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Report on Making Faces: A SmartGirl Makeup Survey

Smart girls decide for themselves™.

Who "Made Up" Our Survey Respondents?
Tons of people filled out this survey - 1,193 girls and 14 boys to be exact (and 29 people who didn't specify their gender). Of these 1,236 survey takers, most were 13 (a huge 515 of you!), but ages ranged from 6 to older than 22. More oldest children took this survey than anyone else - 678 of the survey takers said they are the oldest in their families, while youngest children came in second at 243. Middle children and only children were not as well represented.

We had people take this survey all over the world! You sent in responses from Yugoslavia, Uzbekistan, Latvia, El Salvador, Brazil and India, just to name a few. Everyone also came from many different ethnic backgrounds:
  • 72 people said they are of African descent
  • 72 people said they are of Asian descent
  • 290 people said they are of European descent
  • 37 people said they are of Latin American descent
  • 18 people said they are of Middle Eastern descent
  • 376 people said they are of Native American descent
  • 17 people said they are of Oceania/Pacific Islander descent
  • 89 people said they are of multiracial descent
  • The Foundation
    We thought it'd be a good idea to start out the survey by setting a basic foundation, so we asked you a pretty simple question: Do you wear makeup? Check out this graph to see how many of you do the makeup routine and how many of you go all natural.
    Do you wear makeup?
    Holy cow - check out this graph! An overwhelming majority of you wear makeup.
    Two fun facts:
  • 214 of you said you don't wear makeup, but 107 of you who don't wear makeup would like to.
  • 1004 of you said you do wear makeup, but 28 of you who do wear makeup wish that you didn't.
  • Your Makeup Routine
    Now that we know many of you wear makeup, we want to know the details - how often you wear it, what you wear, where you buy it, and much more! This section explores your makeup tendencies. You can check out what other SmartGirls had to say and compare it to what you do or think.
    How often do you wear makeup?
    Almost half of you wear makeup every day, about 20% of you wear makeup on school days, about 30% of you wear makeup when you dress up for a special occasion and 8% of you never wear makeup.
    Based on the above graphs, we can figure out how many of you wear makeup at least sometimes. Doing some quick math, it looks like about 92% of you wear makeup on some occassions (whether that's for a special occassion or for school every day). And that just brings up another question! It looks like lots of you are spending time putting on makeup - but just how much time? We thought we'd ask and find out.

    On average, how long do you spend applying makeup?
  • 485 of you said less than 1 minute
  • 286 of you said between 1 and 5 minutes
  • 262 of you said between 6 and 10 minutes
  • 104 of you said between 11 and 15 minutes
  • 50 of you said between 16 and 20 minutes
  • 19 of you said between 21 and 30 minutes
  • 29 of you said more than half an hour
  • Lipstick, Eyeliner, and Mascara....Oh my!
    While about half of you have quick makeup routines, the other half spend more time getting ready. What products are taking up your time?
    What makeup products do you use?
    Blush 3608.88
    Concealer 2566.32
    Eyeliner 46211.4
    Eye shadow 58414.41
    Foundation 2947.25
    Lip gloss 71117.54
    Lipliner 1423.5
    Lipstick 2907.16
    Mascara 56213.87
    Powder 2997.38
    I don't wear any of this makeup 932.29
    It looks like more people use lip gloss than any other makeup product, with eye shadow and mascara coming in close seconds.
    With so many different kinds of makeup out there, there has been an explosion in the number of makeup brands. Now, there are whole catalogs devoted to makeup, webpages that sell any type of makeup you can think of, and even if you go to a store to check out their makeup selection, you might find yourself overwhelmed. There are just so many different brands! Check out the table below to see what brands are most popular among SmartGirls.
    What brands of makeup do you usually use?
    Almay 772.17
    Avon 2918.19
    Bonne Bell 1925.41
    Burt's Bees 962.7
    Caboodles 1113.13
    Chanel 1634.59
    Claire's 50.14
    CoverGirl 36910.39
    Estee Lauder 962.7
    Jane 591.66
    Lancome 320.9
    L'oreal 2166.08
    Mac 1002.82
    Mary Kay 90.25
    Max Factor 1413.97
    Maybelline 41411.66
    Neutrogena 2146.02
    New York Color 230.65
    Revlon 2627.38
    Rimmel 290.82
    Sephora 531.49
    Stila 300.84
    The Body Shop 50.14
    Urban Decay 481.35
    Wet 'n Wild 2747.71
    Other 1504.22
    I don't wear makeup 932.62
    It looks like Maybelline and CoverGirl are the two most popular makeup brands.
    Makeup = Moolah
    Eek! With all those makeup brands competing to get you to buy their makeup, prices can skyrocket. Nowadays, makeup is more expensive than ever. We asked about how much you pay out of pocket for your makeup.

