Its more than makeup.
In the case of the OP, there was surgery and hardcore dieting and lessons in posture, how to walk/talk, etc.
I mean, I get what you're saying, that a lot of ugly women but they can convince people otherwise. I think it happens to be the opposite- that people are kind of innately pretty.
I'm from Houston. Houston has a lot of fat people. Once I got out of Texas, I realized there would be a lot more hot chicks in Houston if everyone would just lose 20 lbs (or 40, or 50, or...).
Then I got to China and, after a couple of months, realized that the main difference between the girl I was dating and the girl that would show up on advertisements on the subway walls to sell diet drinks and fish oil was clothing choice. And cup size, but mostly clothing choice. And I don't mean that in an 'ar Chinese rook arike', kind of way, I mean that a lot of the reason people (specifically women, but whatev) are seen as unattractive has a lot more to do with cosmetic blemishes than faulty substrates. Its bad posture, or unflattering clothes, or a constant reek of patchouli, and not a lack of a nose a la Voldemort or something.
Put simply, people are pretty if they try to be. I found that to be significant.