Do you feel like you are taken more or less seriously when you wear makeup?

Definitely more seriously with minimal makeup–structured brows, brightened eyes, even skin–but less seriously with more noticeable makeup, brighter colors, more shimmery textures.

— Christine


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Erica Avatar

I am treated the same whether I wear makeup or not. I mean if I don’t wear makeup, I am still going to comb my hair and wear a nice outfit. Makeup just makes me feel better and I am happier when wearing it. It is just in my profession it is not a must and plenty of women don’t wear any so wearing it or not doesn’t matter in how I am treated bc my job is more about doing than presenting a particular image. Not saying I can not care about my look at all but makeup doesn’t make or break me. I wear it daily though bc I can:)

Katherine T. Avatar

I think with makeup, I ‘m taken more seriously because I look more polished and put together, but if it’s too bright, glittery, or colorful (purple lips, hot pink shadow), then I’m taken less seriously

Nancy T Avatar

I feel that when I wear either a more conservative look, especially in the color dept., I do get treated with a bit more respect. Strangely, however, I do get taken seriously when I go full-on smoky eye and darker lips, as well! Probably because I’ve perfected my “RBF” to where it can look scathing if necessary! I know that it’s not very nice. But in these parts, it really helps sometimes.
But even when I go all crazy with color, I still carry myself as if I don’t know what someone’s gawking at!

Rachel R. Avatar

Definitely more seriously with it on, even with with my strong looks using bright shimmery eyeshadows and weird lips shades. I’ve mentioned before that when one is very fat (like myself) people tend to treat you like you’re lazy, stupid, lack self-esteem, etc. Looking put together goes a long way toward combating those stereotypes, like it or not.

Erin Avatar

Unfortunately true even at the lower end of the plus size range. I’m a size 16 and it’s a common misperception. I did just get fun of for wearing makeup though by my neighbors who are all very thin but plain, basic bitches. Emphasis on the bitch factor. When you’re “overweight” at all you’re a target no matter what.

Erin Avatar

Yeah, people just love to be judgemental and bully no matter what! it’s been rough with this group if you aren’t a certain way in the military the spouses treat you terribly. I’m not a member of the “squad” so I’m fair game!

Meredith Avatar

I think they must be jealous of your beautiful face. My soon to be daughter-in-law has a beautiful face and a larger body. She is gorgeous inside and out and we love her.

Charlotte Avatar

I’m fat also and feel I need to wear make-up, do my hair and wear jewellery to show I do have some self-respect. Otherwise I fear people will treat me less well if they think I don’t care about myself and have totally let myself go.

Bonnie Avatar

It’s not the worst thing you can be. All it means is that, for whatever reason, you took in more calories than you burned off. That’s it. Period. Not that you’re stupid, lazy, or any other thing people want to all you. It’s just a mathematical surplus of calories. I don’t know why people are so scandalized and judgmental about it.

Helena Avatar

I feel that I am not taken seriously when I DON’T wear any make up. I am 25 but I look much younger when I wear my natural curly hair and my rosy face. People often ask me my identity card to prove I am not a minor! So I tend to wear a little bit of make up, specially bright lipsticks.

Neve Avatar

That’s where I’m at as well; if I go bare-faced I’m mistaken for being younger and looked over (literally) to the person behind me.

Sarina Avatar

I’ve got the same impression – I study at a german university and it seems to me as a “professional” woman, when doing your make-up, you can only wear mascara. But I guess it also depends on the field of study; I was also studying French in the past and many of my fellow students wore make-up. When I spent a semester abroad (in Paris) I’ve noticed all of my associated professors dressed in a very nice way; they wore dresses and make-up. I’ve rarely seen associated professors in Germany dress in this way.

As I like to wear make-up (sometimes bolder, sometimes more neutral), some people think I’m all about shopping and painting my nails. Even my boyfriend once told me before really getting to know me, he thought I had to be illiterate because he always thought people who spend their time dressing up do not have the time to educate themselves. So I told him that I always watch the news while doing my make-up. It seems to me that (at least in Germany) people think a woman can either be pretty or intelligent; I don’t think this is the case. I won’t stop wearing make-up just to be “professional”.

