Science shows why red lippy has psychological power and makes you look younger

Red lipstick is a beauty essential, and as Marilyn Monroe famously said “a smile is the best make-up any girl

Red lipstick is a beauty essential, and as Marilyn Monroe famously said “a smile is the best make-up any girl can wear”. Now scientists have proven there are psychological benefits to wearing red lipstick, such as making you seem younger and more capable.

A recent study by psychologists at Gettysburg College in America has proven that wearing red lipstick creates a youthful appearance. Women wearing red lipstick will demonstrate a stronger contrast between their skin and lip colours, which is a feature typically associated with youth.

“The redness contrast between lips and the rest of the face decreases with age, and that certainly is something that can be manipulated with make-up”, explained the lead psychologist Richard Russell.

Meanwhile, Harvard University researchers found that women who wear bold makeup are perceived as more likeable and competent. “There are times when you want to give a powerful ‘I’m in charge here’ kind of impression, and women shouldn’t be afraid to do that”, explained scientist Sarah Vickery.

Better yet, red lipstick will help you feel more confident personally. A separate Harvard survey found that women who wear red lipstick take twice as many photographs, when compared to women who prefer a natural look. The same women in red reported having higher self-esteem.

Finally, a study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology confirmed what we’ve always thought – red lipstick makes women more desirable to the opposite sex.

Researchers found that women in red are perceived as more attractive and sexually desirable, by a majority of men surveyed. For women who don’t like wearing lipstick though, the good news is that similar attractiveness can be achieved by wearing a red blouse or scarf.

They’re all compelling reasons to bring your favourite red lipstick out of retirement!

Does wearing red lipstick make you feel more confident? What’s your favourite shade of lippy?



  1. I might have been taking the wrong advice but I have been told older woman should wear paler lipstick because bright lipstick only make the lines appear more, never mind I will try it..I will give anything a go..well nearly anything 🙂

  2. I really disagree with this. I think it projects a mutton dressed up as lamb image. I don’t go in for the current trend of nude lipsticks – what’s the point? – but I’d never wear red again.

    • Reminds me of the loud American women I saw when iwas overseas in the sixties. Nice in young ones and if you feel comfortable wearing it , do it !!

    • No such thing as mutton dressed as lamb. I’ve always hated that saying. Who decides that anyway. Wear what makes you happy ladies. 🙂

    • I find nude or very pale lipsticks insipid, I guess it depends on what you’re wearing and how you look overall. I still wear red occasionally (at 67) but mainly stick to a medium pink/ brown tone. I’d prefer to go without my underwear than my lipstick. The wrong red or too much of it can be a great mistake though and some mouth shapes are just not meant for it.

  3. No red for me think it is ageing, I see older woman with bright red lips and all they look like is older women 🙂

  4. Have never worn red lippy, my mum and grandma used to steer me toward the pinks with an unspoken inference that red was for party girls lol.

  5. I always wear soft pink lip gloss, not strong coloured lipstick, as was told to me when I had a makeover with Clinique about a year ago.

    • I was told the same thing Lyn by Estee Lauder, , I had an in store makeover, they told me go for soft apricots because of my skin tone

  6. Well I must be both a ‘party girl’and mutton dressed as lamb. .. Would not be without my red lippy !!!

  7. Grace Boland  

    Red lipstick ? NEVER !!!! CORAL is much softer looking. Very flattering. ,Red on anyone regardless of age is AGEING and very unflattering.

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