Women take note: makeup makes you look trustworthy, competent

Washington: Make a note, girls. A new study has confirmed for the first time that wearing makeup has a significant impact on how people perceive you.

Researchers at Procter and Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that makeup not only helps women look attractive, but also makes people think they are more trustworthy and competent.

They asked participants to rate various looks in terms of competence, likeability, attractiveness and trustworthiness.

Pictures of women wearing no makeup, and looking “natural”, “professional”, and “glamorous”, were shown to volunteers for different lengths of time.

When shown the images for just 250milliseconds, all ratings went up with the amount of make-up, says the study.

“We found that when faces were shown very quickly, all ratings went up with cosmetics in all different looks,” ABC News quoted lead author Nancy Etcoff, associate researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, as saying.

“The women were judged as more competent, likable, attractive and trustworthy,” she added.

However, when the participants were allowed to look at the same photos for an unlimited amount of time, the results changed significantly.

“When they got to the more dramatic makeup looks, people saw them as equally likable and much more attractive and competent, but less trustworthy,” Etcoff said.

“Dramatic makeup was no longer an advantage compared to when people saw the photos very quickly,” she added.

Despite the findings, experts say it’s important for women to be comfortable wearing as much makeup as they want, even if that means none at all.

The results are published on October 3, 2011 in PLoS ONE.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link