Appropriate cosmetics to wear around the workplace is a tricky business. For many, it may feel like there’s a fine line between “natural” looking makeup application and no makeup at all. There’s also that delicate balance between “enough makeup application to look polished and professional” and “Saturday night makeup”. Here, makeup artist Carly Lim gives us her 5 makeup tips that will help you nail a polished work look.

1. Use a good Primer

Gone are the days of a heavy over-powdered base. A good primer, used together even just with tinted moisturiser or concealer, will give you a long lasting, healthy and polished base for work.

Top 3 Primers

  1. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer: Gives a silky smooth satiny feel, minimises shine and gives foundation longevity.
  2. Laura Mercier Radiance Primer: Has a lovely creamy gel like texture that is lightweight and feels soothing. Instantly feel radiant and fresh!
  3. Stila One Step Correct: This one colour corrects and brightens your complexion in one step. A weightless, serum-type primer


  • After cleansing and moisturising, wait about 5-10 minutes to let the moisturiser sink in. Take a tissue and split their layers, so you are left with one ply. Place this over your face and gently press and pat all over. Thich helps to remove any excess product
  • Apply primer, a pea size or less will be plenty for your face
  • Apply your foundation/tinted moisturiser/concealer. An efficient way to do this is to pat all over with fingers blending roughly and then using a clean brush to polish and perfect the blending
  • If you have dry skin, you can skip powder. Otherwise, set with translucent powder, but only on T-zone (forehead, nose, sides of nose, chin)

2. Take Care of your Brows

Invest the time and money in a good brow specialist. Nothing presents a polished look better than a good set of brows. If you are time-strapped, a good brush will help too.


Using a spoolie, brush all the brow hairs in the opposite direction and down. Then brush upwards and outwards at a 45 degree angle. Repeat this, brushing them back and forth a couple of times.

This is the standard guide for achieving your best brow shape.

This is the standard guide for achieving your best brow shape.

Top 3 Brow Products

  1. Tweezerman Tweezers: Pricey for something so basic, but the difference in quality and ease of use is astounding
  2. MAC Eye Brows: A great mechanical brow pencil: ultra thin, easy to use and good range of shades available
  3. Eyeko Brow Gel: For those blessed with naturally full brows, a quick swipe of this in the morning keeps them polished and neat. For those of us less blessed, this product helps ‘plump’ up the brow hairs

3. Use Mascara

Applying mascara is the quickest way to look awake and polished for work. You can forgo any eye shadow with a good application of mascara. Before applying, it is important to curl the lashes too.

Top 3 Mascaras

  1. Rimmel Wonder’full Mascara with Argan Oil: This formula is slightly wetter, and gives the effect of fluffy, separated lashes as a result
  2. L’Oreal Million Lashes: This has a formula which is creamy and black, providing lots of volume and length
  3. Lancôme Grandiose: The swan-neck shaped wand helps the shakiest hands get into every lash


  • Before jumping in and applying straight from the tube, it’s a good idea to remove excess product from the applicator. Scrape the applicator at the opening to do so
  • If you have good bottom lashes, apply mascara here first. If your eyelashes are sparse here, just skip this step
  • Always apply first to the roots and avoid pulling through, at first. Deposit as much product as you can at the roots to achieve the illusion of fuller lashes
  • Following this use a zig-zag motion while pulling through for your second coat of mascara

4. Use a good Highlighter

A good highlighter (also known as an Illuminator) makes accentuating your bone structure easy, and keeps you looking fresh and polished throughout the day. The most important thing to look for is a very fine pearl or shimmer. Anything with large particles of glitter might be okay for evening but is an overkill for the office. For the best, no-fuss results, use a fan brush to apply.

Top 3 Highlighters/Illuminators

  1. Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder Candlelight: Despite being a powder formula, this provides a gorgeous skin-like finish with the right amount of glow
  2. Benefit Watt’s Up: An easy-to-apply highlighter in stick form, with a handy built-in sponge applicator to help blend your product onto the skin
  3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Pressed): This is available in four shades, and again it’s a great powder formula that offers a natural glow. A light hand is recommended, however

5. Invest in Lip/Eye/Cheek Palette Sets

A palette that offers coverage for your eyes, lips and cheeks is great to keep at your desk, or in your handbag for any important work events that crop up at the last minute.

