is it okay to apply makeup in the bathroom at work?

A reader writes:

I work at a large university in a building of about 300 people. There are two floors and I know almost everyone on my floor by face, if not by name.

After a long winter, I’ve recently started biking to work. I bring my makeup with me and put it on in the women’s bathroom about 10 minutes before official working hours start. It only takes me 2 or 3 minutes; this is not a fashion level routine, just some foundation, mascara, and eyeliner. Is that weird? Should I get a makeup mirror for my cube? So far no one’s said anything and all my coworkers in my office know I’m biking to work (and are encouraging and positive about it).

It would be weirder to apply it in your cube, so don’t do that. Your cube is more of an open space than the bathroom is.

I don’t think what you’re doing is any big deal, particularly since people know you bike to work. It’s not ideal — foundation, mascara, and eyeliner is a bigger production than a quick swipe of lipstick, and it’s more grooming than you usually expect to see in an office bathroom — but it’s not a big deal. Certainly not a big enough deal for you to stop biking to work.

As a side note, years ago, I worked with someone who carried a full makeup case to work — one of those big metal boxes with shelves and compartments on the inside — and every afternoon after lunch, she’d stand in front of the bathroom mirror and do a full makeup reapplication with foundation, powder, eye makeup, lip liner, different brushes, etc. That’s something I’d say not to do, because it made her look so preoccupied with her appearance at work that it was hard to take her seriously; her priorities seemed off-kilter.

But that’s very different than what you’re doing, so I think you’re fine.

Anyone want to disagree? Or share their own workplace grooming habits?

This entry was posted in HR, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.