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An Emotional Transformation with Makeup

Posted: September 19, 2013

In a blog post titled "Look Good, Feel Better," The NPD Group's director and beauty industry analyst Larissa Jensen discusses her work with the eponymous charitable organization that works to make women feel more beautiful while undergoing cancer treatment. What is it about makeup that make women—even cancer patients—feel more confident, and possibly, even a little more like themselves?

Jensen writes, "Years ago, as an employee at a beauty company, I volunteered my time with several of my fellow co-workers at Sloan Kettering hospital as part of a program called 'Look Good, Feel Better.' Each of us was armed with a bag of beauty products that we used to give female patients makeovers. What struck me most about this experience, and what stays with me to this day, was the significant difference in how these women walked into the room versus how they walked out. Somber as they came in, each patient left with a newly made up face and a huge smile from ear to ear. In the truest sense, each woman we worked on looked good, and felt better.

"Since that time, I have continued to watch women physically transform when they take some time for themselves and apply a little makeup. Shoulders go back and chin goes up in a gesture of the inner confidence that comes from looking good. The same holds true for a good hair day, or even a great outfit that fits just right. There’s a reason why makeover shows and magazine articles are so popular. Everyone likes to see the physical transformation that inevitably leads to an emotional one—the bright smile, the great posture, and the sometimes tears of gratitude from seeing how beautiful they can look.

"As such, it comes as no surprise that emotional motivators run high in beauty. And emotional indicators are a large part of what drive consumers to purchase. Using skin care to look the best she can for her age is a top motivator, with 73% of facial skin care users agreeing with that statement. And while half of makeup consumers wear makeup because it makes them feel confident, about 7 in 10 women agree that they wear makeup because it “enhances the way I look”, making that the top cited reason. The impact that beauty products have on making us look good, or look better, is substantial.

"I have a friend who didn’t wear makeup daily. One day, she asked me how I always look so put together, and was surprised to hear that I only take five minutes each day to apply some light makeup. Since that time, whenever I bump into her, she looks great and happily tells me how those five minutes each morning have changed her. Just another example that demonstrates the biggest benefit of beauty products—if you look good on the outside, you will feel great on the inside—and that will show to others around you," she concludes.