Why I Don't Think Makeup Is Deceptive or False Advertising

As a makeup lover, I've heard the 'makeup is deceitful!" argument so many times. Today, I'm going to share my take on why I don't believe it's deceitful. Obviously, this is just my opinion on it and you're perfectly entitled to think whatever you want, but I ask that you keep the comments civil instead of bashing me for having some kind of agenda, which I don't. I just find makeup fun as hell and all the hate it gets is annoying to me.

Anyways, let's get on with it.

From Wikipedia: False advertising is the use of false, misleading, or unproven information to advertise products to consumers or advertising that does not disclose its source

Those who say women (or men; though I'm writing this from a woman POV since we're often the targets of these comments) who wear makeup is false advertising are saying that women are products, and men are the consumers. The first issue with that is, well, women aren't products and many of us care about our appearance for other reasons than to appeal to men.

Literally, I'm wearing a full face of makeup right now despite not having anywhere to go all day. But even if a woman is using it for that reason, why should it matter? It's her face and she can do what she pleases with it.

Ignoring that, and going on with the same argument, false advertising implies the producer has information that the consumer doesn't. Let's be honest here, millions of women wear makeup, we all know that. If you see a hundred women out in public, there's a high chance at least half of them were wearing even something small like mascara. How could it be false advertising when you know how common it is for women to wear makeup? It's not like we're hiding it, especially with smokey colorful eye looks that are quite clearly unnatural and not false advertising, it's called creativity.

Why I Don't Think Makeup Is Deceptive or False Advertising



guilty of or involving deceit; deceiving or misleading others.

Why I Don't Think Makeup Is Deceptive or False Advertising

Saying makeup is deceitful is like someone telling you that 9 + 10 equals 21. It's pretty easy to determine that's false. If you see a woman in public with red lipstick, is that really deceiving? No, because it's pretty easy to determine that her lips aren't naturally red. Calling it deceptive would also imply that you have a right to know how another person's natural body looks, which nobody does unless said person gave you that right.

If makeup is deceptive, then what isn't? Clothing hides/alters your body shape. Perfume, soaps, and deodorants changes your natural scent. Hair dye alters your natural hair color. If makeup is so bad and deceitful, should we stop using all of the other products that might alter us?

In the case of natural makeup, it's still relatively easy. You can see tinted brows, powder on the face, darkened lashes, etc. If you can see it or smell it, it isn't deceiving anyone.

Sincerely, a makeup lover.


Most Helpful Guys

  • Honestly, do you really think a significant proportion of guys believe that makeup is bad because it's deceptive or false advertising? REALLY? I'm going to suggest two things:

    1) Only a TINY, insignificant % of guys hold this view, and
    2) You don't really want to attract any of the guys who DO hold this view anyway

    In other words, it doesn't matter at all (per point 1) but even if it did matter it would be a good thing (per point 2).

    • No, I don't think a significant amount do, but I've run into a fair amount of both men and women on this site who have said it's deceitful, so I wanted to share my take on it. I apologize if it came across as bashing a significant amount of men, that's not my intention here.

    • No worries. The people who bash it as deceit are delusional morons. Using that logic no one should wear deodorant either.

    • Thanks for most helpful

  • This conversation is always just a matter of what level you’re looking at things from. If you’re looking at it from a business or political level than yeah of course people shouldn’t be referring to others as products. However economics is the study of scarcity, the study of how people use resources and respond to incentives, or the study of decision-making. It doesn’t have to be about traditional goods you could use the same sciences to make assumptions at a biological level or even a chemical level. A male peacock can be bought and sold by humans although it’s a living being and we can call that a product, ignoring the ethics of it. But that male peacock also has market value in the mating environment for other peacocks. The peacocks feathers exist and are simply feathers but they serve a role for attracting mates. The feathers within the context of the mating environment are part of that peacocks market offering. It’s not a “product” like say food or a pillow is in this environment but it can be described and talked about as if it was because it still abides by the same economics just in a non monetary environment. There’s supply and demand. There’s trade offs. There’s market value. So people often do the same thing for people. Not all people who work out do it to look good but they, like everyone else, know that it does effect how others see them. Because of their body some people will find them more attractive and others will find them less attractive. They’re not products and shouldn’t treat themself as one but they do offer value and are scarce so therefore economics can be applied to discussing their dating as a science. In that context they would be the producers and the product and the people they’re hoping to attract would be the consumers since they’re the ones receiving the value. Some people choose to discuss dating this way because it demistifies a very complex system to something a little more understandable and navigateable for them. No one literally see this person as the equivalent of a desk or a pillow or something. It’s just an acknowledgement of what’s being offered (product) to whom (consumer) and from whom (producer) in a heavily simplified example. You can’t discuss economic trends while accounting for every single detail. You have to use many simplified models together to build a estimate of the truth. That’s all people are doing when they discuss dating in this way. They know a person is not a product like a chair is a product.

