A dash of red lipstick makes women look younger because it increases facial contrast, says expert behind a new study. Facial contrast is a major psychological cue for youth and could be attained by making lips bright and cheeks rosy, claimed the experts.
According to the researchers, aspects of facial contrast the contrast between facial features and the surrounding skin decreased with age in a large sample of adult Caucasian females, the New York Daily News reported. However, people can use cosmetics to amplify facial contrast to regain a semblance of youth, the researchers suggested.
Richard Russell, an assistant professor of psychology at Gettysburg College, teamed up with Aurelie Porcheron and Emmanuelle Mauger, employees as the Centre for Epidermal and Sensory Research and Investigation, a Chanel research laboratory, and conducted three different methods for putting their hypotheses to the test.
First, they measured facial contrast in 289 images of Caucasian females between 20 and 70 years old. Then they asked a several volunteers to guess the age of 150 of those faces. In the third and final portion of the study, the team manipulated the facial features of the women in the photos to create two new images: one with more facial contrast, the other with less.
The team put these images side by side for volunteers and asked them to identify which looked younger. The researchers also noted that female faces generally have greater facial contrast than male faces and contrast also plays a role in determining attractiveness as well as femininity and masculinity. The finding appeared earlier this month in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed, online publication.