to kick some career goals, simply follow these steps for work makeup designed to do wonders for your career.

  • Stick to neutral shades such as caramels, coffees and creams that naturally enhance and flatter your unique beauty rather than falsify your features.
  • Avoid deep, bright colours that could contain lead.. Apart from the health implications, a bolder make-up style is generally less trusted.
  • Choose foundation and concealer that matches your skin tone and aim for light, fresh-faced coverage.
  • Don’t forget to groom your eyebrows. Like a beautiful picture – they frame your face. In one scientific study, ‘arched inner eyebrows’ are one of the traits that make people seem trustworthy.
  • Read how to find the best natural lipstick colour for your skin tone HERE>
Ideal lipstick colour for work
Barely There Makeup

Spring Makeup Tutorial: how to get the healthy naked glow

Presenting your Spring makeup tutorial! Now that the sunshine is peeking out from behind the clouds, it’s time to switch up your old routine with a range of skin loving natural makeup from 100% Pure [pigmented with real fruits and vegetables!]  plus our Lip Nourish Lipstick. Right in time for the fresh-faced season, we’re going to show you how to achieve that perfect naked glow using several simple techniques. Remember, less is more!


This Spring, barely-there makeup is more radiant than ever, giving the face dewy freshness and vibrancy. It’s out with matte skin and lips and in with an illuminated base with a touch of natural pigment fortified with super skin foods: think luminescent skin, luscious lips, earthy lids and va-va-voom lashes. The main focus is on healthy, nourished skin and makeup that wakes up. Darker shades are being replaced with a more seasonally appropriate colour palette (think pinks, peaches, and nudes—like our Lip Nourish in Rose Lime and Lip Nourish in Chai Shimmer) and these same soft and pretty hues will let your natural beauty radiate. Here’s what green makeup artist, Carla Jones, had to say about mastering a naked glow in less than 5 minutes with the bare (faced) basics Spring makeup tutorial.



STEP ONE: For full coverage that’s not too heavy on the skin, apply 100% Pure Tinter Moisturiser [which is not only moisturising but is packed full of skin loving antioxidants and vitamins!] by starting at the centre of your face and blending outwards. I recommend using a good quality vegan makeup brush, then use your fingers to smudge any brush lines. If you’re pressed for time, fingers can work just as well – just be sure to make sure they’re clean! This super light and nourishing tinted moisturiser gives great buildable coverage and a gorgeous fresh, dewy finish.

TIP: If you’re worried about your makeup sweating off when it’s sunny off, try adding a primer underneath your base. 100% Pure Luminous Face Primer (due back in stock soon!) is a luxurious and illuminating organic formula packed with superfruits that will brighten your complexion while laying down the perfect canvas for makeup application.

STEP TWO: If you have dark circles, pigmentation or spots you want to hide, apply a little 100% Pure Brightening Concealer in White Peach beforehand or simply build the tinted moisturiser a little more in those areas.Your essential for the perfect naked glow

TIP: Courtesy of the strobe trend, skin that looks lit by a pearlised glow from within is definitely trending right now. Get the look by adding 100% Pure Luminous Creme in Starlight along the along the top of the cheekbones, nose bridge and on the cupids bow – so all the places where the sun would naturally hit. This cream highlighter gives natural light-reflecting coverage to let the light shine through, offering an incredible candlelit glow to your facial features.

STEP THREE: To give your face an instant lift , apply a little 100% Pure Cherry Lip and Cheek Stain by smiling in the mirror to find the apples of cheeks and apply it in an upwards motion with one finger, using the other clean fingers to blend. 

TIP: Contouring, or sculpting, adds shadows to enhance bone structure and give the appearance of depth so if you want a bit of a sunkissed glow, swish on some 100% Pure Cocoa Glow Bronzer to the underside of the cheekbones, down the sides of the nose, along your hairline and jawline, and in the depth of the temples.



