Cosmetics Alter Biologically-Based Factors of Beauty: Evidence from Facial Contrast

Jones, A.L. and Russell, R. and Ward, R. (2015) Cosmetics Alter Biologically-Based Factors of Beauty: Evidence from Facial Contrast. Evolutionary Psychology, 13 (1). pp. 210-229.

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The use of cosmetics by women seems to consistently increase their attractiveness. What factors of attractiveness do cosmetics alter to achieve this ? Facial contrast is a known cue to sexual dimorphism and youth, and cosmetics exaggerate sexual dimorphisms in facial contrast. Here, we demonstrate that the luminance contrast pattern of the eyes and eyebrows is consistently sexually dimorphic across a large sample of faces, with females possessing lower brow contrasts than males, and greater eye contrast than males. Red-green and yellow-blue color contrasts were not found to differ consistently between the sexes. We also show that women use cosmetics not only to exaggerate sexual dimorphisms of brow and eye contrasts, but also to increase contrasts that decline with age. These findings refine the notion of facial contrast, and demonstrate how cosmetics can increase attractiveness by manipulating factors of beauty associated with facial contrast.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015 02:25
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 02:50
ISSN: 1474-7049
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4656
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