Cade Mooney/The Daily

Is makeup the key to success?

IT'S not going to win awards for promoting gender equality, but a recent study suggests that women who wear makeup are seen to be more competent, amiable and trustworthy - and likely to get ahead in the workplace.

Funded by cosmetic giant Procter & Gamble but executed by independent researchers from Harvard and Boston Universities and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a team of scientists and psychologists photographed 25 female subjects without makeup followed by three looks they called "natural, professional and glamorous".

The photos were then shown in random order to two control groups: the first consisting of 149 men and women who saw the faces flashed on a screen for 250 milliseconds, and a second group of 119 people who were able to look at the images for as long as they wanted.

Participants were then asked to rate each face according to how competent, attractive, likable and trustworthy they appeared.

"We found that cosmetics have a significant impact on how attractive a face appears, but also on how likable, trustworthy and competent they appear," said the study's lead author Nancy Etcoff, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard University.


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