Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeBeautyDo people treat you nicer when you don’t wear makeup?

Do people treat you nicer when you don’t wear makeup?

Weird question maybe. I am young and wear eyeliner, foundation, etc. on the regular. When I started my first ‘big girl’ job, I never wore makeup because I didn’t really know how to tone down my current routine to ‘work place appropriate.’ Now I’ve watched tutorials and have gotten back in the habit of trying to look more put together and feel pretty for work. I feel like there’s a shift in tone in how people treat me when I wear makeup, a bit stand offish and maybe even snarky. Not to be sexist, I work with a lot of women who I see as friends, and I’m a bit confused by the slight tonal shift when I wear makeup. I feel like I’m acting the same and try to be professional. Have you had this experience? Any advice?

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Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson
I have been reading and writing for over 20 years. My passion is reading and I would like to someday write a novel. I enjoy exercise and shopping.


  1. I think it’s a bell curve. I get treated better when I’m wearing “no makeup makeup”, which is interpreted as being “put together” and “professional”. But when I’m wearing obvious makeup, I find people take me less seriously in a professional environment and have more assumptions about what type of person I am.

  2. I have experienced this actually! I work in the medical field where there is kind of a strange unspoken thing with makeup, at least in my experience. Pretty much none of the girls I work with on my surgical team wear makeup but I do everyday. I think, and it could just be in my head, many nurses/medical personnel think it’s weird or inappropriate to wear makeup to this ‘serious’ job and we all have to look like we’re super into our work and don’t have time for ‘frilly’ things such as makeup when we’re trying to save peoples lives. Which is fine for them but personally I don’t think me putting on some eyeliner and mascara in the morning will have any sort of affect on my abilities to take care of a patient. Idk, I just feel like I do notice a difference especially on the occasional day that I won’t put makeup on if I’m running late or something, my coworkers are more personable with me that day and will say things like ‘oh you look so nice natural’ or things like that. I’ve noticed it at every medical job I’ve worked at

  3. My experience, YMMV:

    Male dominated/lead field:
    1) want to be taken seriously? No makeup, natural hair color
    2) want to be catered to but not taken seriously? Makeup, unnatural hair color

    Female dominated/lead field:
    Wear makeup, hair done up

  4. Quite the opposite for me. When I wear makeup, people pay attention to me more and look my way. I also get catcalled / hit on more when I have makeup on. When I don’t, people will address me plainly and won’t really give me a second thought lol.

  5. Two things work for me with my “work look”:

    I can’t go wrong with a neutral palette, more browns, less contrast but same application techniques.

    Consistency, whatever you choose (bold lip, eyeliner, no makeup look, full makeup look) if you do the same thing everyday, people know what to expect. People seem to need to have that.

  6. I’m in retail and find ppl treat me better and like me more when I don’t wear any. Even though I doget compliments if I do something fun with my eye make-up. I wonder if ppl think I’m giving myself airs or something when I wear make-up, or find me more relatable without it. The unfortunate part is though, I have a skin condition which when flared up has to be covered or ppl RLY treat me badly.

  7. Ugh I hate that this is true. What is wrong with obvious makeup?! I have never once judged someone for obviously wearing some makeup, I think my blush bronzer and mascara is pretty obvious but it still looks natural and put together. Sadly though, I do not get along with most women for how they treat me off the jump, usually women my age (20’s). I don’t care for them if they’re gonna treat me that way based off pre assumptions, but dang it’s pretty disheartening as it’s harder for me to make new friends. Ill stick to my work friends though, who are twice my age lol, and my small circle of bad ass women who I love with my whole heart.

  8. ive noticed this myself. i seem to get more dirty looks for no reason when I wear eyeliner, especially from older people.
    there have been many times where I felt like I was treated better when I didn’t have makeup on, so strange.

  9. I always present myself in the best way possible whenever I will be seen by the public or for work. Bring put together is my way. Make up and hair and appropriate clothing goes a long way in how comfortable I feel in my own skin. My very careful appearance is my armor when dealing with the world of micro aggressions. I am absolutely treated better when I am put together, IMHO. My advice? Stop caring what others think. Own your look. Own your place in your world. If they don’t get it, don’t care. Best day of my life was when I stopped caring what someone else thought of my appearance. Being professional in my mind means presenting my best self. For me that entails makeup. If you don’t want to wear it, don’t wear it. Own your place. UNAPOLOGETICALLY. They are not thinking about you when they roll out of bed and, for them, that is getting ready for the day. That is fine for them. You do you.

  10. Let’s look at this from a different perspective… I don’t feel it’s really so much about the makeup as it is the confidence we project when we have put the time into ourselves. Naturally, we just feel better about ourselves when we have invested the extra energy into looking good. This is the power of self-care! I am not at all saying that self-care consists of doing your hair and makeup, but there is something about it that can give us a little confidence boost.

    I think sometimes this can make other women feel insecure or intimidated. I know I have personally experienced these feelings when I’m the presence of someone who is looking their best while I’m over here sporting sweatpants and a Miss Trunchbull level messy bun. On the other hand, you may receive the opposite reactions from men, as they often tend to react to you with behaviors driven by attraction and admiration.

