We’ve all seen the fascinating shots. From models to movie stars, red lips look crimson. Why? And is it true for everyone? Or are they just the ones who look good in everything? Research tries to determine to what extent colors are important and to whom.
Red Lipstick Attracts Men
Nicolas Guéguen, “Does Red Lipstick Really Attract Men?” in a study entitled. He examined whether men in a bar would be more attractive to women wearing red lipstick than other colors.[i] Female subjects wearing red, brown, pink, and no lipstick sat in bars for an hour between 8 and 8: Wednesday at a popular hotspot in France and Saturday nights at 30 pm and midnight. Of course, women who wore red lipstick were linked to greater requests by men judged to be between 20 and 28 years old, as well as a shorter time between when they arrived and first approached.
Was there something about the bar, whether it was the time of day, the presence of alcohol, or other connotations that made red lipstick stand out? Are these women perceived the same way at the grocery store or gas station? Other research has shown that the appeal of red lips is really color, not setting.
Ian D. Stephen and Angela M. McKeegan studied how lip color affects facial attractiveness.[ii] They started by noting that women have greater brightness contrast between facial features and skin than men, which is enhanced by makeup. They noted that in black-and-white photographs of women’s faces, a higher amount of brightness contrast increases perceived femininity and attractiveness. For Caucasians, Stephen and McKeegan note that a significant portion of the contrast between lips and facial skin is evidenced by redness, and red lips are universally attractive, possibly due to a perceived association with sexual arousal.
How important are red lips if a woman is already attractive? Adam D. Pazda et al. They explored this question in connection with the color red in general, in a piece aptly titled The Effect on Charming Women (2021). They began by recognizing previous research showing that the color red can increase a man’s perception. Female attractiveness unless a woman is older, unattractive or has masculine characteristics. Limiting their investigation to the other end of the spectrum, they studied young women dressed as highly attractive and provocative.
Through a series of three experiments, they manipulated the color of their underwear on highly attractive models and examined men’s perceptions of the models’ sexual attractiveness, attractiveness, and attractiveness. Among other findings, they found that women in red scored higher in all three experiments than women in green. Overall, they concluded that their results showed that red can increase the attractiveness of women who are already perceived as attractive and desirable. Even if we add red lipstick, we can draw a similar result.
More Than Color
Lasting relationships, whether displayed through makeup or clothing, require much more than color. There’s nothing wrong with everyone looking their best, but initial perceptions of attraction don’t reveal the most important things about relationship potential. Reminding that beauty is skin-deep can help people not to overlook the importance of character, kindness, compassion, and compatibility. Unlike the makeup and clothes one puts on and off, the inner qualities are either there or not, proving that the most attractive qualities are black and white.