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Valentine’s day, the one day in the year dedicated to romance and passion. Whether you’re #couplegoals or #singleAF on Thursday, countless women across the globe will be dressing to impress in hopes of grabbing the attention of that special someone.

In order to achieve that goal, psychology has taught us that when getting dressed it is all but essential that you add a splash of red to your ensemble. What role does this hue have in our love-lives? Colour Psychology reveals all!

All Red Everything

In testing the impact of colour on attraction, American Psychologists observed men having conversations with women wearing different coloured shirts. The researchers found that men asked women more personal and intimate questions when they were wearing a red shirt opposed to women wearing green shirts. Similarly, men sat closer to women in red opposed to blue shirts.

In Taiwan, researchers found that when women carry red-coloured products such as laptops men rated them significantly higher in terms of attractiveness and sex appeal. The impact of red is the same for women too! A study conducted on 42 females and 22 males found that when participants were asked to attend an interview about dating, exposure to the colour red caused participants to walk faster. Interestingly, exposure to the colour red decreased the speed they walked to attend an interview about intelligence – I guess it’s true that love makes you a bit foolish.

Makeup enthusiasts will be interested to know that psychologists in France have discovered that waitresses wearing red lipstick earn more tips more so than women wearing pink, brown or no lipstick at all. 

Red lipstick is often seen a as a handbag staple and to make sure you’re picking the best of the best, we’ve asked beauty writer Alysha Yates to trawl through her impressive make-up stash and give us the low-down on some of her red-lipstick must haves.

Uncensored, Fenty Beauty

fashion psychology
Image Source: harveynichols.com

Fenty’s Uncensored Stunna lip paint is undeniable. I love effortlessly sweeping the curved cushion wand along my lip line, filling in the middle and watching as bright red satin dries, transforming into velvet ruby matte perfection. 

The rich red pigment certainly pops so be prepared for stares and compliments all day long when wearing Uncensored on a night out as you steal the show. If you want unwaveringly raw pigment matched with a comfortable, unmovable matte texture, Uncensored is the way forward.

Ruby Woo, MAC

Fashion Psychology

If there ever were a lipstick hall of fame, Ruby Woo would stand self-assured as one of the most iconic red shades of its time. Retro matte, ruby rich and unmatched by it’s subtle blue undertone, Ruby Woo is the ultimate red shade to bring boldness to a puckered-up pout. Ruby rich, it’s colour makes me feel confident, classic and sexy all at once. No word of lie, I’d wear Ruby Woo everyday if I could, but that wouldn’t be fair to my lipstick collection. Now, every other day? I could settle for that!

90210hhh, Too Faced

Fashion Psychology

Frosty February evenings calls for 90210hhh and it’s candy apple red tone. This is one of my favourite crème based lipsticks hands down because it makes me feel festively classic. 90210hhh is ideal for the winter because of it’s ability to hydrate even the most chapped of lips, as well as to provide long lasting, powerful pigment.

Rouge Tuxedo No. 45, YSL

Fashion Psychology

This ultra-luxe lip shine looks and smells like the inside of a watermelon. I typically wear Rouge Tuxedo in the summer because it’s weightless, sheer shine is perfect for hot summer days when you wish you were naked and want to throw next to nothing on.

Irrepressible, Estee Lauder

Fashion Psychology

Irrepressible is what you wear on date night. Do not pick anything other! I fall in love with it’s alluring, sultry red brown undertone every time I pop the lipstick cap. It’s matte but not drying in the slightest and it’s deep plum dark hue is seductively dangerous for those whose eyes it meets. Wear Irrepressible and that’s what you’ll be.

Dance With Me, MAC

Fashion Psychology

No matter what you do on a night out, Dance With Me perseveres. This liquid lip potion is berry, burgundy and beautiful and dries retro matte like no other. Apply just before leaving home. It’s lick proof, sick proof, kiss proof, bitch proof, bite proof, fight proof, sweat proof, wet proof, smudge proof, hug proof and grease proof. Wear Dance With Me on the dance floor. No caution needed.

Did we miss out your favourite Red Lipstick? Share your recommendations in the comment section!

The world’s most influential makeup artist, Pat McGrath MBE recently left her mark all over Couture fashion week. Her delicate touch has resulted in many arresting looks in fashion weeks the world over, several of which were created with products from the self-titled Pat McGrath Labs. In order to gain a deeper insight into McGrath’s transformative powers we’ve conducted an investigation into the science behind some of her latest looks.

Extreme Eyelashes - Valentino

Fashion Psychology
Source: patmcgrathreal/Instagram

Delicate feathers fluttered down the runway with every blink at Valentino’s Spring 2019 Couture show. To create the bold look, the intricate feather-lash extensions were glued to the model’s lashes and coated with McGrath’s new FetishEyes™ Mascara.

So what does science say about this mesmerizing look?

Our collectively admiration for longer eyelashes dates back thousands of years. Researchers Mulhern and colleagues found that enhancing the appearance of women’s eyes through the use of eyelashes and mascara significantly increased attractiveness as rated by both male and female observers. Eyelash growth is also said to have a positive psychological effect on women (Jones, 2011).

