When a Quora user asked women if they were treated differently with vs. without makeup the answer was usually a resounding YES – and their descriptions are shocking.
While most women stated that they wear makeup for themselves in order to enhance their own confidence, it’s pretty clear that the rest of the world has some strong feelings about how they look.
Click ahead for 50 responses to the question along with makeup vs. no makeup photos.
Just remember, it’s not your place to judge.
“…While having makeup on gives me a little boost of confidence around new people, it does not necessarily mean that they will treat me better…
However, I do notice a slight difference in the types of people I attract…
I look like a prepubescent teen with zero makeup…
When I am barefaced, I feel like guys show more respect and take me more seriously as opposed to when I have a full beat on…”
“With makeup, I definitely get more male attention. Men are nicer to me; they hold the door, buy me drinks, and give me compliments. Men also tend to stare at me and attempt to strike up a conversation more often. I get complimented on my makeup whenever I go to the mall. Women beg me to teach them how I do my eyebrows…
I’m a manager at a retail store and don’t wear makeup to work. As a result, a lot of customers don’t take me seriously and think I’m just a kid. I’m 21 but look 16 without makeup. Men aren’t as chivalrous and tend to look past me. Women find me more approachable and friendly.”
“I get more guys when I’m wearing makeup. It’s really pathetic actually. If I go on Omegle or something there are guys up to the age of 80 hitting on me if I’m wearing makeup.
Reminder; I’m 14.
Without makeup, my self-esteem isn’t as much there. But not as many guys call me hot…”
“While my face is fine/average naturally, it looks 10000x times better when I’m wearing makeup. My confidence grows significantly when I am wearing makeup, and I think that is actually a huge contributor to the amount of attention I get. Confidence attracts…
When I wear very minimal makeup I’m generally respected and my presence is received well. I come across as respectable and wholesome. People treat me very noticeably different when I have a full face on… People will notice me, and definitely be more friendly and accommodating.”
“When I’m wearing makeup almost no one approaches me. If I’m with a group of friends, those are the only people I’ll converse, dance and have a laugh with. No one outside the group will talk to me. When they do, this is what they usually say. ‘You look a bit intimidating. I was scared to approach you.’ ‘Wow, you’re nicer than I thought. You seemed like you were going to be mean.’
…Maybe the makeup draws attention? I don’t know. All I know is I’m the same person in both situations. It may be just the different attitudes towards makeup. I mean, do I look significantly different? You be the judge.”
“Perfectly the same. I’d rather say when I am not wearing makeup some people would still come up to me and comment on my makeup.
I constantly have to tell people whether or not I am wearing makeup.”
“There is a big difference when I do wear makeup, people compliment me and the compliments are more genuine. I get stared at sometimes which is unsettling for me and people are usually more nice to me.
Most guys are more intimidated and don’t really try and talk to me much.”
“Over the years, I’ve realized three things: I am too lazy to put on a full face every day. I hate isolation. You can’t change anyone’s opinion about you. In fact, it is much harder to change your own perception of self. So, I came back. I stopped caring. I stopped listening to the voice in my head that said I had to be liked by everyone. I also stopped hanging out with friends who prodded with my insecurities. I don’t care much for people’s reactions anymore.
…I like using makeup to accentuate my features and it works for me. That’s all there is to it…”
“I’m generally a pleasant person, and I tend to make eye contact and smile when I’m out and about, but there is a noticeable difference between when I wear makeup (which is frequently) and when I don’t…
I catch a lot more attention when I have my makeup on. It’s also likely the way I dress, and the way I carry myself – when I doll myself up, I tend to walk with a straighter back and carry myself with more grace than say, these yoga pants instill in me.”
“When people meet me and I’m bare-faced, I’m treated like just another person… Rarely do I receive compliments on my looks or get hit on. But when people meet me when I’m dolled up, it’s a night-and-day difference. As some of my best friends have told me, I come across as ‘intimidating’ and ‘mean.’ I’ve had people tell me that before they got to know me they thought I’d be stuck up…
These last 3 months I’ve only worn makeup once and it’s been amazing. Makeup makes me stand out, and sometimes it’s nice to just blend in and focus on the interior and not the exterior.”
“I actually don’t get treated differently. I always naturally draw attention when I walk into a room without trying, confidence speaks silent volumes that people will always be attracted and drawn to immediately because sadly a lot of people don’t possess it (and they should – love yourself always! Walk into the room with your head held high!)
…I’m a woman who personally prefers and loves natural beauty.”
“I have been told several times that I look younger without makeup. When my mother was in the hospital about a year ago I had no energy to put on makeup, so I would visit her ‘au natural’. Every nurse that came in asked me which school I went to – and they didn’t mean university, they meant high school. They all thought this 34-year-old woman was a high-schooler.
