Here is the next installment in my ongoing project of talking to women in different fields about their attitudes about makeup in their professions. Always so interesting! Meet Jena, a catering & event coordinator for a very exclusive caterer. She has a demanding job and wears many hats during her day—which has to transition into nights for glamorous events much of the time.
Q. What exactly do you do for work?
A. My primary role is to coordinate the myriad of activities associated with each event that we produce. This usually means staffing, renting glassware, flatware, linens, tables and décor. Then after the event I focus on billing, payroll, P&L costs, and inventory management. We also host chef demonstrations, guest lectures, book launches, and awards ceremonies for celebrity chefs from around the world.
Q. Sounds so cool! Tell me about what makeup do you wear to work everyday?
A. I usually wear Bobbi Brown moisturizer, followed by
Bobbi brown stick foundation. I set it with invisible powder, a dust bronzing powder and blush, in that order. For daytime makeup, I usually wear muted grays, deep browns or light golden shimmer. I always curl my eyelashes, and depending on whether I have an event that night, I will line my eyes with either black kohl liner or Bobbi Brown black gel liner. I always have a matte lip at work, if I go out afterwards I’ll use a lip stain because I can’t, for the life of me, keep gloss on! The focus for me has always been on having perfect looking skin--I don’t do a whole lot of crazy things to my eyes or lips during the day.
Q. Does your work makeup vary from your weekend makeup?
A. Not that much, I just wear more shimmer (but not the gaudy kind…) I usually have a bit more blush and wing-tip eyeliner.
Q. How do you feel about makeup in the workplace, and specifically your industry?
A. In the events industry, there is a huge emphasis on looking classy and put together. The classic image is a petite woman in a pencil skirt, designer pumps, and a fitted blazer, every hair in place and a perfect face of makeup. It’s incredibly expensive to host an event in New York City-- space rental alone is astronomical. The rich are paying for reputation and style. They want to hire someone who not only acts the part, but looks the part. The women that I have met in this industry have been, across the board, good-looking women who wear a good amount of makeup.
Stereotypes aside, I happen to work in a pretty laidback environment, with women who are confident and beautiful but in a completely unobtrusive, unaffected way. I’m lucky to work with women who are not obsessed with the “image” of an event manager because in the past it has been a struggle to relate to those women. I’ve always felt like somewhat of an anomaly in the events world. I don’t much care about my clothing and my hair is always a mess. I generally put some effort into my makeup because I feel like the first thing I notice is a person’s face. If I have only 30 minutes to get ready in the morning, I’m going to throw on some slacks, brush my hair, and spend 15 minutes making my face look not disgusting.