Marieke Avatar

Honestly never noticed a difference. Not in my work life, not in my personal life. Even when I went bare-faced to a Tom Ford counter, I had a good chat with the MUA.

Kimberly Avatar

I feel like I get taken more seriously with makeup, as long as it’s nothing more dramatic than winged eyeliner. Anything more, and even if it appears that I’m taken more seriously, I still feel very juvenile i.e like I’m trying too hard.

Mariella Avatar

I don’t really notice a difference. I think how seriously I’m taken has more to do with body language, voice and how I’m dressed, overall, rather than whether or not I’m wearing makeup (although I am almost ALWAYS wearing makeup!)

Shilpa Avatar

I usually wear nude/neutral makeup – and I definitely get taken more seriously. I haven’t figured out if it’s because of the makeup – or if it’s because I carry myself with more confidence and have a more open demeanor while wearing makeup.

Lisa Avatar

I definitely feel like I am taken more seriously and am more approachable when wearing makeup. As a woman in my mid 50’s I need a little help at least with brows and evening out my skin. Doesn’t take long to make the effort and it certainly pays off. I feel more confident also!

Julia Avatar

You hit the nail on the head, Christine. I think neutral, everyday makeup is my sweet spot. With no makeup, I think I would personally feel very self-conscious to begin with, and I would look like I just rolled out of bed (or at least, that’s what I would feel like). However, if I would wearing very a heavy/dark/bright look, I think it would have a similar effect – I would feel self conscious, and I think the other party would judge a little, too.

Ray Avatar

Depends on the makeup! Presenting a minimalist “fresh” appearance of even skin, filled brows, and MLBB lips definitely goes a long way toward distinguishing myself from my younger coworkers. Socially, I find that being able to apply a well-done face of nighttime makeup (a smoky eye, non-smudged red or dark berry lips) can establish you as a veteran of a certain nightlife, especially in the creative community.

Kimmwc03 Avatar

I feel like I get treated like a kid a lot when I do not wear much makeup. But if I line my eyes, fill in my brows and wear lipstick with minimal blush and shadow then I get treated much more seriously. If I go too colorful with my shadow and blush then I also do not get treated very seriously. I usually do not leave the house without some makeup, though.

Shannon Avatar

I totally agree with what Christine said!! I’m fairly young (19) and have a severe case of baby face. So i wear makeup to look my age and be taken seriously!! And as a mental health public speaker, I like to wear bright, bold, makeup to keep people’s attention on me. And it’s an easy conversation starter!! But outside of work, whenever I wear my usual bold non “natural” (I personally believe natural is different for every makeup wearer!!!) Makeup, I get people who do not take me seriously!! People tell me I look like a clown wearing bright lipstick with my big, full, lips etc.

Laura Avatar

I’m 22 and in a business environment, which makes it a little difficult to get my due respect, but add to that the fact that people still think I’m in high school… Makeup definitely helps me look more my age. I always wear more natural looks as that’s my preference, and I look like I’m playing dress-up in anything too bold or dark.

I do think that women who wear more/brighter/darker makeup are seen as being more frivolous and vain, which is unfair. I always reapply my lipstick quickly behind my desk for fear of others’ judgement! My boss is a woman who wears no makeup, and most people in my work environment are men. I haven’t been made to feel that I’m taken less seriously because of my makeup, though I might be if I chose more daring looks.

My coworker wears bright lipsticks and she definitely gets comments, though it’s hard to tell if they’re meant to be positive or negative.

Anne Avatar

For me, my lipstick shade makes a huge difference. If I wear a red shade, then I’m taken much more seriously; if pink, more light-hearted. Nothing else seems to make a noticeable difference.

CatG Avatar

I feel I am taken more seriously with 90% of the makeup looks I do, even a dark smokey eye. I’ve never really felt I’m taken less seriously when wearing makeup, though I could see how some of my looks might yield that reaction. Like if I do SUPER sparkly turquoise or tropical looks with electric palette type colors.