Some researchers have reasoned that we find long eyelashes endearing because they are typically possessed by those who we are hardwired to find cute – babies! And as we have learnt from the Baby-Face Stereotype, adults are rated more favourably when they have features (such as long eyelashes) that draw similarity to infants.

Glitter and Gloss - Givenchy and Margiela

Fashion Psychology
Source: patmcgrathreal/Instagram
Fashion Psychology
Source: patmcgrathreal/Instagram

In a show that largely featured simple, minimalistic makeup looks, McGrath ensured that Cara Taylor took center stage. Following her third haute couture collection for Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller said “I tried to take the most modern approach possible with everything.” McGrath compliment the modernity of the garments by adding in this futuristic look that saw the top half of Taylor’s face covered entirely in glitter. Over at Margiela, the model’s faces were a playground for McGraths brushes. One look that particularly stood out were the smudged gradient fuchsia lips topped off with a glossy top coat worn by both male and female models.

And the science behind all this glitter and gloss?

Evolutionary psychologists claim that are attraction to shiny things is linked to our ingrained need for survival. For example, in a study on children, infants aged 7-12 months old were found to put their mouths to glossy plates much more than to dull ones. Children had also been seen lapping shiny toys on the ground, the way an animal might drink from a puddle. Researchers have concluded that the connection between drinking and shiny design was an evolutionary artifact–a sign that “our crush on glossy is rooted in a primitive desire for water as a vital resource” (Coss, Ruff & Simms, 2010).

Alongside the revival of gloss, glitter makeup is one trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. An easy way to incorporate both of these trends into your 2019 looks is with Pat McGrath Labs’ Lust Lip Gloss Kits.

Flower Power - Valentino

Back at Valentino, McGrath went to work to create an intricate floral makeup look to compliment the gorgeous floral gowns. While the petals were lightly dusted in glitter, McGrath used a small cluster of crystals for the flower’s pistil – a 3D element that helped bring the look to life.

Studies on adornment have long highlighted the positive impact that flowers and floral motifs have on attraction and wealth. In a study on tipping behaviour, researchers found that diners left larger tips for waitresses who wore flowers in their hair compared to when the same waitresses served them minus the flowers (Jacob, Guéguen & Delfosse, 2012).

To get these makeup looks and all of the psychological benefits that come with them, check out the stunning new collections over at Pat McGra

With the booming cosmetics industry and Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics making her the youngest self-made billionaire, it is clear that people love makeup! It’s so nice to see more and more of the population embrace the creativity and artistry which comes with using cosmetics, but when it comes to women specifically, is our interest down to a subconscious drive to look more appealing to the opposite sex?

 

Studies researching  women’s motivations behind using cosmetics have linked it to their ovulation cycles. Think about it from an evolutionary perspective. During your cycle there will be a time when you are most fertile and least fertile so, from the evolutionary stance which prioritises survival and reproduction, it would make sense for women to want to be their most attractive selves during ovulation as it would maximise their chance of mating and reproducing.

 

I realise nowadays women may have different aims in life and their priority isn’t always reproducing so it is interesting to investigate if these urges still exist subconsciously. In 2012 a psychologist named Guéguen looked into this idea and studied how much time women spent on their makeup at different stages in their cycle. His first study asked participants to estimate how long they spent doing their makeup while two makeup artists judged the quality of the makeup. The results showed that the women did indeed spend more time on their makeup near or during the ovulation phase of their cycle and that the quality of their makeup was more attractive as well. This suggests that subconsciously women still try to maximise their attractiveness during their most fertile phase even if their intention is not necessarily to attract a mate.

If it really is the case that women wear more makeup when they’re in their most fertile stage of their cycle, can this logic be applied to anything else? It seems as though everywhere we look on social media people are getting lip filler or surgery to enhance their bodies and its increasingly becoming the norm. Is the increase in surgical enhancements just an extension of our inbuilt evolutionary need to try and be the most attractive versions of ourselves?

Last year, Psychologists Nicholas and Welling investigated this idea and suggested that it would make sense for women in their most fertile stage to be more open to getting cosmetic surgery. Their findings however were surprising. They showed that actually the trend was the opposite and women were more open to cosmetic surgery in the non-fertile stage of their cycle. They suggest that this trend might be seen as studies have previously found that women feel most self-confident and attractive during ovulation and so would be less likely to feel the need to change their appearance surgically.

Another idea they highlight is that during their most fertile stage, women don’t agree with cosmetic surgery as they consider it an unfair advantage that other individuals can have and they would rather have a level playing field. Although interesting, this idea seems a bit far-fetched especially in the context of the present day where our sole aim in life isn’t always to reproduce and so many more factors affect our desire to do so.

The topic of how women’s cycles affect their use of makeup and surgery is a very interesting one and all boils down to a more evolutionary stance. So, in light of these findings, what do you think? Do our ovulation cycles still drive our behaviour in subconscious ways?