You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes, and it looks like there's some truth to the claim, particularly for women who wear makeup.
Procter & Gamble Beauty and Grooming recently sponsored a Harvard study in which women were rated barefaced and then on three makeup styles. Researchers studied the reactions of people who viewed four looks on 25 different women: barefaced, then with "natural" makeup, "professional" makeup and "glamorous" makeup.
Makeup artists applied the looks to the 25 women of varying ages and races, and a professional photographer shot the women in the same light and atmosphere each time, cropping out clothing and hairstyles.
Study participants ranked each face on attractiveness, likeability, trustworthiness and competence.
The faces that didn't have makeup on were rated lower than any of the makeup looks in all four categories. Natural and professional makeup looks were rated highest in all categories, and while the glamorous look, which sported heavier, more dramatic makeup, was rated as likeable as the other two looks but not as trustworthy, while being rated more attractive and more competent.
Lead investigator Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., drew the following conclusions: "For the first time, we have found that applying makeup has an effect beyond increasing attractiveness - it impacts first impressions and overall judgments of perceived likeability, trustworthiness, and competence.
In today's world of self-portraits appearing on networking and dating websites, ballots, resumes and applications, the results of the study have broad implications." So does this mean that you need to run out and buy a whole slew of products? Probably not.
But you may want to consider how your look will be perceived if you're looking to impress.