STEP FOUR: To shape the face, apply the 100% Pure Eyebrow Gel (I love the shade ‘Brunette’) using an angular brush and simply fill in any gaps or blonde patches in your brow hairs – do not colour in the whole eyebrow!

STEP FIVE: Then, using a brush, apply a light layer of  100% Pure Eye shadow in Vanilla Sugar all over the eyelids.

TIP: If you want a do-it-all eyeshadow palette, you can’t look past 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette which contains universally flattering soft, neutral tones for every day use.

STEP SIX: Apply a subtle line of dark eye shadow ( Cashmere for a greeny/brown eye) to the top corner of the eyelid so you get that definition around the top of the eyes without the dramatic ‘cat eye’ look. Do not apply any eyeshadow/eyeliner to the bottom eyelids as this will make your eyes appear smaller.

TIP: To wake up your eyes and give off the appearance of 8 hours of sleep, apply 100% Pure Bright Eyes Creamy White Liner to the lower waterline to really make your eyes pop.

STEP SEVEN: Apply a coat of 100% Pure Black Tea Pigmented Mascara onto curled lashes to enhance your eyes even further.

Lip Nourish


STEP EIGHT: Finish off your barely-there look with your favourite Lip Nourish Lipstick! Try Tea Rose for a my-lips-but-better appeal, or any of the other universally flattering shades to keep your pout nourished and protected, and looking their kissable best. You can even add a dab of 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Shimmery Lip Gloss White Peach in the centre of your kissers to make them look plumped up, luscious and bursting with Spring-appropriate ripeness.

TIP: Spritz on a refreshing skin tonic over your breathable makeup to set it all into place, and hydrate your skin endlessly.

STEP NINE: Finish off your look with a pop of chic floral pink on the nails a la 100% Pure 10 Free Nail Polish in 12:51. The toxin-free formula features a subtle, natural and sophisticated finish perfect for your Spring repertoire.

TIP: Don’t forget to thoroughly cleanse your face every night to remove the day’s face.

Lip Nourish

Take it one step further and spring into the season by collecting all seven of our eco-chic, colour fabric wraps that encase our signature seven Lip Nourish shades by clicking here!

Let us know if you’ll be sporting this fresh-faced look this season in the comments!

5 Ways To Cleanse and Re-energise Your Body

As we’re coming up to the mid year mark, this is the perfect time to check in with your body physically and emotionally. If you find yourself falling off the bandwagon in any aspect of life, this is as good a time as any to cleanse yourself of what is no longer serving you and to get back to looking after and nourishing yourself to look and feel you best.

Now we’re not talking about drinking juices for 10 days straight, we’re talking about holistically cleansing your mind, body and surroundings to recharge the batteries and keep you on track to living the life you love.

1. Start from the inside out.

Meditation is a fantastic way to regain balance in your life and calm the mind.  Put simply, meditation involves focusing your mind on your breath or one single thought or phrase, and the best thing about it is, it’s free!

Just 20 minutes a day helps to manage stress and anxiety, clear the mind, improve focus and help you sleep better. If 20 minutes sounds too daunting, try doing five minutes twice a day and work your way up from there. There are many different types of meditation so experiment and find what works best for you. Cindy – our founder loves to walk early in the morning (when her little ones are still asleep) and uses her ‘stretch time’ in a pretty spot to focus on her breathing.

Journaling is also another great way to check-in with your self by getting all the thoughts on to paper where you can organise them. Use journaling to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for, goal setting, recording memories that bring joy to you and to help you recognise what in your life you want to improve and how to achieve that.

2. Add more nutrient rich foods into your diet.

Ever heard the saying “food is fuel”? Without eating the right foods, how can you get enough energy and the right nutrients to reach your full potential each and every day?  The easiest way to do this is to detoxify your body, start fresh and then nourish it with nutrient dense foods in a combination of energy boosting and energy sustaining foods.

