16 August 2008

Which Clients Care About Your Cosmetics

When is make-up a problem?
  • When it's the only thing a client notices about you.
When is that a plus?
  • When your client is a teen or pre-teen girl.
Female college interns are often warned to wear minimal cosmetic make-up on the job. Sometimes make-up can be a distraction or give the wrong message. But there's one circumstance when an intern's choice of make-up can have powerful positive effect: when the intern is working with young girls.

The opportunity to model good grooming. If you are working with an "impressionable" group, that means you will be the one making the impression. In American culture, appearance continues to be a primary concern for teen and pre-teen girls. Rather than fight what some critics call a materialistic or superficial mindset, you can use it to advantage. Think about what messages your clothing, hair, jewelry, and make-up convey to young people. Your appearance and your comments about your appearance will make a lasting impression.

Appropriateness. Don't give a lecture about appropriateness. Demonstrate it and casually refer to it. "In the day time, I don't wear much make-up. I save the eyeliner for when I go to parties."

Along the same vein, don't lecture about spending. Instead, give tips. "When I was your age, I thought I needed a dozen skin care products. When I limited that to two, I had more money for shoes!"

Tip for clothing. Don't surprised if your young clientele tracks what you wear. You may need to keep track of your outfits and rotate them accordingly!

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

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