Beauty blogger Francesa posted two 'work looks'. It exposed a huge double standard.

Inspired by a Huffington Post article about the importance of wearing makeup to work, an Indonesian beauty blogger set out to determine just how much ‘putting your face on’ influences other people’s perceptions.

Known as Francesa, the young woman took a fresh-faced snap of herself and uploaded it to Photofeeler, a website that invites strangers to assess you on various criteria based purely on your photograph.

She then did it again, but this time she digitally tweaked the image to appear as if she was wearing a light coat of makeup.

“The only difference I made is to add a bit of colour to my lips and cheeks, darkened my brows, evened out my skin tone & got rid of my spots, and added a winged liner,” she explained on her blog, Working With Monolids. “So nothing drastic, but probably about 30-45min of work IRL (1h if I’m breaking out really badly).”

The sad truth about the makeup tax on women! I decided to do an experiment on PhotoFeeler to see how differently people perceive a business photo when the subject is wearing makeup. I took the same exact picture, and only edited it to appear like I’m wearing light makeup with the @makeupplusapp (evening out skin tone, blush, “natural” lip colour, winged liner). As you can see, the picture with makeup is immediately ranked wayyy more favorably. Kinda sucky the “makeup tax” does exist. The funny thing is, people ranked the make up pic as more authentic and confident, so to all those who insist women who wear makeup are fake and insecure….the stats don’t lie ???? For more rankings and the experiment details, head over to the link in my bio!

A photo posted by Francesca (@workingwithmonolids) on


Francesa posted the images separately in the business, social and dating threads, and – surprise, surprise – each and every time the doctored image was rated higher.

And we’re not talking about pure aesthetics here, although her perceived attractiveness was 57 per cent lower without makeup. No, the real surprises came from criteria like intelligence (14 per cent lower), confidence (a whopping 25 per cent lower), fun (15 per cent) and likeability (23 per cent).

Even trustworthiness and authenticity lost out.

“I definitely find it funny going makeup-free makes people think I’m less authentic,” Francesca wrote. “So for anyone saying that girls who wear makeup look “fake”…the stats don’t lie. ;)”

Judging by all that, ladies, it seems that we’re just a coat of lippy and some eyeliner away from landing that dream job/friend/fella.

Of course, that’s not true. But sadly Francesca’s little experiment does offer a neat glimpse into how powerful superficial qualities can be in forming first impressions.