Glenda Avatar

Definitely more serious with a neutral face, eyes and lips. Color in the corporate world tends to be thought of as either too slutty (funny that coming from the corp world) or too glamorous (again funny coming from the corp world).
Stick with neutrals and you’ll be fine.

kellly Avatar

I think more seriously for me, too. I work in a fairly conservative industry and I wear very natural looking except for lipstick, which is a little more fashionable depending on my mood and what I’m wearing that day. But makeup makes me look more finished and polished and I think it makes me project a more pulled together and professional image.

Margarett Avatar

I am always taken more seriously in a professional setting when I am wearing makeup. However I work in the beauty industry. You would think that would give me carte blanche to express myself with makeup. There are definitely still limits on what is deemed “acceptable” as I work in a makeup sales role. Most of my women clients connect with me because I am 43 but look like I am in my late 20’s to early 30’s. So I hear things like “you can get away with that kind of look” when I am completely “too old” to be wearing some looks narrow minded people consider to be inappropriate for someone in their 40’s. I admit I like to push the envelope, but I also know that I sell way more makeup when a woman can see what I am wearing and visualize replicating my look on themselves. So I will deliberately tame my makeup at times when I am at a counter so I can be better at selling products. And my average sales are between $400-$800 per client. (I work for a higher end brand).

PRNoir Avatar

I am in mid mid twenties and work in retail and am constantly getting told I am too old to look the way I do. I like to where bright colors or vampy ones. It’s just blows my mind, because no matter how old or young you are someone (especially more narrow minded folk), will always think you aren’t “dressing your age”. Why can’t I just be myself and you be yourself and you leave me alone lol. There is nothing in the dress code employee handbook about makeup, it just says employees cannot wear costume masks to work. I also work in a little bit nicer part of town so I constantly have middle aged men giving me nasty comments on my makeup no matter what I’m wearing. Doesn’t matter if I time it down or play it up, some stranger or manager always has something to say about my appearance.

Ardis Avatar

I’m taken either way when I wear makeup bc I have a babyface- when I wear makeup it does make me look older so I am taken more serious (especially when I wear red lipstick and a heavy, dark eye). But at the same time bc of my young looking face- when I wear makeup I often get the impression people think I’m “playing dress up” with makeup and take me less serious (especially when I have on a softer pink lipstick and light eye).

Kylie5 Avatar

The only thing I have noticed is that People Are staring at me when I wear a really bright lipstick like neon Pink or orange. There Are not many Women here wearing bright lipstick, Most Do not wear Any makeup.

Liz Avatar

I get taken more seriously with make up. I just finished a 5 and a half week regimen of daily radiation and weekly chemo and I sometimes ran out the door in sweats and no foundation and regretted it. I think when I showed up anywhere looking schlumpy I was not treated the same. People with cancer want to still feel good about themselves so maybe I was more confident with the make up and was treated better because I was more confident.

Meredith Avatar

I am glad to hear that you just finished radiation and chemo. I’ve been in your shoes (8 years ago) and know how grueling that is. Another step taken back to normalcy. I wish you well.

Liz Avatar

Thanks so much. Dreading the post surgery late next month — probably with no mascara. Want to have a mirror with me at the hospital.

Meredith Avatar

You may find that you’ve already done the hardest part. Forward, and onward, you can then put this horrible experience behind you. May I recommend a book entitled, “The Power of Now”. It helps you just deal with today and not stress about what’s going to happen down the road. It helped me tremendously when I was gong through all this. It brought me a sense of control. I wish you all the luck that you’ll sail through what’s left of treatment.

PRNoir Avatar

I hope your treatment and surgery go well, and I hope you find the confidence within your self to feel good about about yourself

Jenifer Avatar

I think I look more young and innocent with no makeup on. I realize that when I was looking for a job then I start to wear makeup and I got a job! Just like that! I look more mature and put together with my makeup on and looks like I take care of myself too.

Irene Avatar

I look very young without makeup (even though I’m almost 27), so I definitely feel a difference. I barely step out of the house without anything on my face these days, and although it also has to do with confidence on my part, I just feel I get treated better when I’m well put together.