For a mini detox, try cutting out caffeine, sugar, refined foods and alcohol for three days and eating plenty of cleansing foods such as beetroot, leafy greens, lemon, green tea, water, coconut, sprouts, berries and dandelion tea. Have a look at our beauty detox here.

To incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your everyday life you can make simple swaps such as:

–       Your morning coffee for a go + glow smoothie

–       Regular dairy milk for almond milk

–       Refined sugars and flavourings for antioxidants rich herbs and spices

–       Refined gluten grains for millet, quinoa, brown or black rice

–       Trans fats with omega 3 and essentail fatty acid rich foods like avocado, nuts, oils, salmon and sardines

Click here for nourishing, simple recipe ideas! Or click here for more information on the best 30 ways to eat better daily.

Smoothies and breakfast bowls are amazing ways to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your diet

3. Get clean.

Constant fatigue, weight gain, headaches, skin conditions and muscular aches are all signs that there are too many toxins in your life. Toxins interrupt normal physiological processes and reduce the function of our organ and gland systems, basically preventing you from looking and feeling your best.

According to a 2009 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the average home may contain as many as 400 chemicals, some of them toxic and many untested.

Detox your home and work environment by swapping harsh chemical-laden cleaning products to natural alternatives, keeping windows open for fresh air, leaving your shoes at the door, ensure you’re not using plastics containing BPA, using unscented microfiber cloths instead of sprays to clean and always buying organic when possible.

4. Heal your gut

Our digestion determines the health of every cell in our body, when your gut health is suffering, so does your entire body. To achieve and maintain a healthy gut, we need to support the good bacteria in our digestive system because too many bad bacteria significantly contributes to skin problems such as acne, premature aging and rosacea as well as depleted energy levels and tummy troubles like IBS. So to get the glow back in your skin and the spring back in your step, take these simple steps to heal and maintain a healthy gut

– Take a probiotic to encourage the growth of good bacteria

– Eat more fibre rich foods that contain soluble and insoluble fibre to help remove waste

– Stress less

– Eat your meals slowly and chew each mouthful

– Cut down on alcohol, processed foods and sugar

– Eat skin loving foods rich in zinc, chlorophyll, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids as well as probiotic rich fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut and yoghurt.

– drink more water and herbal teas

5.  Detox from the outside in.

As we mentioned before, the build up of toxins reduces our body’s ability to function at it’s best. Now think about this: your skin is your body’s largest organ and absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it. If you’re applying make-up and skin care products daily that are filled with artificial fragrances, parabens, sulphates and mineral oil [the list goes on] daily, think about what is then being absorbed into your blood stream. More info here in our Hazardous Beauty Ingredients Guide 

In fact, an Australian report published in the International Journal of Chemistry compared natural beauty products to chemical-based ones and determined “that natural beauty products are better for your skin and have far less side effects.”

Now detoxing your entire bathroom cabinet and make-up bag sounds extremely daunting [and expensive!] so just take one step at a time. As you run out of one product, say your foundation, simply replace it with a natural, toxin free version. Plus, watch this space for information on Luk’s upcoming detox your make-up bag workshops where we can start you off on your toxic-free journey and hold your hand the whole way through. In the meantime have a look at our step by step guide on how to Make Over Your Beauty Routine

be delicious.... inside and out


Featured image via and breaky bowl image via

Natural beauty

5 favorite natural makeup brands and where to buy

We know our lük women already glow from the inside out and that sometimes you want just a little extra radiance –  so do it the natural way with our guide to 5 top natural makeup brands.  

1. LUK LIP NOURISH – of course!

We are 100% natural lipstick made from superfoods. We have seven shades which are gently flavoured with cold pressed citrus and spice oils to give your lips a gorgeous sheer colour whilst nourishing and deeply moisturising them. We have a shade for everyone, click here to find out which one suits you best!

This year we’ll be developing more food-grade makeup but with organic, raw, vegan ingredients, so stay tuned!

