Does make-up make you feel smarter? The “lipstick effect” extended to academic achievement


Palumbo, R., Fairfield, B., Mammarella, N., & Di Domenico, A. (2017). Does make-up make you feel smarter? The “lipstick effect” extended to academic achievement. Cogent Psychology , 4 (1).


Previous studies have shown that higher levels of self-esteem are associated with better academic performance. However, there is no evidence if make-up can indirectly influence academic achievement and cognition through self-esteem. In this study, we examined the possibility that make-up can affect academic performance by asking 186 female undergraduate students to take a simulated university examination. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups, which consisted of wearing make-up, listening to positive music, and face coloring. Results showed that female students who had put make-up on received higher grades compared to those who did not. In addition, these students outperformed students with positive mood only and students who were engaged in a control activity. These findings underline the necessity of adopting a multidimensional approach to learning and memory and attest to the importance of studying further the interaction between physical self-esteem and cosmetics in cognition. © 2017 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.

Last updated on 04/27/2018