Bon Bon Avatar

I know when I was very heavy and wore heavy makeup I felt invisible unless it was for a chuckle. I lost 102 pounds and revamped my makeup style and I love the interesting conversations I find myself in now. Same person inside. new person outside. Happy all around!!!

Meredith Avatar

Congratulations to you. That is quite an accomplishment. You sound like you achieve your goals by applying grit and determination. My compliments.

Denise Avatar

I feel that I am taken more seriously with makeup,because I have a polished look,especially at work. I think the entire ensemble is the clothes,makeup,hair,and of course your attitude show how confident you are. But other parts of our appearance like facial expressions, particularly smiling, increase attractiveness — and are under our control. Women who wear makeup appear more trustworthy and competent than their bare-faced peers.

Pearl Avatar

Hmmm. I I think it has more to do with how I carry myself. I am not one for bold looks or a lot of color or anything that would draw attention, so if I have that on I tend to feel self-conscious and probably act less confident and more timid about things. I could see being overlooked or just disregarded somewhat in that sense, I guess.

Genevieve Avatar

I think Christine you have hit the nail on the head – with a professional, neutral look you are taken seriously, with an over bright look (bright pink lipstick, several eye colours, bold blush and black rimmed eye liner) you are taken less seriously.
As an educator, I was taken more seriously when I presented a polished, professional look – not only in terms of my makeup, but my clothes as well. No jeans, trainers etc – smart suits and clothes. Even with the little ones.

Judy H. Avatar

Unfortunately, more seriously…what a mistake we all make. Some of the most wonderful, highly intelliegent and well respected women I know happen to be non makeup wearers. Maybe they think there is much more to do and learn in life than taking time to apply makeup, Interestingly enough, they are some of the most confident women I’ve ever encountered, completely at ease with themselves.

Alisha Avatar

Well I feel at makeup counters I’m not taken seriously if I come in bare faced! Like the MAC counter, that’s for sure hands down going to be a day where I’m more talked down to
and things are ‘explained’ to me without asking. “Would you like to try our fluid line? It is to line your eyes but you will need a brush to apply.” Granted I live in the Midwest where rednecks flock from hours around to visit the mall, but come on some of us really did just wake up like this with our husbands squaking to hurry up and no time for a full face before visiting your counter!

PRNoir Avatar

I second that! I usually wear makeup to work and sometimes don’t on my days off, but on my days off is when I want go to Sephora/ Ulta, and my days off are the days I get to let my face “breathe” and if I walk into the store barefaced, I’m more likely to get ignored or talk down to, when.those are the days I’m usually there to spend the most money and get stocked up on product! Not to mention if I know I’m going to be popping into a store to look at makeup, I will go bare faced specifically so I can get color matched! It’s just a very frustrating experience, so much to the point that I now do most of my shopping for makeup online, and don’t bother with the stores for purchases anymore.

Arpita Avatar

At work place, definitely less is more. I do wear makeup to work; but a different sort than I would for a night out or a social occassion. And , my last thought on this is that it is ur work that counts. Even if u go like to wear more makeup or a darker lipstick or something like that to ofc; people might tk u less seriously for few days; but if ur work is upto the mark, it will shut their mouths up. Period.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I personally feel more confident when wearing make-up so was a result, I feel that I’m taken more seriously with makeup. As Christine said, this is with makeup appropriate for the time of day and situation.

Natalia Avatar

Hmmm, that’s a tough question. Come to think of it, it all depends on the circumstances and people you are dealing with. I have a feeling that at work, I would be taken just a tad more seriously if I wore less or no make up (yeah, like I would ever do that 🙂 ), cause I work in the IT. There are mostly guys and they seem to be of misconception that since I’m taking my appearance seriously, I’m a bit shallow. WRONG! I’ll just say I’ve proved them wrong many times 🙂

On the other hand, I get treated waay better everywhere else with makeup on, so all is good!

Kristin Avatar

I’ve read more than once that studies have shown women who wear at least some makeup at work are perceived as more competent.

Celesta Avatar

I like doing different things with my make up that kind of runs the gamut: more bright unusual colors and combos to more neutral looks, but I do find that I am looked at as less smart, less deep of a person because of this.

