Are people using cosmetics wrong?

People apply color cosmetics hoping to improve the way they look.  But according to this research published in the The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, most people don’t know what they are doing and are applying too much. cosmetic-makeup

Cosmetic evaluation method

In the study 44 women participated as models.  They were first photographed with their hair back wearing no makeup or facial jewelry.  They were then given a tray of popular color cosmetics and told to apply makeup such that they were going out somewhere fancy for the night.  After this, their pictures were taken again.  A range of photos were created using the “no make-up” and “with make-up” as the high and low points of the scale.  22 male and 22 female participants were then stationed at a computer and asked to optimize the attractiveness of the given faces.


Researcher found that both men and women preferred the look of women with less makeup than applied.  Women liked the appearance of slightly more makeup than men.

While this is an interesting study, I don’t think looking at pictures is a good way to evaluate the attractiveness of someone.  How many people do you know who look great in real life but don’t take good pictures?  I think most people are more attractive in real life.

Anyway, what this research suggests is that people who put on a lot of makeup can probably put on less.  It also shows that some makeup definitely helps everyone look better and that is something of which we cosmetic chemists can be proud.

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