New study claims women who don’t wear make-up seem less likeable, competent

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Ladies, we've come a long way. Record numbers of women are in college, birth control is free, and we have whole TV shows about the esteemed female professions of "stewardess" and "Playboy bunny." But for God's sake, stop embarrassing womankind and put on some lipstick: according to a new study, using color cosmetics significantly alters how women are perceived by others.

Researchers showed participants four sets of photos of twenty-five women. In one set, the women wore no make-up. In another, they wore a "natural" look. In the third, they sported "professional" make-up. In the final set, they appeared "glamorous." The participants were shown the photos for 250 milliseconds and then asked to rate the women's attractiveness, competence, likeability, and trust. All three "looks" boasted higher ratings compared to the same face sans make-up.

Here's something fishy about this otherwise-sound experiment: it was conducted by a Harvard University professor … and Procter & Gamble. As in the makers of Cover Girl and Max Factor. But while we wait for the National Organization of Women to replicate the results, maybe we all load up on Cover Girl and Max Factor, just to be safe?