    That being said, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about feeling good about yourself. If wearing makeup makes YOU feel happy and confident, then please keep doing it for yourself. If other people are responding to your positive vibes with negative behaviors, then that’s their problem. It’s already hard enough being a woman, we don’t need anyone else’s opinions of what we decide to do with our bodies added onto that.

    You just keep living your best life girl and best of luck with your new job!

  11. I dont really feel any big difference. People are always nice towards me, no matter if I put effort in my appearance or not. But I definitely get more attention with makeup!

  12. The no-makeup makeup look or a little liner with no wing is “professional.”

    I like a bolder liner, with a sharp wing, and white shadow in my inner corners. I get treated like a kid when I wear it because it’s a more youthful style. But I also only get that change in attitude from women.

  13. Before I got on birth control, I had horrendous cystic acne and people definitely treated me better when I was wearing makeup vs when I wasn’t. And people treat me even better now that I don’t have acne. As much as people like to say appearance doesn’t matter, people absolutely judge you on your looks.

  14. Not really. I get treated better with makeup. I do normally go for a more natural look though

    (low-medium coverage foundation,concealer,loose translucent powder, blush, brow gel, mascara, lip gloss/natural lipstick and setting spray basically)

  15. This is a bias I don’t like and I’m working on getting past, but when I was young and in school, the mean girls were the ones who wore makeup. Now as an adult, I think I subconsciously associate the traits of those girls from middle and high school with makeup, and it puts me on edge. I don’t know if it’s just me or if this is common? Like I said, I realize it’s not good to stereotype and I’m working on being more open.

  16. I’m female. I will admit I feel put off when I’m interacting with another woman who is wearing heavy makeup. Light makeup doesn’t bother me. I don’t know why.. maybe I think she’s superficial or insecure if the makeup is over the top. I don’t mean to be offensive, just ultra honest since you asked.

  17. usually i dont wear makeup because i feel tired in the mornings but when i do my colleagues invite me to their lunches, etc. this really breaks my heart tbh they isolate from me in general. sorry bitches i also look good without makeup.

  18. It’s very dependent, I think. When I’m wearing no makeup, people are generally friendly to me. When I wear no-makeup makeup, I tend to get told that I look “pretty” that day. If I’m wearing a full face of makeup, however, I’ve gotten snarky remarks about trying to “impress” someone. Society is weird.

  19. I am not a woman so my opinion/experience may not be worth anything here. I think the key is, don’t look like you’re trying to hard, keep it light and subtle. I think when you go heavy make-up it gives the impression that you are trying to hide your actual face or get more than “professional” attention.

  20. Barley anyone at my job wears makeup and I don’t either. Luckily, no one says anything to anyone about using makeup/not using it, but it can be annoying if someone should ever say to use less eyeliner or to fill in your brows.

  21. Is it possible that your makeup is done in too obvious of a way? I get positive attention when I enhance my features- The behavior you’re describing is typical when something is done in (what others) deem an inappropriate fashion.

  22. I sometimes get treated like I’m less intelligent than everyone else every now and then because of it. In (mostly travel) softball I definitely get judged a bit for my makeup. Ur not alone on this lol

  23. Very interesting question, I find the opposite to be true. Like when im out and about or at school/work with no makeup people will in general be a bit more stand-offish , sometimes even rude. When im made up people will make eye contact, hold doors for me, say excuse me, thank you, etc. Its interesting for sure.

  24. I have experienced this in two career paths I’ve experimented in. One of them is preschool/daycare. At one daycare I worked at I used to get passive aggressive comments from the women I worked with if I wore obvious or fun makeup (red lipstick or colorful eyeshadow). It’s like you are supposed to look tired or exhausted all day running around with children and keeping up with their emotions. I think they were slightly hating on me too because when I had makeup days like that the children always took an interest in it. Second career path (which I’m in now til the end ) is natural resources/wildlife conservation. I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve gotten from men and women if I even explore my feminine side in the field by wearing makeup. I’m not even talking doing a full face. I mean just some eyeliner and mascara. To me it’s weird because I don’t gauge how well someone can do a job based on some lipstick or eyeliner.

  25. Not at Sephora! Well that’s true for me and a few other ppl I know anyway. Not sure if it’s bc were poc but I’m choosing not to be believe that. anytime I don’t wear makeup there it’s like in invisible.

    Edit: grammar

  26. yes i always used to tell people this. When I go out without makeup nobody is rude but there is a difference when im wearing makeup people talk to me in lines etc. I feel like hannah Montana LOL

  27. Yup I’ve noticed this as well. I’m in engineering and I get treated much better when I don’t wear makeup. Even when I wear nice clothes for work I can feel a bit of sexism, so I’ve resorted to wearing jeans or sweats and a hoodie. Basically, when I go to work looking like how I look at home I get treated the best. I think this is strictly an engineering/tech thing though, most other places like you to be a bit put together (no makeup makeup and business casual).

  28. It depends on the person but generally people treat me much nicer when I wear makeup. I must look approachable with makeup because I totally have a resting b-face without it. It could be you look more younger/approachable without makeup and your makeup style makes you look more fierce. Nothing wrong at all with that 🙂

    I’m a very girly engineer working in male dominated tech spaces.

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