You would think this would keep me away from the makeup, right? Hell no – I enjoy wearing it, and it makes me actually feel like an adult. Especially with the response I get when I’m not wearing it.”
“I hardly ever applied make up until I was past thirty…
And then I got older and senior in my department. And younger girls came kept coming in, learning the trade from me and returning the favor with makeup tips and recommendations. So one Saturday, I strode to the Loreal store and picked up a dark brown and a bright pink lipper. It really stopped the traffic for a day or two, and then it was business as usual.
I can’t say I’m very good at applying makeup, but I’m enjoying the colour. I’m really having fun with it!”
“I notice a slight difference in the interested gender’s approach towards me. And ladies generally complimenting on how nice I look with the makeover I put a good amount of time in. They sometimes ask what brand I used, treating me like a walking commercial board. If I don’t wear makeup, I have zero interest in getting noticed.
…it seems like I get a lot of compliments on how I look when I wear nicely done makeup. And when I don’t, nobody treats me like shit either.”
“I get treated hugely differently. And it pisses me off… It’s not that I don’t like getting dressed up, I just utterly resent how differently I am treated…I don’t turn heads, I am invisible…
My world is a small one and I love it that way. To suddenly get attention is uncomfortable, especially when it is unwanted looks-based attention…
I know it’s just human nature. People are attracted to a pretty face…”
“As far as my own opinion goes, without any makeup, I look like an egg… If I ever went out without any makeup, I’d most likely be treated as a child.
…When I do wear makeup, though, I tend to cake it on. Not in the Instagram beauty guru way, but I do like my makeup full-coverage. I go full glam just because it makes my confidence soar. I don’t think that in my case, people treat me differently because of how much makeup I’m wearing (if they do, at all; my friends and boyfriend don’t, obviously), but because of how I feel in my own skin and how comfortable I am around them.”
“I find that there is a significant difference in the way I am treated in both circumstances.
When I am wearing a full face of makeup I notice that most women will gravitate towards me and generally trust my opinions on general matters… Men, on the other hand, will definitely stare, at times it feels very uncomfortable.
When I am not wearing makeup I feel that I do not get many stares or looks, and it honestly feels great as I’m sort of introverted and really do not like getting attention… During conversations, I am usually received well and I feel that my personality and character are shining through sort of. I feel more heard. ”
“Most of the time I don’t wear makeup… Generally, in my daily setting, people don’t treat me differently, but most of the time if I wear makeup I’m in a very different situation where my appearance is supposed to be part of the experience and attract attention.
My husband and kids say I look funny when I wear makeup. My friends usually say I look nice.”
“[In] customer service, people generally seem more attentive or friendly when I have makeup compared to when I don’t.
At the end of the day I think it’s a confidence thing. For some people, makeup helps them feel confident so that shows on the outside and people respond to that. Whereas if you feel less confident and reserved without makeup people also respond to how that reflects on your outside.”
“When I am wearing full/club makeup, complete with dark eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick, I notice that people are very, very nice to me. Men approach me more—even with my husband by my side. Women are generally very nice as well: they compliment my makeup and are friendly.
When I wear full makeup, the compliments are endless; it’s almost as if I can say nothing wrong…
…when I am wearing my version of “no makeup” which is barely filling in my brows to make them visible, and a swipe of mascara, I feel like an average person. I am approached way less and garner next to no looks.”
“When I wear make people say I don’t look that good. I get comments like:
I too feel a bit awkward when I am all decked up.
When I am not in makeup, people don’t pass any comments. I am happy!”
“I don’t notice heaps of difference, but I do notice that when I wear makeup, everyone thinks I’m older than I actually am.
This means that with makeup, I’m hit on by much older guys than when I’m not wearing makeup. Usually, when I’m not wearing makeup, I get hit on by guys my age (and sometimes younger!).
Everyone mistakes me for 18 (I’m 16) and I’ve even been mistaken for 22 before! It’s always 18-year-olds that hit on me with makeup, but sometimes it’ll be men aged like 30.
Other than that, I don’t notice much of a difference, just everyone is very surprised when I tell them my age.”
“When I wear makeup people seem to notice my acne more. It’s strange like they pick up on it.
But one time I was wearing makeup and nice lipstick and a tall man came up to me and told me I stick out of the crowd and invited me to a yacht party. Without it they see me as your regular ugly person and really completely ignore me.
I might have a guy approach me with makeup on and get a more physical positive feedback and negative mental feedback.”
“I love makeup, it’s fun to play with. I’m 45, so I feel like I look better with makeup.
I thought I looked drastically different without makeup, but looking at these photos I really don’t see much difference. I think it’s just a confidence booster.”
“When I’m very tidy, so much that people don’t consider me a 16-year-old girl…guys can come and ask for my phone number…
I can even buy alcohol at a store or bar and not show documents…
And when I’m not wearing makeup…nobody notices me.”
