Women who wear heavy makeup are less likely to be thought of as good leaders, a study has found.
For the study published in the journal Perception, participants were asked to view a series of images featuring the same woman without cosmetics and with makeup applied for a "social night out".
Researchers from Abertay University in the UK used a computer software to manipulate the faces and the amount of makeup was also manipulated in the face images.
Each participant completed a face perception task where they judged sixteen face-pairs, indicating how much better a leader they felt their chosen face to be compared to the other face.
It was found that both men and women evaluated women more negatively as a leader if the image suggested she was wearing a lot of makeup.
"This research follows previous work in this area, which suggests that wearing makeup enhances how dominant a woman looks," said Christopher Watkins of Abertay University.
"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 benefiting how we evaluate her in a leadership role," said Watkins.
"This work is a good example of the diverse and interesting research ongoing within the Division of Psychology," he said.
The study used a measurement scale common in face perception research, which calculates the first-impressions of the participant group as a whole, working out an average verdict.
Watkins has carried out previous high-profile studies including work looking at how women remember the faces potential love rivals and the role of traits related to dominance in our choice of allies, colleagues and friends.
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