    About how much money per month do you spend on makeup?
  • 556 people said they don't spend any money on makeup
  • 264 people said they spend $1 to $5 on makeup every month
  • 159 people said they spend $6 to $10 on makeup every month
  • 94 people said they spend $11 to $15 on makeup every month
  • 73 people said they spend $16 to $20 on makeup every month
  • 29 people said they spend $21 to $30 on makeup every month
  • 60 people said they spend more than $30 on makeup every month
  • The above results show one math equation: that wearing makeup = spending money. We wanted to test this equation further to find out if the more you spend, the better quality you receive. We came up with a new formula: the more you spend = better quality? Check out the graph below to find out what SmartGirls think.
    Is more expensive makeup of a better quality?
    This graph shows that most of you believe the more money you invest in your makeup, the better makeup you get.
    If you're parting with your moolah on makeup, where do you do it? Here's what you had to say:
  • 267 of you buy your makeup at a superstore (like Wal-mart or Target)
  • 200 of you buy your makeup at a drug store or pharmacy
  • 126 of you part with your cash at a specialized makeup store (like Mary Kay or Sephora)
  • 90 of you spend your dough at a department store
  • 32 of you prefer to buy makeup through a catalog
  • 25 of you purchase your makeup at a grocery store
  • 7 of you like to browse and buy online
  • 116 of you indicated that you don't buy makeup
  • Your Style
    With all the different varieties and brands of makeup, it's really easy to use makeup in different ways and come up with your own style. Some people like to wear makeup to accentuate their eyes, others their lips. Some people use makeup to cover blemishes, others to look older or younger. Makeup style is something that many people experiment with. We wondered how often SmartGirls play around with their makeup styles.
    Do you change your makeup style often?
    Only about a quarter of you say you never change your makeup style.
    This pie graph shows that many of you change your makeup style at least sometime. Some of you indicated that you experiment with your makeup to keep things fresh because you think wearing the same makeup can get too boring. Others of you said you like to keep your style the same because it's low-maintenance and doesn't take up too much of your time.

    Time has become a huge issue when it comes to makeup. When you're rushing off to school or work, do you really have the time to fix your makeup the way you want to? Many people say no, and out of this, permanent makeup was born. Now you can get makeup like eyeshadow permanently applied so that you never have to put it on again. What do SmartGirls think about this?
    Would you ever consider permanent makeup?
    An overwhelming majority of you said you wouldn't consider permanent makeup.
    Makeup Motivations
    Now that we've covered your makeup patterns and routines, we thought we'd get down to the facts and feelings that motivate you to wear that lip gloss, that mascara, that concealer, etc.
    Why do you wear makeup?
    Because all of my friends do 151.74
    To be popular 101.16
    Because of pressure from my mom 60.69
    To impress boys 12614.58
    To feel better about myself 28132.52
    To experiment with other looks 29634.26
    I don't wear makeup 13015.05
    The most popular reason to wear makeup is to experiment with new looks (296 of you said this is why you wear makeup), while 281 of you said you wear makeup to feel better about yourselves.
    The above table shows that many of you wear makeup to help you feel differently, but it doesn't show exactly how wearing makeup makes you feel. Check out the table below to see what kind of effect makeup as on your feelings.
    How does wearing makeup make you feel?
    For those of you who do wear makeup, it looks like wearing makeup makes you feel mostly prettier and more confident. Others of you said makeup makes you feel more self-conscious and not good enough.
    With so many of you saying you apply makeup on a fairly regular basis, what happens when you don't have the time, energy or desire to wear makeup on certain days?