One of our most popular natrual lipsticks: Orange & Juniper Lip Nourish in a sheer dusky pink

One of our most popular natural lipsticks: Orange & Juniper Lip Nourish in sheer dusky pink


This is one of my personal favourites. They are an Australian owned company that produce natural make up from quality ingredients including organic oils, plant extracts and minerals that are gentle on the skin and packed full of antioxidants. With no animal testing and very reasonable prices, Ere Perez is at the top of our list.

My skin is super sensitive so it’s hard to find a foundation that won’t react with my skin or cause a break out but their oat milk liquid foundation is very gentle and has great coverage. Also, their award winning glossy black almond oil mascara, stays on for hours and never clumps! (But it does smudge quite easily when you first apply it, so give it a little time to ‘set’)

You can it find at Nourished Life or direct from their website.

Ere Perez Almond Oil Natural Mascara

Ere Perez Almond Oil Natural Mascara

3. 100% PURE

Is huge in the US and they are starting to make a name for themselves here in Aus. Their range of cosmetics and skin care is vegan, gluten free and made from 100% natural & organic ingredients plus they are one of the most affordable natural brands around.

I also personally love their  passion for cruelty free products. None of their products are tested on animals at any stage and even their make-up brushes are made from high quality synthetic fibres instead of animal fur!

My favourite product is their 100% natural, 100% vegetarian black tea mascara, which is coloured with black tea and berry pigments. It thickens and lengthens my lashes and are slightly more water and smudge resistant than Ere Perez’s almond oil mascara.

Our own Cindy Luken is big fan of their fruit pigmented lip cream sticks, that look gorgeous under any of our Lip Nourish. They are coloured with fruit and vegetable pigments instead of minerals and dyes. I love that these ‘lip liners’ don’t dry out my lips or leave a waxy finish.

You can find them  at luk beautifood!

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Creamstick

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Creamstick


From Germany, Lavera has a great range of organic cosmetics, mineral make up and self tanners made specifically for those with sensitive and allergy based skin. From ‘glow powders’ and liquid foundation to volumising mascara and award winning eyeliner, you will have no trouble finding a number of products to suit your colouring and skin type. They also have a number of gluten free and vegan products available.

But the Lavera favourite has got to be their 6-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream, a global best seller. It gives the skin a gorgeous dewy look (which I love as I have quite dry skin) whilst providing good, light coverage. The best part – it’s made from organic acai berry which moisturises the skin and is full of wrinkle-fighting antioxidants.

My other favourite from Lavera is their beautifully gentle, vegan eye make remover.

You can find them at BioLiving

5. RMS

My favourite thing about RMS is the fact their philosophy is not just about making great organic make up but is also to create products that actually heal and nourish your skin. All their products are formulated with raw, food grade organic ingredients full of living enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. They are also free of all toxins, synthetic preservatives, damaging chemicals and are gluten, GMO and soy free. WOW. Many of their products use coconut oil as a base.

We love their gorgeous lip2cheek balm. It comes in six different shades from sheer coral to ‘true’ red and gives a gorgeous natural colour that can be applied to both lips and cheeks. My favourite is the ‘promise’ shade which is salmon-pink with a really subtle shimmer. It gives my cheeks a really nice ‘warm’ tint and is the perfect handbag accessory so you never get caught out!

Now, although I have not personally tried the RMS’ ‘living luminizer’ I could not miss giving it a mention as I have heard so many good things about it and it is their BIGGEST seller. It’s described as ‘ultra sheer’ with a ‘stain pearl finish’ that highlights the skin and creates a natural ‘luminous glow’ without being sticky or greasy. This is one is definitely on my list.

Buy direct from their website or at MV Organic Skincare

RMS Lip2Cheek

RMS Lip2Cheek


We hope you love these natural make-up brands as much as we do!

Aimee-Lili x  be delicious.... inside and out