Science Has Pretty Much Given Us Permission to Shop Until We Drop

Thinking of sprucing up your fall wardrobe and scouring Sephora for the latest beauty hauls but feel you can't justify the additional expense? Fortunately, science is giving you the go-ahead. Yes, really.


An article titled "Strategically Stunning: The Professional Motivations Behind the Lipstick Effect," which was published in the August 2016 issue of Psychological Scienceposits that splurging can actually help ladies reap long-term financial gain.

Of course you're more likely to be (and be perceived as) successful when you're wearing brand-new clothes you feel stylish in, as opposed to those same old frumpy frocks you've been sporting for the past decade. And we've all been there -- a new haircut, a fierce new lipcolor, a #girlboss pair of shoes -- all of these things have power to make us feel powerful in the office.

And it's not just about feeling good.

The authors, Ekaterina Netchaeva and McKenzie Rees, assert that even during times of economic downturn, women use makeup as a tool that makes them feel more capable of doing well at work or even catching the attention of a potential partner.

Hence the term "lipstick effect." But it goes well beyond a little gloss to include clothing, footwear, skin, and haircare products. 

Call it a self-fulling prophecy or whatever you like, but according to this duo, it works. 

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While you might be thrilled at the thought of grabbing your purse, checking your credit limit, and rushing out to your favorite store to buy, buy, buy, doesn't it seem unfair that in order for women to advance they need to look a certain way -- and spend a certain amount?

Past studies have shown that women who wear makeup were considered more competent and attractive than their plain-faced peers.

Meanwhile, men aren't worrying about choosing the right shade of lipstick or perfect boots in the hope of moving up the corporate ladder, so why should we, right?

And let's not forget: Women are judged for their weight in the workplace as well. (So you may want to put some Spanx on your shopping list, just sayin'.) 

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As much as we might be looking for an excuse to pick up some new items, who needs the additional pressure? Isn't it enough that we're already trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance? 

Now we have a reminder that we'd better look fabulous doing it or our bottom line will suffer.  

Of course, if wearing the perfect sweater dress and ankle booties make you feel like a force to be reckoned with, more power to you.

But if you're still planning on bringing your A-game while wearing jeggings from three years ago, you shouldn't be penalized for it.

If, for example, you're inclined to save your money to take a class that could benefit your career, or simply put your cash away for a rainy day, don't worry about it.

Science has been wrong before and it probably will be again.


Image via Walt Disney Studios

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