CosBeauty Magazine #85

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CosBeauty is the #BeautyAddict's guide to lifestyle, health and beauty in Australia.
In this issue:
- The Breast Report - your guide to augmentation
- Put an end to bad hair days
- 24 hour makeup, products that last
- Sex appeal - do you have it?

Blonde vs brunette

It’s an age-old debate that had even Charles

Darwin stumped – he couldn’t find any

acceptable reason men might prefer blondes.

Since Darwin’s time, however, there have

been a few advancements in the science behind

hair preference.

Blonde hair is thought to be an indicator of

youth and sexual vitality, but a recent study,

which attempted to determine the most beautiful

woman in the world, picked a brunette, and

a 2011 study in the Scandinavian Journal

of Psychology found brunettes are generally

considered more attractive.

Makeup &

attraction

Women who wear makeup appear

more trustworthy, likeable and

competent – not to mention

attractive – to those around them, or

so a relatively recent study tells us.

‘As we have evolved, the brain has

become capable of making complex

social judgments on some very basic

visual cues,’ says Dr Arnaud Aubert,

an experimental psychologist and

associate professor in the department

of neurosciences at the Universitè

François-Rabelais, France.

These visual cues typically revolve

around the idea of attractiveness and

trustworthiness, elements that the

right style of makeup can certainly

assist with. ‘First you see the face and

then, after a quick visual decoding,

a signal is relayed to the limbic area

of the brain where an emotional

level is assigned to what you have

seen – either pleasant or unpleasant,’

Dr Aubert says. ‘This information

is then translated to the forebrain

where it’s decided whether the face

is trustworthy or untrustworthy.

The whole process is carried out

almost instantaneously.’

By minimising flaws and enhancing

our best features, makeup – when

applied effectively – can make for a

more “pleasant” translation process.

Highlighter and illuminator, for

instance, can detract from a larger

nose, while the right shade of lip

colour can go a long way in boosting

that first impression.

‘All the social information is in

the centre of the face,’ Dr Aubert

explains. ‘If the brain is distracted by

imperfections, it processes less and so

has a weaker social assessment of the

person it is looking at.’

A study conducted by Harvard

University with Proctor and

Gamble supports Aubert’s findings.

Participants of the study were asked

to rate how likeable, trustworthy and

competent particular women were,

based on their makeup. They were

presented with images of women

with no makeup, and then the same

women made up in different ways –

natural, professional and glamorous.

One participant group was shown

the images for a couple of seconds

and the other group could inspect the

images for as long as they liked.

Lead author and assistant clinical

professor of psychology at Harvard

University, Nancy Etcoff explains

the effects of makeup were the same,

regardless of length of exposure.

‘When flashed quickly, every

cosmetic look significantly increased

how attractive, competent, likeable

and trustworthy the faces appeared to

the same faces without makeup,’ she

says. ‘When people could look at the

faces as long as they wanted to, all

makeup looks increased competence

and attractiveness once again.’ CBM

www.cosbeauty.com.au 41

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