I have always enjoyed using makeup, trying out different eye shadow and lip gloss colors. However, I have always wondered why drawing a black line on someone’s eyelid or darkening the shade of someone’s lips makes them appear more attractive. For some reason, I am intrigued in finding out why makeup, which is made up of oils and chemicals nonetheless, allows people to conceive someone as more being “beautiful.”

Applying makeup is referred to as a type of body decoration in which some consider the “most important of arts” in different societies. One should know that facial attractiveness plays off of sex differences in facial appearance. The more feminine a woman looks, the more attractive she is said to be. The difference between male and female pigmentation is a contributing factor in how women appear more attractive. In general, women have lighter colored skin than men. It is key to be mindful of the contrast of makeup to the skin for women. The contrast of a woman’s eyes and lips to her face creates a perception she is more attractive, as long as the intensity of the contrast is strong. Makeup assists in emphasizing this contrast of the skin versus the eyes and lips; thus, the women appear more attractive to men. Biological factors can play a large role in how makeup is effective in different societies. One could examine traditional Geisha apprentice cosmetics looks versus typical American teenage girls looks. The traditional Geisha apprentices wore white paint and dark lipstick, while American girls often wear foundation that compliments their skin tones and lightly shaded lip glosses. Both looks are said to be attractive in different places.

It has been found that males approve of prominent cheekbones, large eyes, smooth skin, and small noses. Although a person cannot (at least naturally) change their facial features, one can enhance them through various techniques, which involve makeup. For example, one can contour their cheekbones to appear more prominent and use eye shadow to enhance the size and shape of her eyes.

Basic experiments have been conducted, testing the makeup’s power on enhancing one’s looks using before-after facial stimulus. One study was conducted using 16 male and 16 female subjects who judged four females in different makeup combinations. The women were found significantly more attractive with the makeup on. Interestingly enough, the four women had more positive personality ratings when wearing the makeup as well. An older study was performed in which 8 male and 8 female subjects rated 32 college students on whether or not they were more attractive with or without makeup. The women subjects did not really find the women more attractive with the applied makeup like the men had.

One of the most interesting experiments was performed to find out whether women received more tips while wearing makeup. A waitress served two groups of people (in total, one hundred and seventy-four people) for five days a week for six weeks. She served sixteen lunches with makeup and fifteen without makeup. After analyzing various components to this experiment, it was confirmed that the times in which the waitress wore makeup, she received a higher tip on average.

Makeup has proven to really enhance women’s looks, making them appear more attractive in the eyes of others. The manipulation of contrasts with the eyes and lips against skin tone is the key reason makeup affects the attractiveness of a person. Makeup can alter ‘imperfections’ of the face as well as alter the confidence and self-esteem a person obtains.

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