    If you normally wear makeup, how do you feel when you don't wear makeup?
  • 218 of you said you feel less attractive when you don't wear makeup.
  • 216 of you said you feel the same whether you're sporting makeup or not.
  • 210 of you said you feel more natural without makeup on.
  • 74 of you said you feel more self-conscious when you're sporting a natural look.
  • 18 of you said you feel better about yourself when you're not wearing makeup.
  • 118 of you said you don't wear makeup.
  • Keeping Up Appearances
    Many girls and women say they wear makeup in order to change or enhance their apppearances, but wearing makeup isn't the only way to change the way you look. Many people do other things for the sake of their appearance. Look at the table below to see what SmartGirls do.
    What other things do you do for the sake of your appearance? (check all that apply)
    Wear perfume 5518.85
    Style your hair 68811.06
    Diet 2303.7
    Exercise 4807.71
    Whiten teeth 3044.89
    Shave legs 6089.77
    Shave armpits 5799.3
    Wear jewelry 65310.49
    Wear contacts 1442.31
    Pluck eyebrows 4256.83
    Dye hair 2293.68
    Wear braces/retainer 1963.15
    Have a tattoo 380.61
    Get a manicure 3635.83
    Get a pedicure 2644.24
    Have a facial done 2153.45
    Get a tan 2143.44
    Have cosmetic surgery 220.35
    None of the above 200.32
    Check out these numbers! This table shows that many of you do more than just wear makeup for the sake of your appearance.
    If so many of us are doing things like wear makeup and shave our legs for the sake of our appearances, what does that say about the way we feel about our looks? We were wondering if that means we're dissatisfied with the way we look, so we asked the following question:
    How satisfied are you with your appearance?
    This graph shows that a little more than half of you are mostly or very satisfied with your appearance.
    The Rents
    Sometimes parents encourage their kids to experiment with their appearances, and sometimes that can include wearing makeup. Other times, our parents worry that we're growing up too fast or know that we're beautiful just the way we are, and so they don't encourage us to try wearing makeup. How do your parents feel about this?

    Do your parents approve of you wearing makeup?
  • 303 of you said your parents don't care whether you wear makeup or not.
  • 277 of you said that your parents approve of you wearing makeup.
  • 130 of you said that your parents don't know that you wear makeup.
  • 60 of you said that your parents don't approve of you wearing makeup, so you can't.
  • 50 of you said that your parents don't approve of you wearing makeup but you wear it anyway.
  • 53 of you said you have no interest in wearing makeup, so it's not an issue.
  • 100 of you said you aren't sure how your parents feel about makeup.
  • At what age were you allowed/will you be allowed to start wearing makeup?
  • 214 of you said that you have always been allowed to wear makeup, no matter how old you were.
  • 13 of you said you could wear makeup before you were 6.
  • 43 of you said you were allowed/will be allowed to wear makeup between the ages of 6 and 8.
  • 240 of you said you were allowed/will be allowed to wear makeup between the ages of 9 and 12.
  • 343 of you said you were allowed/will be allowed to wear makeup between the ages of 13 and 15.
  • 50 of you said you were allowed/will be allowed to wear makeup between the ages of 16 and 18.
  • 8 of you said you were allowed/will be allowed to wear makeup between the ages of 19 and 21.
  • 13 you said you were allowed/will be allowed to wear makeup when you are older than 21.
  • It looks like some of your parents aren't too fond of the idea of makeup wearing. Do you think that's because they don't agree with wearing makeup at a young age? Or do you think it's because they just don't see the need to wear makeup at all? To find out, we thought we'd ask whether your moms/female guardians wear makeup. Here's what you had to say:

    Does your mom/female guardian wear makeup?
  • 453 of you said your mom/female guardian never wears makeup.
  • 434 of you said your mom/female guardian wears makeup everyday.
  • 192 of you said your mom/female guardian wears makeup on special occasions.
  • 129 of you said your mom/female guardian wears makeup a couple days of the week.
  • 27 of you said you don't know if your mom/female guardian wears makeup.
  • What About Friends?
    Do your friends wear makeup?
  • 430 of you said that none of your friends wear makeup. (Looks like the "but my friends get to do it!" excuse might not hold up so well for some of you!)
  • 368 of you said most of your friends wear makeup, but some of them don't.
  • 291 of you said a few of your friends wear makeup.
  • 146 of you said all of your friends wear makeup.

  • Makeup in Moderation
    Sometimes, people can get a little carried away when they put on their makeup, and sometimes it's really obvious. Imagine one of your friends comes to school with way too much makeup on. What would you do?

    How well do you agree with this statement?
    "If my friend was wearing too much makeup, I would tell her."
  • 78 of you said you disagree with this statement.
  • 42 of you said you somewhat disagree with this statement.
  • 380 of you said it would depend on the situation.
  • 108 of you said you somewhat agree with this statement.
  • 246 of you said you agree with this statement.
  • I think most girls my age wear too much makeup.
    A little more than half of you believe to some degree that girls your age wear too much makeup.
    Makeup and Men?
    All the info shown in this survey data indicates that many women wear makeup, but what about men? Why do you think it is that men in our society generally don't wear makeup? Do you think this is fair?

