The Secret to Instant Sex Appeal

The Secret to Instant Sex AppealWould you rather look sexier or feel sexier?

What if you could have BOTH?

You can. And no matter if you’re currently single or happily dating, the effect on your love life can be profoundly positive.

There are many ways to feel sexier.  But one of the simplest ways is the tried and true cosmetic, lipstick.

Let me explain.

Psychologists have known about the “lipstick effect” for a while. The term was coined after the Great Depression when cosmetic sales soared despite limited financial resources.[1] It was later confirmed as a legitimate trend. But not without some backlash.

A few years ago, a group of researchers argued that women only try to make themselves more attractive to secure a mate. [2] The theory was understandable unsettling, as it suggested women will do whatever’s necessary just to find a man.

But a recent study has revealed something new. A team of Harvard researchers found that women actually perform cognitive tasks better if they’re wearing make-up.[3]

And they don’t think this has anything to do with being desperate for a guy. Their conclusion was that a boost in confidence translates to other improvements.

Here’s how I’d say it.

When you feel better about yourself, you do everything better in every environment. You’ll have better conversations, engage with guys on a more authentic level, and ultimately come across as sexier – inside and out.

So how can you give yourself an instant confidence boost? I have three suggestions. None of them have to do with bright shades of lipstick, but all of them make you feel more confident in your own skin.

1. Like how you look.

This isn’t limited to makeup. If you’re not into lipstick and eyeshadow, that’s not going to do it for you. But what does make you feel better about your appearance?

Perhaps it’s being in good shape. Or wearing the perfect outfit. Or just carrying yourself with your head held high.

Whatever it is, do it. Invest time in it. Take it seriously. This isn’t just an exercise in vanity.

Feeling like you look good according to your own standards will have a significant impact on how you interact with guys.

2. Embrace mistakes.

If you’re not okay with making some mistakes along the way, you’re going to spend a lot of time feeling very uncomfortable. Do you know why? Because you’re human, and mistakes are inevitable.

But that’s okay. Mistakes are also valuable learning opportunities.[4] Even relationship mistakes.

Think about the dating relationships you’ve had that went south. What could you have done better? (And, yes – he definitely screwed up, too!)

Now, without beating yourself up, make a mental note to avoid the same mistakes in the future. And tell yourself you’re perfectly capable of growth!

Think of mistakes as an indication that you are growing and improving. A faster rate of making mistakes may be the best way to reach your goals faster.

3. Know what you know.

What are you good at? I mean, really good at? Do you know?

Reveling in your own strengths may sound arrogant, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s value in knowing what you do well and acknowledging your unique gifts.[5]

It might be that you’re really good at your job. Or that you have a passion for a specific hobby. Or that you can connect with people better than most. Whatever you do well, own it.

When you’re talking to a guy, don’t be shy about the areas where you shine.

You can give yourself a confidence boost any time. Look your best for you, think of mistakes as learning opportunities, and take pride in what you do well. Let the guy in your life see how awesome you are!

The better your self-esteem, the more you’ll enjoy the world of romance.

[1] Elliott, Larry. “Into the Red: ‘Lipstick Effect’ Reveals the True Face of the Recession.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 Dec. 2008, www.theguardian.com/business/2008/dec/22/recession-cosmetics-lipstick.

[2] Hill, Sarah E., et al. “Boosting Beauty in an Economic Decline: Mating, Spending, and the Lipstick Effect.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 103, no. 2, 2012, pp. 275–291., doi:10.1037/a0028657.

[3] Palumbo, Rocco, et al. “Does Make-up Make You Feel Smarter? The ‘Lipstick Effect’ Extended to Academic Achievement.” Cogent Psychology, vol. 4, no. 1, 2017, doi:10.1080/23311908.2017.1327635.

[4] Grohol, John M. “6 Tips to Improve Your Self-Esteem.” World of Psychology, PsychCentral.com, 25 Oct. 2011, psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/10/30/6-tips-to-improve-your-self-esteem/.

[5] Winch, Guy. “5 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem and Make It Stick.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 11 Apr. 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201604/5-ways-boost-your-self-esteem-and-make-it-stick.


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