Women who wear heavy makeup are seen as worse leaders

Wearing makeup may affect how people judge your leadership skills, according to a new study .

Researchers from Abertay University have found that women who wear heavy makeup are seen as worse leaders than those with bare faces.

In the study, participants were asked to view a series of images featuring 16 women without makeup, and with makeup on for a ‘social night out.’

Participants completed a face perception task, in which they said how much better a leader they felt each face was compared to the other.


Results showed that both men and women evaluated women more negatively as a leader if the image suggested she was wearing a lot of makeup.

Dr Christopher Watkins, who led the study, said: “This research follows previous work in this area, which suggests that wearing makeup enhances how dominant a woman looks.

“While the previous findings suggest that we are inclined to show some deference to a woman with a good looking face, our new research suggests that makeup does not enhance a woman’s dominance by benefitting how we evaluate her in a leadership role.”

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