Quantifying the Impact Cosmetic Make-up Has on Age Perception and the First Impression Projected

April 2015 | Volume 14 | Issue 4 | Original Article | 366 | Copyright © April 2015

Steven H. Dayan MD FACS,a,b,c Katherine Cho MPH,a,c Mary Siracusa BS,a,c and Selika Gutierrez-Borst MS RNa,c

aChicago Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, Chicago, IL
bDivision of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
cDeNova Research, Chicago, IL

INTRODUCTION: First impressions are lasting, consequential and defined as the immediate judgment made of another from zero acquaintance. Multiple studies have reported the benefits of cosmetic make-up. We set out to investigate the psychosocial and aesthetic effects of cosmetic make-up in order to better understand why women wear it.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven women were recruited in order to examine the effects of cosmetic make-up on first impressions. The photographs of individual subjects wearing the control cosmetics, their own make-up, and no make-up were randomly assigned to three binders (A, B, and C). Three hundred evaluators participated (100 evaluators per book) and completed a 10-point First Impression Scale for each of the 27 photos in their binder.
RESULTS: Statistical analysis of the collected data was conducted in SPSS using two-tailed t-tests to determine the statistical significance of the differences between first impressions of Own Make-up vs No Make-up, No Make-up vs Control Make-up, and Own Makeup vs Control Make-up. There was a significant difference in improvement in all pairings across all 8 categories in the First Impressions questionnaire particularly in perceived age between own make-up, no make-up, control make-up (41, 42, 38; P<0.001).
DISCUSSION: Our study evaluated the first impressions, age perception, self-esteem, and the quality of life impact that cosmetic makeup has on women’s appearance and confidence. Subjects wearing cosmetic make-up appeared 4 years younger than those wearing no make-up. And the control cosmetic make-up subjects on average projected a 37% better first impression than subjects wearing no make-up. We objectively quantified and qualified the benefits of applying cosmetic make-up. Make-up can reduce the perceived age, improve the first impression projected and increase the self-esteem of those who apply it.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(4):366-374.