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I was doing a spot of internet shopping when an article caught my eye, it read; ‘Fairly Shocking Pictures of Celebrities without make-up’’.

I found myself clicking on the link in the hope of seeing some barefaced horrors and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed!

A member of Air Raid Precautions staff applies her lipstick between emergency calls

A member of Air Raid Precautions staff applies her lipstick between emergency calls

There were some shockers there, many of the stars were unrecognisable without their slap. I was secretly delighted by this because it means I’m not the only one who looks like a different person without my war paint.

Unless I am really ill, there is never a day goes by that I am not in full make-up within at least an hour of rising. My reason for this is, I cannot bear the look of myself without cosmetics.

I have also found that I’ve been treated completely differently when I have a perfectly made up face, as opposed to when I’ve not.

These days only a handful of people (all family members) have been privy to the ‘real’ me. I look so different without make-up that when a friend of a friend called unexpectedly at my door to ask to borrow something, he asked me if Jackie was in when I answered the door minus my make-up.

I thought he was being funny at first, but he genuinely didn’t recognise me. I was absolutely mortified at being caught out, this was made worse by him repeatedly claiming he would have never have known it was me!

This memory is one I recall most days and that’s why I like to take my time getting ready in the mornings, as I have no wish to alarm small children and panic the goldfish with my au natural visage.

I’m not alone in my love of spending quality time in grooming to face the day. A recent survey revealed British women spend more than two and a half years of their lifetime getting ready to go out.

The survey found that the average woman spends 15 minutes per week day applying make-up and 35 minutes washing, blow-drying and styling her hair. However, at the weekends women can spend up to one hour applying ‘going out’ make-up. Admittedly if I’m doing a going out face, it takes much longer than my usual routine. I’m not happy until my eyelashes are concrete stiff with mascara and I’m sporting more eyeshadow than May McFettridge. My going out face also doubles as a safety precaution as, should I trip and stumble whilst out, my make-up will break my fall!

Those extra moments women spend getting glammed up ready for work are by no means a waste of time. It doesn’t pay to be a wash and go sort of girl these days as it’s the primpers and preeners who are earning more cash.

Research by sociologists in a study published in June in the Journal of Social Stratification and Mobility (a regular read of mine!) revealed that attractive people get paid more (20 percent more to be precise) than ‘average’ looking people.

The study revealed when it comes to women, our grooming habits, things like how much make-up we apply, manicured nails, or how stylish our hairdo is, catches the boss’s eye and makes a difference to our earning potential.

Researchers discovered that women’s attractiveness advantage comes almost entirely from grooming rather than being a ‘natural’ beauty. It’s not the raw goods we possess that makes the impression on employers, it’s how we present them. For men, grooming had a far lower effect on perceived attractiveness.

The study showed that women’s salaries were twice as likely to be dependent on their grooming standards than their male counterparts. Some women still fear they will be judged purely on appearance and in many cases their apprehensions are proven true.

For many employers it emerged that the more a woman cares about her looks the more attractive she appeared. Researchers said people were biased when it comes to beauty because of the ‘halo effect’, which is when people assume attractive men and women possess other qualities such as intelligence, talent, kindness, honesty and general moral virtue, more than their average-looking peers.

The halo effect is basically assuming the rest of the package is as good as the face, proving that the female preening ritual must never be dismissed as a waste of time. Beauty may be only skin deep, but it’s certainly a money-spinner, after all, what woman ever benefited from having attractive kidneys?