The Scientific Reason That Red Lipstick Is Sexy
Gwendoline Christie, also known as Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones,” is quoted as saying, “I think everyone loves a slash of red lipstick.” And she’s totally right. A red lip is like the little black dress of the makeup world – perfect of any occasion, goes with any outfit… But how did it get to be the go-to color? What do people find so appealing about red lipstick? We decided to do a little digging, and thanks to Psychology Today, we are demystifying why red lipstick is so sexy, with some science!
Azadeh Aalai is a doctor, and was also featured on the television series What Not To Wear. She got more than a little flack about her use of a "slash of red lipstick," as Christie would say.
"The first time my brother saw me wearing red list pick he asked me why my lips were so bright," she explained. "My sister mockingly referred to me as a sl*t; my cousin declared that when her boyfriend saw me from afar he asked her what was wrong with my lips."
But most people don't have that reaction to a slash of red lipstick, including Aalai herself. "I think red lipstick is hot," she said. "It enable a low maintenance woman to feel put together for work or a night out without the discomfort of a full face of makeup."
No one has time to put a full face of makeup on every day, it's exhausting. But red lipstick can do much more than that. It can empower you.
"At the same time," she said. "as a woman who in may ways resists traditional gender norms, a sweep of red on the lips is a quick way for me to reassert my femininity."
Studies have shown that men associate sexiness with the color red. According to Psychology Today, two researchers showed men a photo of a woman who they described as "moderately attractive," then asked them to rate her.
"For some, the woman in the photo was wearing a red shirt," Psychology Today reports. "For others, the same woman was wearing a blue shirt. The results showed that men rated the woman in red as more attractive and more sexually desirable than the same woman in blue."
The study revealed that men had a higher interest of dating the woman in red and "indicated they would be willing to spend more money on her when she was dressed in red." I guess I know what color I'm wearing out to the club tonight...
But does societal assumption have a role in this? Perhaps. "Perhaps these men assumed that women who wear red are more promiscuous, and that is why they were more interested in dating her," Psychology Today hypothesizes.
In a similar experiment, the researchers switched up the setting a bit. In this experiment, the women in the photo was wearing the same outfit as before, but she was standing in front of a colored background red, white, gray, or green. The results won't shock you.
"The results showed that men were significantly more attracted to the women when she was against a red background," Psychology Today reports. So strange!!
"Interestingly, when these men were asked if the color of her shirt or background had an influence on their attraction, none reported that it did," Psychology Today reports. So essentially, these men had no idea that color had any influence over their judgement.
Do they feel the same about the color red? Yes! "Across seven studies, women were more likely to find the man attractive and sexually appealing when he was associated with the color red," the study found, according to Psychology Today.
#14 So what to do?
Try out a pop of red lipstick, a little red dress, or a red crop top tonight. Let us know how it goes. If science is correct, you could be getting a few free drinks tonight.
What are your thoughts on red lipstick?