Picture this: it’s 3pm on a Friday, you’re nearly buckling under the near-insurmountable workload, and not even the promise of the weekend can perk you up. It’s then that you realise there’s only one thing left to do: slip in a sneaky purchase off of your favourite online beauty retailer.
Suddenly, it feels like the skies are clear, you’re filled with renewed vigour, and your wallet is lighter by just a smidge. Call it frivolity or retail therapy, but there’s no denying how beauty purchases brings us joy. But what exactly is the science behind it?
For many, this joy is double-fold. First comes the joy attached to the actual process of purchasing and receiving the product -- there’s nothing quite like gifting something to yourself, is there? Then comes the joy that the product itself gives you, especially if it comes in a bougie packaging.
We aren’t just pulling this out of thin air. “Beauty manifests a hope that life would be better if the object of beauty were part of it,” writes philosopher Alexander Nehamas. In a study conducted by the University of South Carolina Upstate, participants were found to derive a large part of happiness from the beauty of their surroundings. Don’t believe us? The next time you lay your hands on a particularly exquisite perfume bottle, take note of how you feel.
The importance of scents
Then, there’s the matter of smell. As the sense most closely linked to memory, more so than any of our other senses, scents play an important role in regulating our mood. Lavender, for example, is great for helping you unwind. Couple this with a good night's sleep and you'll be recharged in no time. For a quick pick-me-up, try diffusing peppermint or rosemary oil at your work desk.
A study conducted at Kyoto University found that the stress levels of participants were significantly reduced after taking a stroll through a pine forest. While that’s not practical for us living in Singapore, we like to make do with (you guessed it!) essential oils.
To better improve your mood, finish off by spritzing on a floral fragrance. Floral scents, especially jasmine, are known to be natural mood lifters. The scents increase cognitive-emotional responses, which, in turn, increase positive thoughts and boosts happiness.
A bold red lip
Once you’ve gotten your fragrance sorted, it’s time to round things up with a flattering red lipstick. There’s nothing quite like a bold red lip -- it’s like warpaint for the modern woman, something to visually signify confidence and tell others that you’re not to be messed with.
According to cosmetics giant Procter & Gamble, women who wear lipstick post twice as many selfies as women who don’t and are therefore more confident, at least theoretically. These women also tended to wear red lips when they are dressing to impress at work meetings, and are in turn perceived as more competent.
Perhaps it’s the placebo effect at work, but the results don’t lie: red lips do make you feel good. But don’t just take our word for it; swipe on a coat of red lipstick and see how you feel. Need tips on how to pick the best shade of red for your skin tone? We got you covered. Now go out there and be the best version of yourself.