    • But I do agree it’s not false advertisement. It’s definitely skewing your natural appearance but if anything it’s advertisement of one’s creative skill. Many people value the natural structure of a person over creativity and that’s who usually calls make up false advertisement. But you’re correct in saying there’s nothing False about it. If I painted an old car and sold it to you that’s not false advertisement. If I told you that it was the original paint job THEN it’s false advertisement. Very few girls are running around lying about wearing makeup.

Most Helpful Girls

  • Great MyTake.
    I find hypocritical how men complaining about girls wearing makeup, yet when they don't weat at all makeup they tell you "are you tired?" or "you're so plain" and advise you to wear natural makeup.

    Studies have shown that when men say they prefer women with no makeup, they mean very natural makeup.

    Also some women wear makeup as part of their jobs or for artistic purposes.. They don't do it to attract/mislead men

    • 4 upvotes by girls and 5 downvotes by guys
      Pahahaha 😂

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    • Yaaas! 😀

    • Lol so true.

  • If you can’t do without makeup, it’s a problem.

    I like to think of makeup as an art. My freshman year I needed makeup. I was very insecure about how I looked and wearing makeup didn’t help my case because when I took it off I felt ugly and even my mother would make fun of me when I didn’t have any on. But now it’s much better. I don’t feeel like I need it after I start working on skin care and just loving my skin. Like most people can’t even tell the difference.

    So just like love yourself before you start really getting into it if that makes sense.

    • I relate to this so much- "even my mother would make fun of me" lmao I feel ya 😭

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What Guys Said 47

  • "False advertising"
    The analogy is made to false advertising, that doesn't mean it's appropriate to examine the definition to nitpick. We're interested in the semantics of it as it applies to this context and a kind of colloquial usage. So I'm just going to skip over everything to do with you arguing using definitions because things like "women aren't products" is a false comparison.

    Next point.
    "It's her face and she can do what she pleases with it."
    And it's my brain, I can decide how I feel about this.
    You saying "many of us care about our appearance for other reasons than to appeal to men" is irrelevant and to be frank, bringing it up strikes me as verging on rudeness. So lets be done with all those points too and try to get to the meat.

    "It's not like we're hiding it"
    I'm not hiding that I'm wearing clothes, but my body is still obscured. You're just addressing the wrong thing.

    It's hyperbolic. You're taking a hyperbolic term literally and applying the extreme like it's what people really have a problem with.

    "red lipstick, is that really deceiving? No, because it's pretty easy to determine that her lips aren't naturally red."
    Fallacious. Again, you're addressing the wrong thing. Was the attempt to convince me that her lips are naturally red? No. But what colour are her lips? Oh, we can't tell because she's wearing red lipstick...
    At least represent the opposing position honestly.

    "Calling it deceptive would also imply that you have a right to know how another person's natural body looks"
    No, it doesn't. It implies I want to know.
    You can do it if you want, sure. Just don't bullshit me about it. Don't tell me I'm *supposed* to feel a certain way about it -- especially when what I feel is reasonable.

    "If makeup is deceptive, then what isn't?"
    Lots of thing could technically be considered deceptive in the same way, that comes back to your interpretation of deceptive. But whatever, regardless of your interpretation, it's not in quite the same vein in effect because you're not interested in how I smell if I haven't bathed with soap. On the other hand I am interested in how you look without makeup. So again, you can do it if you want, but I don't have to like it and it's entirely understandable that I would like to see a girl without it.

    In conclusion, get off my cheeks about it.

    • I don’t recall ever saying you have to feel a certain way about it. This is my take sharing my opinion. As I stated in the beginning, you’re entitled to think whatever you want.

