Are Selfies Making Us Use More Makeup?


With apps like Instagram and Snapchat being so popular, so is the selfie. No longer the means to a profile picture for Facebook or Twitter, the selfie has taken on a whole new level with many people taking multiple pictures of themselves everyday.

Following an extensive global survey* Max Factor has identified the impact that the rise in social media and sharing selfies has had on make-up habits around the globe.

With a bigger need than ever for women to look and feel camera-ready, our relationship with beauty products has inevitably changed. Almost half of women (46%) surveyed by Max Factor admitted that the likes of Instagram and sharing selfies had directly impacted how they use makeup, with more than one in three (34%) confessing to adopting a more “glammed up” look for everyday life, just in case! Almost half of women (46%) of women admitted that they were more aware than ever of how their make-up looked because of the ever-present selfie opportunities and more than one in five (22%) took this even further and told Max Factor they purposefully chose their specific make-up look every day with selfies on social media in mind! Selfie awareness in China is particularly prevalent, with 42% of women admitting to applying their make-up with the intention of sharing selfies throughout the day.

The Huffington Post recently reported that women today are spending less on clothes, but increasing their beauty product splurging, with research think-tank Mindswarms attributing this trend to the need to be selfie-ready at all times. Something they further validated with bespoke research amongst today’s millennials.

The Lipstick and Mascara Factor

While every woman has her own unique make-up look, mascara and lipstick both came out on top as the products delivering instant glamour – with 75% of women opting for these as their instant selfie fixer-uppers. Max Factor has a deep rooted heritage in creating products specifically to meet the challenges presented by cameras and – beginning back in the Hollywood era where the introduction of bright lighting left women’s previously perfect looking beauty canvas diminish under the harsh light. Mr. Max Factor personally created innovation after innovation, and quickly become known as the man responsible for the flawless and glamorous looks of some of the most iconic Hollywood stars, including: Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Ava Gardner.

Glamour 24/7 – Every Day is a Glamour Day

But these selfie sharing opportunities aren’t reserved to glamorous occasions and nights out, with 60% of women sharing selfies throughout the day, proving that every moment requires photo-ready make-up. Yet this isn’t to say that day to day make-up can’t be glamorous! In fact, natural looking make-up can often be the hardest to achieve, but in today’s beauty savvy landscape, 87% of women say their daytime look can also look glamorous, and make them feel that way.

And unsurprisingly – 30% of women told Max Factor they would NEVER share a bare faced selfie!  Women in Russia were particularly resistant to the idea of going bare-faced with almost half (43%) agreeing.

However, of the women surveyed, 42% did admit to skill in application being their biggest barrier in creating their desired make-up look, with closer to half of those in the UK and MEAGE (47% respectively). Women in Russia are the most confident, with 37% declaring nothing holds them back in their quest for glamour!

To support these findings and reflect women’s new approach to make-up today, Max Factor Global Creative Director Pat McGrath and the world’s leading authority in make-up artistry, designed a series of exclusive looks to bring to life the various faces of modern glamour, amongst a selfie driven generation. Pat has designed four ‘selfie ready’ looks, including her personal application tips and recommended product choices.


“Applying a gorgeous red lip is the easiest way to pull your look together for a modern take on Marilyn Monroe. Whether you have a full face on or no other makeup at all, a classic red lip brings the face to life and is the perfect power punch for the ultimate selfie!” – Pat McGrath

For this gorgeous red lip look, Pat used Max Factor Facefinity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation, Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette in Cappuccino Nudes, Max Factor False Lash Epic Mascara and Max Factor Marylyn MonroeTM Ruby Red Lipstick.


“This smoldering golden eye is ideal for a summer night out or that post-Olympic celebration. Golden hues flatter all eye colors and make the eyes sparkle. This version will give you that deep sultry smoky with metallic accents to create gorgeous dimension in any photographic situation.” – Pat McGrath

For this super smokey golden eye look, Pat used Max Factor Facefinity All Day Flaw Less 3 in 1 Foundation, Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette in Golden Nudes, Max Factor False Lash Epic Mascara and Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm in Exquisite Caramel.


“The basis of all great makeup! The new no-makeup makeup. Perfected skin and sculpted features in neutral tones create ultimate dimension for picture-perfect selfies. Hyper-real precision mascara application is combed and separated and finished off with the most carefully groomed eyebrows. Finish the look by using the Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette to create highlights on the face for that perfect supermodel glow.” – Pat McGrath

For perfect selfie skin, Pat used Max Factor Smooth Miracle Primer, Max Factor Miracle Touch Foundation, Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette in Cappuccino Nudes, Max Factor False Lash Epic Mascara and a clear lip balm.


“The ultimate cat eye with a fresh youthful lip creates a look that will have all eyes on you. Exaggerated, exotic, and timeless. This look is all about defining what nature gave you and bringing it to the next level. This modern take on old Hollywood classic should be one of your selfie-staples!” – Pat McGrath

For the ultimate cat eye look, Pat used Max Factor Smooth Miracle Primer, Max Factor Miracle Touch Foundation, Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Palette in Golden Nudes, Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner, Max Factor False Lash Epic Mascara and Max Factor Lipfinity in Iced.


*Max Factor, together with Ketchum, conducted an online survey among 5,556 women aged 18-50 in 13 markets, including UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, China, and Australia. Interviewing for these surveys took place between April 25 and May 10, 2016. The margin of error for this study is +/- 1.31 percent at the total level, and +/- 4.38 percent at the market level. The survey was administered by Norstat, a global research and survey company.

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