Lipstick Etiquette at a Business Meal

You’ve just ended a power lunch with a client and quickly need to retouch your lipstick before getting back to work. Is it okay to apply your lipstick at the table? What about the subway or any other public place?

According to an article published in the Huffington Post, etiquette experts agree that “applying makeup of any kind should be avoided in public. Checking yourself out in a compact mirror and applying lipstick or other makeup is considered gauche and inappropriate anywhere in the public forum, and that includes restaurants.”

When it comes to lipstick etiquette, there’s one exception that can be allowed as outlined by etiquette expert Emily Post:

“It’s okay to quickly apply lipstick at the table if you’re with close friends or relatives in a non-business situation, and at a non-deluxe restaurant.” But she specifies that this should be does quickly and unobtrusively, and without the use of a mirror (which is a trick that not all women have mastered): “Putting on lipstick without using a mirror and without fanfare is one grooming ritual that can sometimes be performed in front of others.”

When should you maintain lipstick etiquette at all times?

It’s all about context: applying lipstick at the table in a friend’s home among people you know is okay, but a business dinner at a five-star restaurant is a no-no. Emily Post adds:

“In general, personal grooming should be done in private for the simple reason that it can be annoying and it’s tacky. … When in doubt, don’t do it, such as when you’re at a business meal or with people you don’t know very well.”

If you do decide to apply at the table, remember to make it fast, don’t use a mirror, and never blot your lipstick on your napkin, whether you’re in a friend’s home or in a restaurant.

You might think why lipstick etiquette is important. Well, when it comes to etiquette it’s the small but significant details that matter, like how you shake someone’s hand, or make eye contact in a conversation, hold a fork or in this case, apply lipstick.

Etiquette is essential to your success. Training employees on the rules of etiquette can mean more clients and more business.

See how an etiquette lunch and learn session can help your organization today!



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