Top 3 Lip, Eye and Cheek Palette Sets

  1. Charlotte Tilbury FilmStars on the Go: A luxurious two-step product in lovely satiny cream formulation
  2. Benefit Sugarlicious Kit: This provides coverage for cheeks, lips and eyes – all in one nifty set
  3. Too Faced Natural Eyes Collection: A collection of work-suitable eye shadow colours in a beautiful, portable tin


Featured image courtesy of Carly Lim.


Carly-Lim-profile-img-Leaders-in-HeelsCarly Lim

Carly is a freelance makeup artist currently based in Brisbane, working primarily in fashion and advertising. Soon after finishing university she realised a career behind the scenes was what she craved most. Her regular clients include Universal Store, Beginning Boutique, Dissh and Style Keepers Boutique. For more of her work please visit or follow on Instagram @carlylim_makeup.

Life is busy, and sometimes it just gets too overwhelming. It’s hard to juggle everything; work, relationships, kids, social life and often we are running on empty. To make life that little bit easier I’ve complied a list of essentials that will help you throughout the day.


#1. Flipsters foldable flats


Flipsters Coco Flats $39.95

These are an absolute must have as part of your busy life. I don’t know anyone that would say they love wearing heels at work all day. So imagine flat footwear that actually collapses into a triangle fold, reducing them into the size of an iPhone, so you can carry them in your bag at all times. Absolute heaven! You can change shoes in between meetings, walking to and from work, driving or even just to get some relief at lunchtime.

#2. Clinique Chubby Stick


Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes $35

Who has time to sit down and do a full face of make up in the morning slowly and perfectly? I know I don’t and I often find myself finishing it off in the car. My eyes always take the longest time! I love the Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for eyes. It’s a sheer, light-weight eyeshadow that is creamy and easy to wear. It just glides on so no need for make up brushes! It’s can be layered and lasts all day but the best thing is it doesn’t need sharpening.

#3. Evian Spritzer


Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray 150 ml $29.95

I can’t live without this stuff! As soon as I tried it, I was hooked, it’s so refreshing! Just a quick spritz and your skin will be re-hydrated. You can use it as a toner or a moisturizer and it’s great to cool you down on a hot day. It also revives your make up and gets rid of perspiration from all that rushing around. It’s a perfect little pick me up.

#4. Eye Gel


Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel $72.98

Haven’t got enough sleep? Working late into the night with early starts in the morning? You may feel tired but you don’t want your eyes to give it away! Breathe new life into less-than-perky peepers with this cooling, hydrating eye gel. The Bliss radiance-revving Triple Oxygen Treatment is the first eye formula to contain stimulating caffeine to deflate puffiness. That’s right caffeine for your eyes! It also has soft focus powders to fade lines delivering an instant lifting effect. You’ll look bright, rested and revitalised so no-one needs to know how knackered you really are!

#5. A Large Tote


Chloe Alison Tote $1584.70

A large tote is great for your everyday essentials! Your laptop, organiser, umbrella, snacks, make up, mobile phone, keys and any kids’ stuff. Basically everything! Who wants to carry 2 or 3 bags when you can just carry one? The bigger, the better, and don’t forget you need room to carry your shoes when you’re wearing your Flipsters!

#6. Dry Shampoo


Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk $12.99

Let’s face it, nothing beats a good wash and blowdry but what if you just don’t have time? Or maybe you had a quick work out at lunchtime and you just want to refresh your hair. A dry shampoo is convenient to use in between washes. It absorbs oil, dirt and odours too and can also extend the life of your blow-dry or add volume if your hair is flat.

#7. Liquid Pedicure



Pod Puraceuticals Liquid Pedicure $26.95

There is nothing better for your sore tootsies after a busy day than a relaxing foot bath! Don’t have time to go for a pedicure then why not do one at home?. Pod Liquid Pedicure is an all-in-one liquid pumice treatment that deeply purifies and exfoliates tough heels and also moisturises and revitalises tired feet. A professional pedicure effect from the comfort of your couch. The perfect Sunday indulgence before a busy week ahead.

So there we have it ladies! 7 must haves for busy women on the go like yourselves. I hope this helps to bring a bit of light relief into your hectic schedule.

Featured Image Credit

Win 1 of 4 New, Limited Edition Bobbi Brown Brightening Bricks from their Navy & Nude Collection.

