Can makeup help us look smarter?


| 12 Comments

Once girls start wearing makeup its very rare to see them out in public without it. Many believe its because it makes them look better than they do without while others just enjoy playing around with different makeup and making themselves look different than they normally would. Since the vast majority of the female population wears makeup on a daily basis I began to wonder if wearing it helps other aspects of their life, specifically how intelligent they appear to be.

A new study, talked about here, done by Procter & Gamble, tested the theory of whether or not women with more makeup on were more or less likely to be seen as more competent than those who were bare faced. The study had a total of 25 female subjects all different ethnicities and between the ages of 25 - 50. These women were photographed bare faced, with a natural makeup look, a professional makeup look, and a glamorous makeup look and not allowed to see their reflection so their personal feelings about their appearance would not play out on their faces to those observing them. Then 149 adults (61 being men) viewed each picture for just enough time to make a snap judgment off of the photo. Based off of the results of the study it was found that in addition to boosting attractiveness makeup also helps increase other's perceptions of a woman's competence, likability, and trustworthiness.

The main thing I noticed about this study was they really covered all their bases so that they would come to a conclusive finding. Any variable they thought would be a problem they handled, for example, the way they didn't let any of the women look in a mirror so their personal preference would not affect the study. This is a great quality of the study because it makes the findings much more solid and rules out any third-variable issues.  As for the results, I wasn't surprised by the findings but I did personally feel that it's kind of unfortunate that it takes something as materialistic as makeup to convey qualities like competence, trustworthiness and likability. This are all traits that we should judge a person by after getting to know them not based off of their personal appearance. 

The picture below shows the pictures used in the study. On the far left you see a barefaced woman while on the far right you have the same woman with a glamorous makeup look. Which face looks the most come tent, trustworthy, or likable? You be the judge!

Thumbnail image for 13SKIN1-articleLarge.jpg

12 Comments

I definitely agree with the information you presented in this blog. As a male specifically, I think we are engineered to look more favorably on a female who is attractive/we are attracted too and thus develop a positive bias towards them already. Obviously, makeup enhances a female's physical appeal and may thus lead us to believe other positive things about them automatically. Not that it's a bad thing, I just think it speaks directly about our society as a whole valuing physical qualities more heavily than personality traits.

I found your article really interesting! But when I finished I was still really stuck on your opening.. why is it a given that make up helps our appearance? Trust me I 100% am someone who wears makeup but some of my friends are not. Even some of my friends who wear make up we think makes them look worse! I find it hard to completely find your article true when you just assumed that factor was true. I decided to look a little into it to see if your assumption is true:http://www.youbeauty.com/face/makeup-science That article is actually really interesting talking about different reasons behind woman wearing make up. So what it really related to your intro is people who know the right ways to apply make up to their face then yes it seems to be proven to be more appealing. But this can change based on who one is attracting so it is hard to say anyone always knows the correct way to put on make up. Sorry not meaning to mute your point just playing devils advocate!

I found your article really interesting! But when I finished I was still really stuck on your opening.. why is it a given that make up helps our appearance? Trust me I 100% am someone who wears makeup but some of my friends are not. Even some of my friends who wear make up we think makes them look worse! I find it hard to completely find your article true when you just assumed that factor was true. I decided to look a little into it to see if your assumption is true:http://www.youbeauty.com/face/makeup-science That article is actually really interesting talking about different reasons behind woman wearing make up. So what it really related to your intro is people who know the right ways to apply make up to their face then yes it seems to be proven to be more appealing. But this can change based on who one is attracting so it is hard to say anyone always knows the correct way to put on make up. Sorry not meaning to mute your point just playing devils advocate!

I found your article really interesting! But when I finished I was still really stuck on your opening.. why is it a given that make up helps our appearance? Trust me I 100% am someone who wears makeup but some of my friends are not. Even some of my friends who wear make up we think makes them look worse! I find it hard to completely find your article true when you just assumed that factor was true. I decided to look a little into it to see if your assumption is true:http://www.youbeauty.com/face/makeup-science That article is actually really interesting talking about different reasons behind woman wearing make up. So what it really related to your intro is people who know the right ways to apply make up to their face then yes it seems to be proven to be more appealing. But this can change based on who one is attracting so it is hard to say anyone always knows the correct way to put on make up. Sorry not meaning to mute your point just playing devils advocate!

