How Does Makeup Affect How Women Are Perceived?

Women are typically seen as more trustworthy, likable and competent when they're wearing makeup, but too much makeup can cancel that effect. Women who are wearing too much makeup are seen as more attractive and competent but less trustworthy. This effect is clear in newborns, too, because even babies are demonstrably more attracted to women when they're wearing makeup.

More facts about makeup and perceptions:

  • One study found that women who were wearing makeup in bars were approached by about 30 percent more men than those who wore none.

  • At first glance, people also tend to assume that women who are wearing makeup have a better job or earn a higher income than women who are without makeup.

  • The makeup that appears to have the greatest effect on how a woman is perceived is eye makeup, and lipstick has the least effect.

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Post 13

I've never had a problem with makeup but always preferred none or very little on a female. I can't understand why my fiance can't leave the house or have people over without having to do her makeup. She says it's her style and she wants to look presentable and is not trying to impress anyone, but if she has to leave the house without it she will cry, have a breakdown, and anxiety attacks like crazy. What can I do to help her?

Post 12

It's all in the application of the makeup. I think the first thing that occurs to most people when they see a woman with really heavy makeup is: "trashy." Or something similar.

Good makeup accentuates a woman's best features, without obscuring her face. In my opinion, the most successful kind of makeup application is when you really can't tell she's wearing any. The skin looks fresh, the eyes are bright and the lips look dewy, but nothing is overdone. There's a reason all the "as seen on TV" makeup promotions stress their makeup makes skin look natural and fresh, not "made up."

It all comes down to personal preference in the end.

Post 11

I have naturally long eye lashes, so I don't really have to curl my lashes or put any mascara on, but I still love makeup.

Post 9

Makeup in excess is for those who are not comfortable with their own natural beauty. Women who cake makeup on are hiding something they are aware of and unhappy with.

Post 8

I think that makeup in excess is horrible. If you cannot recognize a woman without her makeup, she's wearing too much. Why spend your life pretending to be someone else?

A little make up, to cover a spot or slightly even a skin tone, while not covering the natural complexion, natural eyeshadow and a little mascara, can look lovely. It gives definition to what you already have; it is not painting on a new face, like inventing an eye shape or a lip shape with panda eyeliner and big red lips. If everyone wore their natural face, the world would be a much better place.

Post 7

I am in 6th grade and sometimes when I feel like it I would put a little makeup on. Most of the time I would do it at home and wear it for fun. Other times I would wear it at school. It doesn't help when I try to take it off though. It's hard. Kk.

Post 6

I have worn makeup for most of my working life and have always felt cheated that it is generally necessary for women to do so (especially in certain industries such as fashion, media etc). Now I work for myself, I don't wear makeup for work but actually enjoy putting it on for a night out.

Post 5

The results of this research have nothing to do with society. It draws on instincts, just like birds mating preferentially with the brightest feathers and/or largest plumage, for example.

Post 4

@anon228405: Great comment. The poster before you also has a beautiful point.

I for one, as a 30-something professional male, find women who wear too much makeup to be unattractive. I have actually hesitated and not asked girls out because they were wearing too much make-up and looked like Rainbow Brite. I particularly hate lipstick, and I don't enjoy kissing women with lipstick on. It just tastes and feels gross to me.

Natural beauty is the best beauty, hands down. If you don't think you have natural beauty, you need to ask yourself who ever put that thought into your head in the first place? You will emanate whatever you believe.

As for the study on babies, did they test this hypothesis against clowns, too? Because they sure wear a lot of makeup.

Post 3

I think that's a clear reflection of the superficial world we live in. I for one, at first glance, see women who wear any make-up as untrustworthy, unhappy and insecure.

From talking to teenage girls, I have found that nearly all of them said that they didn't like putting on makeup or wearing it, but they liked that it made them feel more confident because they felt they were keeping themselves hidden and therefore felt more secure.

I think women who wear no makeup are often the ones who are more focused on intellectual pursuits, emotionally secure and generally don't care what society thinks about how they look. That, my friend, is what I call desirable as a man.

Post 2

I believe if a woman has inner beauty it is more effective than any kind of makeup you wear on the outside. To me, makeup is just a mask, and yes, I have worn makeup. The kind of energy you create around your being will attract more people than wearing makeup. This is just one woman's opinion.

It works for me so that's how I live.

Post 1

I never wear eye makeup because it irritates me, however, I never go without lipstick. It is just like getting dressed in the morning.

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