Does Makeup Make a Difference?

An interesting study has been done by Procter & Gamble in association with Harvard Medical School to see just what kind of impact women wearing cosmetics actually has. The theory being tested was that cosmetics do significantly impact how women in our society are regarded.


The researchers showed participants four different versions of photographs of women: (1) wearing no makeup, (2) wearing makeup with the natural look, (3) wearing makeup for a professional look, and (4) wearing glamorous makeup. The study’s participants were told to rate each photograph on a scale for: attractiveness, likability, trustworthiness, and competence.  

To simulate real life where people often get just a glimpse of another person and tend to make snap judgment based on that fast observation, the photos were shown to the study participants quickly.

All four aspects of the rating scale went up for the photos showing women wearing makeup, regardless of which of the three styles it was. Although interestingly, the rating for trustworthiness was lower for the glamorous makeup style than for the other two.

The researchers concluded that when a person is under what they termed “time pressure” and has to rely on first impressions for perceiving whether a woman is competent or trustworthy, such as seeing an image on web sites, job applications, or ballots, and deciding if a woman is likable and attractive, such as on dating sites, cosmetics make all the difference.

There are many makeup tips and tricks available, and here are a few popular ones to help you have the right look at the right time.

1. Ease it up during the day. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is a good example of how to keep daytime cosmetic application to a minimum while playing up a beautiful look. The blush on her cheeks are just a subtle flush, and the lip gloss she generally uses is simple – a shade darker color than her natural lip color.

Kate brings color in by using bold, jeweled colors in her wardrobe.

2. Use concealer properly. If you need to use a concealer to hide puffiness or dark circles under your eyes, be sure to choose the right color. Too light just highlights the problem, as well as giving the area an unattractive ashy look. A darker shade closer to your own skin tone helps everything recede

Concealer that comes in two shades is the best way to go. Apply the lighter color at the edge and the darker shade toward the middle. And here, as always, blending is key.

3. Stay glamorous at a party. A party is when you really want to shine with a glamorous makeup look. But, as the evening wears on, your makeup wears off. And you certainly can’t take your entire makeup kit with you.

One tip to help keep looking fresh is to bring along cotton swabs that you have rolled in your eye shadow. (Look for a pretty little tin to purchase that fits in your evening purse to keep the cotton swabs in. If you are using long Q-tip swabs, you can cut the stick to fit.)

According to the study using cosmetics is important and applying makeup appropriately for the right occasion is just as valuable.

Alice Perkins is a Customer Service Representative for plastic surgeon Dr. Dennis Bucko and the Belladerma Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Care Center located in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Bucko is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a Fellow with the American College of Surgeons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>