Smoke And Mirrors
We didn’t see smoky eyes en masse on the runways, but Gisele Bündchen’s November cover of French Vogue certainly makes a case for a comeback. Perhaps the real reason black and gray shadow will never be retired, however, is purely scientific. Assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and research psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital Nancy Etcoff released her findings on the power of makeup and perception in a 2011 study that focused on looks labeled as natural, professional, and glamorous. Now, she’s revealing part two, on which she collaborated with CoverGirl, focusing on the sexy look, characterized by “dramatic [makeup] that showcases heavy contrast around the eyes.” Participants rated women wearing the sexy look as being more daring, sociable, and healthy (albeit “less stable” than those who were bare-faced). “This just reaffirms our initial finding that the sexy look gives off social power cues, driving others’ perceptions of a woman’s beauty, power, and dominance,” explained Etcoff at a recent industry event. But the effects of dramatic eye shadow didn’t stop there—she also discovered that women who were taught how to apply the sexy look had an increase in positive moods, a decrease in negative ones, and an overall boost in self-esteem. Who needs therapy when you’ve got tools like CoverGirl’s SmokyShadowBlast stick at your disposal?