June 2, 2012

Why Women Wear Makeup

Why do women wear makeup?  It's hard for a lot of women to leave the house before going through the motions of their makeup routine, but why is this the case?  One study says that makeup makes women seem more competent.  Attractiveness, likability, and trustworthiness are also affected.  Other studies suggest that little girls are taught at a very young age to wear makeup.  They are taught to love and emulate princesses who are glamorous, dainty, and beautiful , with perfectly styled hair and makeup. Little girls also like to play dress up and put on Mommy's lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow.  This study suggests that at a young age it is merely an act of imitation of mother and other female figures in a child's early life, and it sets the stage for future makeup wearing habits.
Putting on Mommy's Lipstick

   As soon as puberty hits girls learn how to use makeup to enhance their features and make themselves more attractive.  Young girls and teenagers tend to experiment more with their look.  As we age we become more set in our ways and develop routines. We also become loyal to certain brands.
   Many women find that wearing makeup makes them more attractive and they feel more confident when wearing it.  According to a study done by psychology today, men were more likely to approach women who were wearing makeup as apposed to not.
As we age products are marketed to us that promise to reverse the signs of aging and when we use them we feel believe our skin will revert back into the skin we had in our youth just like we believed we were older when we put on Mommy's lipstick.

   Women also wear makeup to cover up a late night, a scar from an accident, or a breakout.  Makeup can also make women feel confidant and some women do not feel like themselves without it.
   Wearing makeup has a significant impact on how people perceive women, making women seem more attractive, competent, likable and trustworthy, according to research from Harvard Medical School. The study showed participants photos of women wearing no makeup or wearing one of three different looks-natural, professional, or glamorous.  Study participants then rated the women in terms of competence, likability, attractiveness and trustworthiness.
Natural, Professional, and Glamorous

  The study found that when faces were shown very quickly, all ratings went up in all different looks.  But when the subjects had the chance to examine the photos for a longer period of time, the same perceptions didn't carry over.  people saw the more dramatic looks as likable and attractive and competent but less trustworthy.  Dramatic was no longer an advantage compared to when people saw the photo quickly.
   In situations where the participant was under time pressure they were more likely to rely on automatic judgements for decision making.  So where does this preference come from?  Studies show it starts at infancy.  This is present at birth, even new born and young infants have a preference for attractive faces.  One of the most discriminating features is the contrast effect.  As they added more makeup, there is more of a contrast effect-the eyes are drawn out, the eyebrows and lips are in greater contrast.  That is probably why newborns and infants can show a preference.  Despite the findings, experts say that it is important for women to feel comfortable wearing a lot of makeup or wearing none at all. 

 Celebrities with and without makeup

  Bottom Line:  Cosmetics enhance how others perceive your beauty, but there are other ways to feel beautiful.  Your warmth, confidence and energy attracts others to you.  There's nothing more attractive than a confidant woman with a voice of her own, with her own style, that is comfortable in her own skin.

1 comment:

  1. That's so true that we tend to develop loyalty to certain brands as we get older. And also apply the same makeup the same way year after year. Maybe we should find some way to have a makeover every 15-20 years, to find the best colors for a changing face. I wonder how I would do that?. . .


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