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  • Writer's pictureShe's Driven

Red or red? The lipstick effect that boosts psychological wellbeing

I first heard about the lipstick effect at school. I'd learned that sales of lipsticks hadn't decreased during the war, despite food rations, tragic loss, and major displacement of families, but rather, they had increased. 

My glamorous Grandma was a lover of the lippy. Even in the midst of terminal cancer, she still managed to pop on a bit of lipstick and hit the high street. But, I first came across the psychological phenomenon during my psychology training at a mental health service in London- the clinician had noted the change in disposition and wellbeing of his clients when he asked them to pop on their favourite lip colour. He was certainly onto something and the mere suggestion of minor changes to their appearance gave them a new lease of life.

It's noted by many women. We can transform ourselves into instant glam when we put on  our favourite red lipstick.  We can feel dreary, but instantly sparkle with a touch up of red. Red is the colour of love. Of passion. Of desire. It perfectly captivates what takes place in the female heart. Red has the power to stop traffic. And, indeed, it does.

What is the lipstick effect?

During an economic downturn such as a recession or that caused by war, it was found that individuals were less likely to splurge on big luxuries such as international travel or designer clothes. This seems self-evident. However, what researchers have found is that individuals will spend on little luxuries like a good lipstick. Why?  Simply because it makes us feel good. We need that boost to give our lives a little more colour. You can read more about the lipstick effect here.

Introducing the super-breed of lipsticks

I was privileged to try out some lipsticks from Red Cosmetica, a brand founded by Adam Coutts, a Sydney-based entrepreneur. What makes Red Cosmetica unique is that they have gazillions of shades of red lipsticks to choose from. You are literally spoilt for choice. What's more is that Adam has a talented team of consultants who, having received a headshot from you, will determine the three best shades for your complexion.

I sent a recent headshot of myself, coupled with a description of whether I thought I was cool or warm in skin tone (this was determined by the look of my veins in daylight) and within 24 hours, I had received my suggestions and a lovely parcel of goodies arrived in my mailbox. This is the epitome of decadence. I thought it was pure luxury for the modern woman and I couldn't wait to try them.

The result: the best lipstick that I have ever tried. The red is perfect. It's glamorous, yet something that I have the confidence wearing during the day too. 

Check out Red Cosmetica on instagram 


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