A new study published in PLoS ONE and conducted by Procter & Gamble finds that wearing makeup may alter the way women are perceived by others, especially during first impressions. The purpose of the study was to go beyond how others perceive attractiveness, and to understand how cosmetics can impact the way others perceive competence and trustworthiness.
Two groups of participants were shown 100 photos of 25 different women (of all ages and backgrounds) either wearing no makeup or one of three separate cosmetic looks – natural, professional or glamorous, ABC News reports.
The first group of participants, 149 adults, viewed the images for 250 milliseconds. In the second study, 119 participants looked at the same photos for an unlimited amount of time.
When viewed for 250 milliseconds, all three makeup looks increased ratings of attractiveness, competence, trust, and likability in comparison to the ratings of the same faces without makeup.
When the looks were examined for an unlimited amount of time, the natural and professional makeup looks increased ratings of attractiveness, competence, likability, and trust. The glamorous look was judged to be significantly more attractive and competent, equally likable, but less trustworthy than the faces not wearing makeup.
According to the study’s news release, the research reveals that, “makeup impacts both automatic, instinctual responses and conscious, deliberative judgments, causing people to make impressions based on the visual alterations caused by cosmetics and their conscious ideas about makeup users and looks.”