For decades, if not centuries, women have worn makeup to achieve a cultural standard of beauty. Cosmetics are used strategically to enhance certain features and hide others. From an evolutionary perspective, the qualities we consider beautiful are related to signals of reproductive fitness, such as sexuality, health, and youthfulness. Makeup that gives women red lips, flawless skin, captivating eyes, and a bit of blush all increase attractiveness, at least from a biological and cultural standpoint.
Research shows that makeup can significantly alter the impression we have of women.
Clearly, there are strong incentives for women to wear makeup in the workplace. Socially, makeup not only increases perceived attractiveness, but it can also increase women’s confidence. If women believe that wearing makeup increases their attractiveness, then it’s easy to see why they may feel better wearing it. Outward appearance can have a powerful influence on self-esteem.
Many women do feel less confident when they don’t wear makeup. It’s clear that women enjoy advantages to wearing makeup. It can increase their perceived attractiveness, give them more confidence, and create a favorable impression in work and social settings.