No Makeup, No Trust? What Your Makeup Really Says to Others

Posted by October 04, 2011 4:27 pm

The results of a surprising new study came out yesterday claiming that makeup has much more than cosmetic effect on those who use it. It has now been proven that how you wear your makeup actually alters people’s perception of you. [Jezebel]

The study was conducted byP&G Beauty & Grooming and lead investigator Nancy Etcoff, PhD., Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Universityand Associate Researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. Etcoff has now confirmed that makeup is actually a powerful tool in any woman’s arsenal — should she choose to use it — when striving to be perceived as more likeable, trustworthy, and competent.

Study participants were shown images of 25 different women, each sporting 1 of 4 different looks: no makeup, a “natural” makeup look, “professional” makeup, and a “glamorous” look. When glanced at quickly (250 milliseconds) all three makeup looks garnered increased ratings of attractiveness, competence, likeability and trust.

However, when studied for an unlimited amount of time, the “glamorous” look with the most makeup varied a bit: itwas judged to be significantly more attractive and competent than the faces without makeup,equally likeable as those with no makeup but still less trustworthy.

This study reveals precisely which makeup look is best for certain situations, depending on the woman who chooses to wear it. The results assert that depending on which aspect of your personality you want communicated to others (or not communicated), you should vary your makeup.

While I personally feel I look more attractive with a little concealer and mascara on, I’m not sure it actually increases people’s trust in me. What do you think of the results of this new study — will you alter your makeup looks knowing the effect they may be having on others?

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  1. Melissa says:

    Considering Procter & Gamble is behind the study, how would the study have any other outcome?

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