Skip to content
Guest Thinkers

Makeup Makes Women More Trusted

Makeup is not just about good looks. Wearing makeup increases people’s perceptions of a woman’s likability, her competence and her trustworthiness, according to a new study. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Makeup not only enhances a woman’s looks, it also increases people’s perceptions of her likability, competence and trustworthiness, according to a new Harvard study. When 149 adults were shown pictures of females wearing varying degrees of makeup, they “judged women made up in varying intensities of luminance contrast (fancy words for how much eyes and lips stand out compared with skin) as more competent than barefaced women, whether they had a quick glance or a longer inspection.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Many studies have documented the rewards beautiful people receive from society just for their looks such as higher salaries, quicker promotions and even shorter jail sentences. But some feel that using beauty to get ahead is wrong. What is a conscientious woman to do? Nancy Etcoff, author of the study, says that women should make their own decisions about how they look. Today, she says, societal pressures have less of an influence over how a woman dresses and looks than just fifty years ago.


Up Next