‘Whether you’re spending summer in the city or at the seaside, when it comes to warm weather beauty, less is more…’

For your chance to win one of these Bobbi Brown Brightening Bricks from their Navy & Nude Collection:

  1. Like both the Bobbi Brown Australia and the Leader in Heels Facebook Pages
  2. Tell us in 25 words or less – What is the area of personal development you would like to improve the most?
  3. Submit your response below


Key details:

  • Prize: 1 of 4 New Limited Edition Bobbi Brown Brightening Bricks form their Navy & Nude Collection
  • Promotion ends on 10th October 2013 at 11:59pm AEST
  • Winner announcement date: 11th October 2013
  • Number of entries: 1
  • Number of winners: 4

Terms of entry:

  • 18+ residents of Australia
  • By submitting your entry you are automatically subscribed to Leaders in Heels newsletter. You can unsubscribe anytime

Detailed terms are here.

We are thrilled to have beauty entrepreneur Victoria Curtis sharing her essential beauty tips for every occasion! Since completing her Business Degree majoring in accounting and marketing at Swinburne University, Victoria Curtis has combined her in depth business knowledge, passion for makeup and skincare with an unwavering commitment and passion, to launch her hugely successful namesake makeup range, Curtis Collection by Victoria.

Beauty tips from Victoria Curtis

In the office

For Corporate Chic – Healthy, hydrated, glowing skin is key! I would recommend using Curtis Collection Rextexture Creme Face Primer in order to hydrate and smooth the skin. Using a primer will also ensure that you makeup lasts all day – a must have for the professional woman! Complete your base by applying our Mineral Liquid Powder Foundation mixed with a drop of Radiant Glow Illuminator for a flawless, healthy glow. Finish with Illuminating Bronzer and blush to warm up your complexion adding a naturally sun kissed look all over. I would also recommend dusting the bronzer over your lids to create a natural eye and finish with mascara and a touch of gloss. Stick to neutral tones and avoid the smokey eye and false lashes in the boardroom – major no, no!

Curtis Collection Retexture Creme $57

Curtis Collection Retextur Creme $57


Napolean Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer $42.51


VS Pro Radiant FX Face Illuminator $16.35



Networking event

Networking is all about putting your best foot forward and making a first impression that lasts! This also applies to your makeup look. Focus on accentuating your best features… apply a Volumising Mascara for a wide eyed look. Highlight lips with a natural pink or coral tone and add an illuminator into your foundation for a radiant, airbrush finish that will make your skin look effortlessly flawless! Finally, frame your face by sculpting and defining brows with our SuperWear Brow Definer for a striking, sophisticated look to suit any networking occasion.


Curtis Collection Superwear Brow Definer

Curtis Collection Superwear Brow Definer $30


Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumising Mascara $29.26


Laura Mercier Brow Definer $21.80

Cocktail party

Take your look from day to night in an instant by applying eyeliner, shadow and an extra coat of mascara for a soft smokey eye and a pop of colour on the lips and cheeks to brighten your complexion! Keep making looking fresh by applying Invisible Blotting Powder to absorb any shine built up throughout the day.


Daniel Sandler Invisble Blotting Pressed Powder $31.51


Team building with your team

For outdoor activities, keep makeup light and luminous by using Curtis Collection, Mineral Sheer Tint – a flawless tinted moisturiser with natural SPF protection. This will ensure that makeup does not appear cakey in the daylight! Add a touch of glamour by applying some mascara to enhance your eyes and a flush of colour on the cheeks to finish your ‘barely there’ makeup look! Perfection!

Curtis Collection Mineral Sheer Tint $50

Curtis Collection Mineral Sheer Tint $50



Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Light Tinted Moisturiser $42.58

There we have it, your essential beauty tips from Victoria Curtis! Will you be adding these products to your beauty list or do you have them already?


competition Victoria Curtis

Leaders in Heels has teamed up with Curtis Collection for a great giveaway! We are giving you a chance to win 1 of 4 fabulous sets from Victoria Curtis Collection including bronzer and lipstick all valued up to $320. Follow this link to win: Good luck!

Victoria Curtis

About the brand:

Curtis Collection By Victoria is an Australian owned boutique makeup brand, offering a prestige line of professional cosmetics. The premier range features a dedicated mineral collection, designed to pamper and perfect, while treating the skin with the most powerful natural ingredients. With a passion for providing the highest quality, cutting edge formulas, Curtis Collection strives to empower women to glow from within and add a touch of luxury to their own makeup collection.

For more information visit