More than two thirds of UK bosses (68.6%) said they would be less likely to employ a female job applicant if she didn’t wear make-up at interview.

The survey by leading UK beauty retailer also showed that 49% of bosses said it would be a major factor if the job was in sales or was a public-facing role in the company. Figures were similar for promotion prospects with 60.8% of company executives saying that if female staff members didn’t wear cosmetics on a regular basis it would have a detrimental effect, and 39.2% said female staff would be much less likely to get promoted if the job entailed meeting people and members of the public.

The survey also showed that 67% of bosses would take a dim view of female staff not wearing make-up at key business meetings.  While two thirds of female staff (66.4%) said they would feel much less confident if they were at a high-level meeting without cosmetics on. Beauty Editor Emma Leslie said: "Whether rightly or wrongly, British bosses clearly think that keeping up appearances at work is an important factor for female staff if they want to get on in their career."

Some 63.8% of female staff surveyed said they would always wear make-up at work, and 98% said they would wear make-up to a job interview. There was one exception to the “make-up at work” rule however; most women said they would go without make-up at work for charity, and said that Breast Cancer Care’s #DareToBare campaign was one such example. (