{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I manage a team of creatives and one of my designers is \"extra\" creative, especially with her makeup. We are a client-facing team and interact with companies in the finance and accounting industry. I've tried subtle hints to tell her to tone down her makeup but it hasn't been working (Im talking themed Disney, horror, fantasy type of makeup). She's amazing at her job so I don't want to stifle her. But I know it's \"uncomfortable\" for our clients. Thoughts?", "post_id": "622b80f529f4dc002bf221a6", "reply_count": 60, "vote_count": 8, "bowl_id": "55375ce690f5eebe1d2a0f88", "bowl_name": "Tech", "feed_type": "crowd" }

I manage a team of creatives and one of my designers is "extra" creative, especially with her makeup. We are a client-facing team and interact with companies in the finance and accounting industry. I've tried subtle hints to tell her to tone down her makeup but it hasn't been working (Im talking themed Disney, horror, fantasy type of makeup). She's amazing at her job so I don't want to stifle her. But I know it's "uncomfortable" for our clients. Thoughts?

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Before you do anything, you should probably chat with hr.

My personal opinion is that you should likely have a constructive conversation with this person, providing examples of themes that are client appropriate (Disney) and others that aren’t (such as horror) and encourage the person to chose their makeup on days you have client meetings using their best judgement.

I don’t think you have the right to tell a person what makeup they can or can’t wear, but I can understand wanting to put your best face forward (pun intended) with clients. I think stifling this persons creativity at a base level would be detrimental and potentially problematic for you, so don’t discourage the themed makeup.


Thanks Visible Hands!

Ask yourself this question. What kind of company do you want to be? The type of company that prioritizes clients over employers or holds them both as equal stakeholders in the success of your company? As a female designer, if I received any feedback from a supervisor that my appearance didn’t meet my clients standards, I’d tell you to find new clients or a new designer. If you work with multiple brands in different industries and are client facing know your audience. Assign her to accounts that would celebrate her appearance vs. judge it.

@Creative Director, maybe not your company, but it is your team, and the advice seems to still have merit. By your own admission, this doesn't seem to be a good fit for your clients or you as a manager. Why not help this designer find a team that is by being honest about your limitations? This designer shows up to work like this now because they've come to trust you, part of honoring that involves being able to have an honest conversation that doesn't just blame them or tell them they need to just fit the mold. You've sensed that ask would hamper their creativity, which is why you posted. You know, taking a command and controll approach would likely have an impact -- so why not take a path that's less damaging for everyone longterm and faster to get to a solution by making it a conversation? She's in the wrong team, and that's ok.

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She's amazing at her job. Leave her alone.

If a client says anything your response should be something along the lines of "She's amazing at her job and that's part of who she is. Here at ___ we support letting people be their full selves, especially with their creative sides."

This is exactly what people are talking about when we talk about diversity making a team better. She shouldn't have to deal with push back because you're uncomfortable with her personality. Yeah, she's different/unique. That's probably the point.


@Change Manager, there havent been complaints, but we've had inquiries like I mentioned

Honestly, I'd be willing to bet that this is bothering you more than it's bothering any of her clients. If she's capable of doing her job well, who cares how much eye shadow she wears?


Lol @odor. Do you guys meet in person?

Does it really make the clients uncomfortable?

I thought it would enhance the optics of your creative team


It's odd because our clients are kind of...stiff? You can tell by their reaction they're not used to it

I have had this happened with an intern and they would have theme days where one day the theme was strawberries, the next one was chocolate, the next one princess and so on.

It was really bad because it was not only a make up thing, it was accessories, clothes, hair styles/wigs and even nails. We later realized that that was a thing and it’s called “cosplay”

Our organization is extremely buttoned, and everyone was really uncomfortable with them being dressed up like that but no one told them anything because it was really awkward. We thought “professional attire” was obvious to anyone based on how everyone else dressed at the office. And the problem is that when we interviewed them, they didn’t show up dressed like that, they were wearing professional clothes.

Their internship ended and after that, we made sure to talk about work professional attires to anyone new in the organization, in fact we included it in the handbook afterwards.

People can be whatever they want of course, but there is a fine line between being “yourself” and not being professional anymore.


Lol you didn't have HR? But okay sounds good!


Make a policy that includes standards of dress for meetings?


This makes sense but it's a bit isolating

If she were in my team I'd tell her to at least be on brand and only use our company colors. Free creative promotions is a plus if she already has a social-media following.


Lol didn't think of that

Are you talking about full face design makeup that people on Instagram and TikTok do (like using makeup to paint a zipper on your face and making it look like you’re “unzipping” your brain) or just a lot of eyeshadow?

If it’s the former, that’s not suited for any workplace outside of fashion or entertainment. If it’s the latter and just more extreme colors or heavy makeup, is it really a problem?


@VP, yes, even as a creative agency, I think that it's not appropriate but don't want to impose my opinions on others you know?

I was ready to side with the makeup creative employee, but OP replied to someone that this isn’t just makeup, it’s full-faced, mask makeup similar to the looks people complete, replicate on Tik Tok (zipper face, lion, horror and butterflies). I agree with the OP on it making clients uncomfortable and it being unprofessional. Creativity should be encouraged but finance and accounting clients aren’t the workplace suited for full mask makeup looks IMO. Consulting HR is the best move for sure.


I’ve never been through something like this; I’d loop in our HRBP to cover myself/company and ask what the best practice is and follow it. At the end of the day you’re not trying to stifle her creativity as a person but have both her and your company’s and client’s interests in mind. Following HR’s suggestions will allow you to do the “professionally correct” thing that covers your ass, hers in the event there are financial repercussions from the clients. Honestly I don’t think there’s a way you can be direct with her about it without risk - not saying it’s be bad but HR’s job is to interpret situations like this and advise. You’re not Human Resources and this is a weird situation. Good luck! Update us if you can.

We need more uniqueness in the world.


Agreed! What would you say is the difference between self awareness and uniqueness?

I mean you are still expevted to have a level of professionalism when you are client facing. I would just be completely honest with her and tell her she needs to tone it down a notch.


Thanks, my thoughts too

Wow, that sounds like a good problem. Something actually interesting in a world where I'm basically expected to build things to scope. Should be the litmus test to which clients you should fire. If they don't like her, they don't like you.


Interesting. But what does them "liking" her have to do with this situation? I mean isn't that kind of going against the grain?

Please let her be! Clients are not here to look at her and what's the point of trying to please the clients anyway? They pay you for the work you do... You should stand up for your team mate instead and be proud about accepting diversity (it isn't always sex/race/nationality). She is her own person and is entitled to present herself the way she wants while maintaining the decorum. A company can have a dress code but make-up isn't as big of a deal as you are making it. Also, you aren't responsible for her actions and the clients know that.


But if the clients are uncomfortable, we arent setting up a conducive environment for them to want to continue coming back

Does it bother your clients? Like, have you got a comment/complaint about it?

I responded on another thread ^^^

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