“I don’t wear makeup very often. As much as I love to do it, it is very time-consuming, and I usually appreciate getting every possible extra minute of sleep I can afford.
…when I do wear makeup, I don’t go the natural route. I see makeup more as an artistic medium (and engaging in the pleasure of slathering things on my face, as odd as it may sound) than as a means towards being prettier, so while I do try to keep it flattering, I also make it so that it’s really obvious that I’m wearing a heavy hand of makeup since I enjoy playing with colors and lines.”
“With makeup, I feel more confident because I was bullied at school because of my looks.
Many guys did not respect me and said I am too ugly to find a love…So, but I started to love myself more. Cause we are all unique and nobody can’t tell us how we should look.
I am 20 years old and I never had a boyfriend so it is sad sometimes but life is just more than one or two romances. So love yourself and remember that you are special.”
” I don’t really know how to do makeup…I prefer to invest in healthy food and beauty products that protect and enhance my natural beauty rather than on makeup. I don’t really see much of a difference between when I wear makeup or don’t.
To be totally honest, it doesn’t matter what I wear or don’t wear in terms of makeup or clothing. I often get harassed, either way. People seem to think that when a woman goes out in public, it is every passerby’s right to judge her looks. You can’t win no matter what you do…
…You could also say that there are some ‘benefits’ for wearing makeup and getting dressed up. People are friendlier and more willing to help me, especially men. It’s easier to get directions or to ask for assistance finding something / going somewhere. Store clerks are more helpful. Men hold doors open, step aside to let me pass, offer to help me carry things, etc.”
“I get treated pretty much the same. The only difference is that when I’m not wearing makeup people pretty much assume I’m younger than my age.
…I usually get mistaken for being younger than I am. I’m 29 years old and when I have makeup on people think I’m between the ages of 23 and 25. When I don’t have makeup on people think I’m between the ages of 16 and 18. I personally don’t see it. I feel 29 and pretty soon I’ll be 30.”
“I’m naturally blonde and have blonde eyebrows and eyelashes. The one most profound response I usually get is ‘Woah, where’d your eyelashes go?’
…if I actually put on some eye-shadow or lipstick, I’m usually met with ‘what’s the special occasion?'”
“Since I just almost look identical, I just get treated the same way.
Although, I want to learn more about it, I remain as one of the unfortunate ones who remain clueless about knowing how to use different kinds of makeup.”
“I actually get more attention from men and women without makeup…
Women frequently ask me if I’m wearing foundation and are genuinely flabbergasted when I tell them I’m wearing absolutely nothing on my skin…
…I don’t think I look too different with makeup on.”
“I notice with my make up on – people are more nice.
Without makeup – people think I am not attractive.”
“I think makeup makes a huge difference in the way I look. Sometimes, it makes me look meaner than I am, lol.
I think people do treat me differently.”
“I’ll be very honest. When I have makeup on my parents ask to dial it down since I’m a huge makeup freak. And when I don’t have makeup on my friends ask me if I’m sick or high. It’s always a see-saw for me, never anything moderate.
So it doesn’t matter if you put makeup on or not, what matters is if you’re comfortable in both or one. If you love putting on makeup every day and that makes you happy—do it.”
“I don’t really wear makeup (it means no foundation, even no sunscreen, and nothing on my eyes) but I do wear lipsticks every day.
To me, with vs. without lipstick already makes a huge difference…”
“I love makeup.
Without makeup I’ve had people not recognize me. I’ve been refused service for alcohol even with I.D because they think I’m using somebody else’s I.D.
I’ve had coworkers tell me to go home and get some sleep. I’ve even had people tell me I need to put on some makeup.
And it’s sad really. I wear make up for me, because I like the way I feel when I wear it. I don’t wear it for anybody else.
…Whether I want to wear makeup or go bare-faced is up to me and no one else.”
“I personally love to wear makeup and I feel a lot more confident with makeup. I do have a lot of men hit on me more when I’m wearing makeup vs. when I’m not wearing any makeup…
…I love myself both ways, but I do personally think I get treated better with makeup on. I get more compliments with makeup, people talk to me more when I have makeup on vs. not but I am happy with who I am with or without makeup. It’s about the inside, not the outside!”
“I personally don’t like wearing makeup because I am not really that good at applying it, and my skin doesn’t require foundation (I don’t even know what exactly that is, I have never bought it).
I feel like people do not really treat me in a different way if I have makeup or not, and I mainly see them looking at what I am wearing…
I really don’t see makeup helping me in any way, I love my imperfections and my natural look.”
“When I’m wearing makeup, men approach me constantly… Women can be awfully snarky and even dismiss you as friends.
Without makeup, I am noticed as average. I blend in with society and actually do not receive as much negative attention. Females are friendlier and they appear to me as friends, wanting to hang out. Males regard me as a friend, not some weird sex toy.”