The funny thing about makeup is, it rarely takes less time to apply it lightly than it does to lay it on thick. Some women wake up hours before the workday starts so they can carefully put on their game face and still be right on time.
If your workday starts at noon, this is probably no hardship. But if, like most, you're supposed to be in by 8 or 9, extended prep time can be a hardship.
It doesn't have to be a 30-minute endeavor to look your professional best. Just because you wear two different types of foundation and three shades of shadow for a date doesn't mean you can't look fabulous wearing only one of each.
In fact, you can probably just skip a few steps of your full routine altogether. The drama of eye and lip liner is unnecessary for work. You can eliminate the all-over bronzer and heavy brow work and even trade the total-coverage foundation for some spot-treatments of trouble areas.
Forethought counts, too: If you keep up with your eyebrow tweezing in your off-time, you'll have a lot less work to do at 6 a.m.
In all, your weekday make-up routine can take you all of 5 minutes. Maybe 7 minutes if you forgot to pluck.
In the end, of course, every woman is free to toss "appropriate" out the window and wear whatever she wants, wherever she wants to wear it. Simply know that where cosmetics and career meet, overly bold, overly trendy or over-the-top sexy can end up costing you. You want your colleagues to notice your work, not your makeup.