Makeup Can Make Women Seem More Likable, Competent


bill gaytten
Photo: iStockphoto
Your compact can have great impact on how others perceive you. (Pass the powder puff!)

Is it possible that natural beauty isn't all it's cracked up to be?

Though a recent British poll revealed that men were turned off by high-maintenance beauties sporting fake lashes and self-tanner, new research shows that women who wear makeup are perceived as more likable, competent, attractive, and trustworthy, ABC News reports.

Researchers at Procter & Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute had study participants look at photos of bare-faced women as well as those wearing natural, professional, and dramatic makeup looks.

Subjects were given just 250 milliseconds to view each image. In the second part of the study, a new group of participants were asked to examine the pictures for as long as he or she liked. Both groups were asked to rate each photo in terms of likability, competency, attractiveness, and trustworthiness.

"We found that when faces were shown very quickly, all ratings went up with cosmetics in all different looks," Nancy Etcoff, lead author and associate researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells ABC News. "The women were judged as more competent, likable, attractive, and trustworthy."

Of course, there is one catch: When images were viewed for a longer period of time, participants had trust issues with the women who sported dramatic makeup.

"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 says. "Dramatic makeup was no longer an advantage compared to when people saw the photos very quickly."

In other words, a face full of slap may be fine for picking up guys or even a job interview (though we don't recommend it), but running for office or trying to convince your best friend to let you borrow her Louboutins? Not so much.

Need some beauty inspiration? Check out Karlie Kloss's glamorous Dior beauty ad campaign.

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