You are here

What Wearing Makeup Says About You

Bad news for bare-faced beauties: Women who wear makeup are viewed as more competent, likeable and trustworthy, according to new research from Procter & Gamble and Harvard University. In two studies, separate groups of people were shown images of 25 women four ways: without makeup, and wearing three different makeup looks (professional, natural, and glamorous), then asked to judge their competence, likability, trustworthiness and attractiveness after looking at them for 250 milliseconds and for an unlimited amount of time. After looking at the faces for 250 milliseconds, viewers gave women made up in all three styles higher marks for competence, likability, trustworthiness and attractiveness than those without makeup.

In the second study, when volunteers got to linger over the pictures for as long as they wanted, they gave the same higher ratings to women with the professional and natural makeup looks. But, interestingly, they perceived the women wearing the glamorous makeup look to be more attractive and competent than the bare-faced ladies, but equally as likeable and actually less trustworthy.

Tell us: If you wear makeup, do you wear it for yourself or to convey a certain image to others— or both?