This is whats wrong with everything! I hate when my fiancé needs to check her makeup in the car, or run to the bathroom when we're going out, to make sure everything is even. She is beautiful with or without make up. It mean's nothing. Plus, it sounded like there was room for a lot of error in this study. Some people just naturally look sketchy. It's scary how in our lives pop-culture has become. I guess it wouldn't be "pop" if it wasn't, but still. It's the world of celebrity and passivity. For this study to have even taken place it lowers us on the historical scale of "what were the break throughs of the 20-teens?" "If you painted your face your IQ grew." I'm a little touchy. This is about why make-up's bad for you.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/09/makeup-harmful_n_3733000.html

The study was a pretty unique and interesting, but I am not sure that I would believe it in all cases. When I see people without makeup, wearing glasses, I usually think that they are the smarter ones. I am one of those girls that wear makeup almost all the time and I would not say that people would think that I am smarter than the next girl. I do understand that appearing more classy looking, well-dressed, and clean will make that person look more mature and intelligent than someone in sweats hair up and dirty. I know this may sound odd, but I like to dress well and look prettier when I go take tests and quizzes rather than wearing sweats and my hair up. When I feel better about myself, I usually perform better in school. This website is one of many that use the saying "Dress well, test well" and it explains why most people that believe it do: http://www.thecampuscompanion.com/svelte/2012/09/14/dress-well-test-well/#.UqD9-pHe5g0

This world is messed up because of the never ending materialism. I totally agree with this blog post and I am not at all surprised by the results. I think that it is completely unfair that women who spend time putting on make up generally get perceived as better looking, intelligent, trustworthy, etc. If anything it should be the other way around because those women are the women that care about the important things in life and not materialistic things. And its also unfair that we are judged on our appearances when it comes to things like job interviews because the girl who can do her make up better is going to get rewarded and judged in a more positive way.

This is very interesting and helps explain the self-fulfilling prophecy. When people see somebody beautiful, we expect certain traits out of them such as being confident, smart, friendly, and outgoing, as well as a number of other positive traits. They then treat people as though they are all of those things and the person in response acts as though they also have those traits. That's why children that are cute are often more outgoing and friendly because they're treated that way from a young age until they eventually have those characteristics.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psychology-writers/201210/using-self-fulfilling-prophecies-your-advantage

I think that several different things when I see a woman without makeup. In order, I think that
1) She's having a bad day
2) She woke up late
3) She's confident with herself without it.
As females, there seems to be an unsaid expectation of us to spend a lot of time on our appearance and to make sure we're looking our best as often as we can. No makeup seems to be the sign of being naïve or sloppy. I know that personally, between two women with equal credentials, I would rather hire the woman with her makeup professionally done, like this site describes...take care!
http://makeup.about.com/od/facefundamentals/ht/5minProf.htm

Baylee,
After I read your comment I re-read my opening and I completely see what you are saying and trust me I agree with you 100%. I think what happened was I just worded what I was trying to say wrong. The point I tried to make with my opening was that a very high majority of women refuse to leave the house without makeup on out of a belief that it improves their appearance, The study I wrote about though, does talk about how, in addition to finding that makeup makes people judge you as being more trustworthy, likable, etc., it also helps people find you more attractive. I think I just kind of mixed up what I was trying to say with what I read in the article. Thanks for pointing that out though and I am actually rewording the opening right now!

Victoria,
This is super interesting. I think that "smarter" might not be the right word, but definitely more professional. Make-up makes women look more put together. This post make start to question, people's intentions when they purchase makeup. Are they buying it to look good? or is there an underlying emotion that they are trying to convey? Do girls simply want to evoke a professional attitude? or do they simply want to feel good about themselves? Check out this article below: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721095846.htm

I do find it very interesting that make up can change the assumptions that a person makes about you. I think this is more of an affect of society in how we view other people. We look at what is in the media and how it portrays how people should look and then allow that to change how we perceive people.

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