  • "Men only wear makeup when they make apperances on T.V., in which I believe. But some men do like to wear makeup, even though I haven't meet any who like to. But who am I to judge whether it's fair or not for men to wear makeup? It's their choice, their life."
  • "Cause they are boys they don't need colour cause they sweat all the time."
  • "I actually have no idea - if I was a guy I would really like to cover up a big nasty zit."
  • "Well, they CAN wear makeup, no one said it wasn't allowed. I think most men don't wear it because they don't want to show their feminine side and other men usually follow. Gay men often wear makeup as they are brave and show their true selves. I think it would be great for men to wear makeup (such as foundation or concealer) as they would hide their facial flaws, however they would have to learn to apply it correctly so it isn't as noticeable. They want to look natural. Nothing about this is unfair or fair, it's a man's decision not to wear it just like some women choose not to wear it."
  • "They are more accepted than women on how they look. NO, it is not fair!"
  • "I think that men don't wear makeup because they don't want to and that is how our society is. Men don't wear makeup and women do. Gay men or rock stars might but that is their choice. I think that this is fair - women have a choice to wear it or not and most choose to wear it. I personally think it is weird for men to wear makeup."
  • "I think they don't wear makeup because it's thought of as a feminine thing. If they want to wear makeup then more power to them."
  • "Men in our society generally don't wear makeup because it shows feminenity. A guy should be tough and worn looking, not girly and delicate looking. I think it's fair they don't wear makeup. If guys and girls did exactly the same thing, girls would loose things that would be fun for them and ditto with guys. It's a girl's legacy to wear makeup and go shopping, and it's a guy's legacy to play videogames and play sports (sports like football and the rough sports. I think girls should play sports too)."
  • "I think they see makeup as a feminine thing and being so concered with their image as being a gay tendancy. I do not think this is fair, they should not feel like this, they should be able to do whatever they want, just as they should be able to wear things like skirts and wax their legs. We can wear trousers and do everything men do, so shouldn't they be able to do everything we do? And if they can't, isn't that very unfair?"
  • "They think it's for girls - not guys. I haven't really thought about it being fair or not. It's just in everday life, not too many people think or worry about it if they don't wear it. It's their decision and the guys who really do want to wear makeup do."
  • "Men don't wear makeup because it would make them feel 'girly.' I think that's degrading though. Not all girls wear makeup. I don't. And I think that girls shouldn't wear it, except on special occasions (only a little though), because girls are beautiful just the way we are without makeup."
  • "I think that it is discrimination that men aren't supposed to wear makeup and that they get called 'gay' if they do. They get spots and blemishes the same as us, and if they want to cover it up, they should be able to without getting teased."
  • Your Take on Animal Testing
    Before buying makeup, do you check to see if the product has been tested on animals? Do you think this is an important issue? Why or why not?
  • "I don't usually check because for me, it is more important if it is inexpensive but good quality. Plus most makeup isn't tested on animals anyway, so I don't have to worry about it."
  • "I don't wear makeup, but my older sister does, and whenever she buys make-up, I check to see if has been tested on animals. If it is, I tell her to put it back because it's tested on animals."
  • "I think products should NOT be tested on animals under ANY circumstances!"
  • "I don't check. I don't want to know. I think that testing makeup on animals is mean."
  • " I think this is a very serious issue because animals are living creatures, the same as us and it is vain of human beings to think that they are the most intelligent creatures on the planet."
  • "I can't say that I've ever checked with makeup, but I have with shampoo. The thought of that in makeup has never even really occurred to me, but I guess it would bug me now that it's in my mind."
  • "I don't check because I never remember but I do really care. I'm not sure why I don't - it just doesn't seem that important at the time. But when you mention it, I feel a bit guilty for not checking and I will start checking from now on."
  • "Yes, sometimes - actually, most of the time I know when they do that or not. I'm neutral with that as long as it doesn't kill or make the animals sick."
  • "I rarely check whether it is or not. I'm not sure whether it's important. I'm not even sure why it is tested on animals. I mean, animals and people are still somewhat different so reactions to the makeup could be different on people. How would you know it causes pimples anyway? Like pigs - they don't use makeup and they grovel in mud all day long but you don't go search them for pimples, do you? And have you ever seen a pimple on a pig anyway? I haven't. So I'm not sure about the testing and all that. I guess it's for safety precautions too on the other hand."
  • " Yes. I never use makeup if it has been tested on animals - I think it is cruel and unfair. We don't wear makeup if we don't want to, but the animals don't get a choice."
  • "Yes. It makes a huge difference in whether I buy the product or not. I think this is a very important issue because I believe that testing on animals is cruel and inhumane. I don't want to give my money to a company that uses some of its profit for animal testing because it is a cause I am strongly against. I believe there should be a law banning cosmetic testing on animals."
  • Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!

    Please remember that all web-based polls are not scientific because the pollsters cannot randomly select the respondents to participate in the surveys.

    All our surveys are anonymous; check out our privacy policy. All data copyright 1996-2000.


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