Makeup Really Does Matter

How people perceive you may truly be based on the amount of makeup you're wearing. That's what new research has revealed when studying reactions to women wearing three types of makeup. In the first of two studies, women either wore no makeup or makeup artist created “natural,” “classic” or “glamorous” looks. People viewed photos of the women for 250 milliseconds. All three made up looks ranked higher in attractiveness, competence, likeability and trust.

In the second study, the participants could view the photo for as long as they liked. Faces with natural and classic makeup had better ratings, but those with the glamorous look were rated equally likeable, yet less trustworthy, but significantly more attractive than the bare faces.

“Researchers have studied first impressions of innate facial characteristics, such as facial symmetry, but until now, no research has rigorously examined the role that applied beauty or features of the extended human phenotype, such as makeup and hair color, play in perception of beauty, personality and character at first glance and longer inspection,” said Nancy Etcoff, PhD., assistant clinical professor at Harvard University and associate researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. “For the first time, we have found that applying makeup has an effect beyond increasing attractiveness-it impacts first impressions and overall judgments of perceived likeability, trustworthiness, and competence. In today's world of self-portraits appearing on networking and dating websites, ballots, resumes and applications, the results of the study have broad implications.”

What do you think? Is makeup really that powerful?