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    • Not really. You wore make up and they said "I don't like that." That should be the end of it, but you're seemingly disagreeing that they should have a problem with it. But the real components are your *action* and their *thoughts.* Those are the two interacting things in this problem. Beyond that, your *thought* is external to that conflict. However, your subsequent *actions* would be more relevant.

    • They don’t have to like it, I don’t have to agree with them, they don’t have to agree with me, that’s fine. I named the tale Why I don’t think it’s deceptive, not why Everybody should think such. I’m sorry if it came across bashful, that’s not my intention. I’m just here to share my thoughts and everyone else can do whatever.

  • When people says makeup is "false advertising", they don't mean women are products and wants to objectify them They just thinks makeup can alter a person's appearance, so sometimes it's hard to tell what the natural look looks like and if they're using makeup. If you don't cake on makeup, but choose to go for a no-makeup makeup-look it can be hard to tell.

    Makeup can make a face look more symmetrical, a nose smaller, lips fuller, eyes bigger, jawline more defined and so on. You can even change which race you appears as with it. Sometimes people can appear more attractive than what they're because of makeup. Not every women and men uses it to attract people, but some do. It's nothing wrong wearing makeup, but it's nothing wrong preferring dating a honest person either. Wanting to date a honest and natural person is also a real preference, not only the brunette vs blonde thing.

    Off course women and men have the right to wear makeup if they wants to, but the people they dates have also the right to be disappointed and change their mind about someone's attraction. Makeup deceives and is false advertisement. Regardless if it was makeup or cosmetic surgery, I would be disappointed. Doesn't mean I would break up though.

    Why I Don't Think Makeup Is Deceptive or False AdvertisingWhy I Don't Think Makeup Is Deceptive or False AdvertisingWhy I Don't Think Makeup Is Deceptive or False Advertising

  • It's been a while since I've seen so much coping and rationalising in one place. You can lie to yourself, but you can't lie to me. Somehow you want us to believe that putting face paint on doesn't trick men into believing you are more attracrive than you really are.

    • It's not lying, it's called having a different opinion than you. I don't wear makeup to trick guys, neither do most of the girls I know, I wear makeup when nobody will even see me because we wear it for ourselves sometimes y'know.

    • Makeup is to make yourselves look more attractive than you really are.

    • Makeup is also an artistic outlet.

  • "It's her face and she can do what she pleases with it." ----> That's 100% correct. However a guy is free not to date a woman who wears excessive makeup as well as have an opinion on it... just like how many women dissect every aspect of a guy's physical appearance and share their opinion wheather it's positive or negative. That's how life works.

    • I'm aware, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and nowhere did I say he had to date her if he didn't like makeup. I'm just saying I don't think it's deceitful.

    • My comment was a general one and not about you specifically.

  • I think modern fashion in general is way over the top. Heavy makeup, flashy expensive clothing, hair styles, pubic hair removal, unnatural weight manipulation, breast modifications, etc. Its all not natural and I appreciate a woman to look simple dressed and have her body be natural, the way it was made because its her for real.

  • By that logic, men wearing elevator shoes and wigs isn't deceptive either, is it?

    • No, I don't think it is.

  • I only complain about "false advertising" when women claim FIRST that they want "real men" in the sense that the guys can't wear lifts, or "man girdles"/pec accentuating t-shirts, hair dye, toupes, or go for plastic surgery, use moisturizer, pore cleanser, or anything else that isn't "necessary" - personally, I'm thinking I might have to step up my game a few notches and do a lot more of this. I need to step up my game A LOT (This just gets really expensive for me). Anything outside of trimming the nails shaving, and showering, wearing deodorant, is seen as shameful to a lot of women locally.

    As long as it works (I see women who draw on ONE eyebrow that arcs over half the face), isn't too heavy, and doesn't constantly come off and get everywhere... or take hours ( that we don't have because you didn't plan) to apply it, I have no issues with it.

    But then I'd have no issues with a guy wearing lifts, dying his hair, shaving his chest/arms/whatever, wearing undershirts that make him look good, getting a natural looking light (fake?) tan, etc. If they have the money for it, and it isn't an obsession ruining the relationship, have fun.

  • Eerrrum. We are products in this sense. In the mating game, each individual is selling their brand. They are trying to convince you that they are worth being with. That is trying to sell something. Which is basically the same as selling a product, no? A date is basically an interview. Or a marketing campaign.