PRNoir Avatar

If I wear anything that isn’t a “nude” lipstick I got lots of comments – not good ones- about my appearance. I don’t understand why people assume that wearing noticeable makeup means I’m stupid or imcompetent. It just means I like colors!

Jiselaz Avatar

Definitely more seriously when wearing makeup even when wearing a full face and false lashes. I have notice that I’m more approachable ,and I myself feel more attracted to approach or befriend a lady wearing makeup than a plane face lady. Because I feel that we at least have a love of makeup in common.

PRNoir Avatar

I usually wear makeup every day to work and I try to go bare face on a lot of my days off. I really enjoy bright colors and vampy looks. I’m not super skilled with makeup application and don’t consider myself to go too crazy with how I look (even though I really would like too!). I get a lot of negative comments about my makeup from customers and managers (I work in retail), even though there is nothing against it in the dress code. It is all around very frustrating for me. Normally if I go a little colorful with the eye makeup I will tone down the lipstick and vice versa.

I feel like when I go bare faced to work, which isn’t as often anymore, I end up with more customer conflicts. People are usually less nice to me in general and I have noticed that people definitely treat me differently when I am wearing makeup. They are more likely to be more aggressive/
confrontational/ mean when I’m bare faced. Depending on what kind of makeup I’m wearing also changes their behavior. I get most of my nasty comments when I’m wearing darker lipstick colors and a lot of times people will treat me like I’m incompetent if I’m wearing bright lipstick or eyeshadow or anything glittery.

I’m a fairly confident person regardless if I’m wearing makeup or not, but when I “tone it down and people are much nicer to me, it definitely feels better on the ego and my confidence.

I don’t feel as if I should have to adhere to others standards of what I should look like to be taken seriously though. This is a very large planet with billions of people, and the fact that some people act as if there is an across the board standard for what kind of beauty is acceptable, just blow my mind. There are lots of people that like lots of different things. This is part of living life. Someone shouldn’t feel obligated to make nasty remarks on other peoples appearance just because what they like/ their style is different.

Sorry end rant lol

Bonnie Avatar

I don’t know what type of retail store you work at, but there’s definitely something to be said for looking appropriate for the job/situation. If you work in a conservative or high-end store, you may be seen as inappropriate if you wear a noticeable look, but you should look polished. How did you look for your job interview? That’s probably a good gauge of the right type of look for there. Of course, you don’t have to conform, but being appropriate generally makes things easier.

PrNoir Avatar

I was hired with a mohawk/shaved part of head, and slacks and a dress shirt. The uniform for where I work is black jeans and a polo they provide us with, similar to what Target employees wear, but different color scheme and I’ve been with the same company for 7 years in multiple locations. It is not high end or conservative store by any means. It is the managers at this particular location and the cx in this part of town, because when I go to the other stores in town there are other people who wear colorful make up, tattoos, piercings and its not a big deal. No one had a problem with it at either of the other two stores I worked it. Looking inappropriate is one thing, but threatening to write me up for wearing green eye shadow and red lipstick the day before Christmas is ridiculous. It has nothing to do with being appropriate, because if it did, it would 1. be in the dress code- which if it is in the dress code then I will obviously be following it and 2. there wouldn’t be associates in the store right down the street looking the same way I do. Job interviews are not a good gauge at all. I’ve worn slacks and a dress shirt to every interview I’ve had, including the zoo, which is kaki pants and provided polo uniform, because I was cleaning up poop and pee all day.

Bonnie Avatar

I meant what type of makeup did you wear for your interview, not clothes. It sounds like your makeup shouldn’t be an issue anyway judging by what you are telling me. Either the managers have a stick up their ass or they hae something against you. Your Christmas look sounds festive…screw em.

Bonnie Avatar

Depends on the makeup. When I have a more subtle makeup, with nude colors, just to enhance features, I am taken more seriously, and when I have bright eye shadows, or purple or white lipstick, maybe less seriously. Could be that the brights are distracting, while the nudes add polish. I always wear makeup, except if my allergies have been acting up. Then I do everything except eye makeup. Maybe I just feel more pulled-together with it, so people respond to that.

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