    The real complaint is when women use makeup to create an entirely different face. Makeup is essentially a mask. It *can* be used in an extreme way to create or suggest features that she doesn't really have.

    A person also does kinda have a right to know things about a prospective mate. I'm pretty sure you would like to know things about a guy that you were interested in, wouldn't you? Or, would you still maintain that thought? That you have no right whatsoever to know anything about him if he doesn't want you to know? Even if you are romantically involved with him?

    I'm not saying it's false advertising. I love makeup. I prefer women to wear makeup. Really, without makeup, women are a lot harder to tell apart from men. There are women who just naturally look very feminine, but it can be confusing if they don't wear makeup, to me: especially if they don't have much in the way of a chest. My current girlfriend doesn't wear makeup. I really wish she did. Anyways, I don't view it as "false advertising", but I also understand that it can be used deceitfully if the woman uses it to create a features she doesn't really have, rather than just enhancing her natural features.

  • I disagree. Putting on makeup is quite literally the creation of a facade, a false face design to conceal what is behind it. While it perhaps does not technically fall under the definition of "false advertising" it is clearly deceptive.

    • I disagree with that, but thanks for sharing your opinion here.

  • Make up can create a totally diferent person

    Attraction gets the attention
    Personality gets the heart

    If u are only cute girl and u dont bring anything to the relationship but ur cuteness and ur pu$$y then well in my eyes u are a girl for 1 night nothing more

    Other side is if u bring a good conversation we got same connection , values , world view etc yes u are a girlfriend/wife material in my eyes

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What Girls Said 18

  • Makeup can hide anything anything!!!
    I don't like it. I prefer for me to be seen how I naturally am. I won't have to worry about hiding. For any other girl who likes it that's fine. I personally don't like it.

    • Not necessarily. My flaws are still visible even while wearing a full face. And that's great, nothing wrong with being natural and I'm not trying to bash anyone who prefers that. I just don't think wearing makeup is deceptive or hiding anything and felt like sharing my opinion.

  • This! I love this! I am so glad that this mytake was made, thank you so much for making it! I agree with all of your points and I really hope more people read this.

    • I'm glad you liked it, seems a lot of people didn't xD thank you for reading it!

  • I don't think it's bad but I wouldn't want to spend hours scribbling shit on my face though and then when you take it off you have to wash your face THROUGHLY because make-up can clog your pours and make whatever blemishes you were covering up even worse. I don't think it's decietful but I do think that people need to learn how to use make-up in moderation.

  • I see what you're seeing, but thing of the matter is that if you wear a large amount of make up in a certain way, you will likely not look like the same person without it.
    Contouring, highlighting, creating the illusion of longer lashes and bigger eyes, smaller nose, plumper lips...

    That creates an image that doesn't necessarily match someone's actual appearance, and I can to some degree understand why someone might call that fake or false "advertising".

  • the whole thing of deceptive or false advertising posts are written by bitter or angry men who can't get a date in the first place.

  • It drives me insane when people tell me I shouldn't wear it for that reason. Makeup is a way of enhancing what you already have or just to build your confidence by expressing yourself in an artful way.

    Its just fun y'all!

  • Even if it is who gives a fuck? I know for a fact makeup makes a person look better and if they wanna use it to look good oh well , that is their fucking choice.

  • I only put full face makeup during special occasions but I don’t wear often because it’s very troublesome to remove it. #LoveHateRelationshipWithMakeup

  • Great take! I personally love makeup but I don’t wear a lot I mostly avoid mascara because it gives me dark circles and that annoys me deeply

  • The vast majority of men do not have a clue about make-up. They've done studies with men and showed them three pictures of the same women bare faced, minimalist, and glam. Keep in mind that the minimalist make-up was foundation, mascara, natural lipstick and blush. Almost all the men chose the minimalist including the ones who had previously claimed to love when women went without make-up. A few men like the glam and no one chose the one with no make-up. When asked why they chose the minimalist picture almost all the men thought the model was bare faced. So anything a man has to say about make-up in general needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Make-up is a form of self-expression and art form.

    • They should have used real persons instead. This study was designed badly.

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    • No photos are not good, they should show real people not photos.

    • 2d

      @esotericstory I’ve seen the study replicated enough in real life to know it’s true. It’s okay to not fully understand a product you don’t use. Just don’t pretend to be an authority on a subject you know nothing about.

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