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It’s official! Buying makeup makes us happy: Study finds beauty purchases improve our mood by 62%

29th March 2021 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

Having set up mamabella because we know just how much makeup, skincare, and self-care improves our mood, it’s no surprise that research has found shopping for beauty products greatly improves happiness levels.

Using the Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) as a base, which is a scale that analyses people’s moods, a team from surveyed more than 2,000 men and women. They asked each person to record the intensity of 10 different emotions before making an online purchase. They then repeated this after payment had been made.

These emotions ranged from happy, satisfied, excited, optimistic, and interested as well as nervous, sad, gloomy, worried, and frustrated.

Based on these findings, the study discovered that buying an eyeshadow palette increased happiness by as much as 62%.

Buying perfume, and nail polish, both increased happiness by 59%, followed by buying lipstick, which made the participants feel 54% happier. Skincare purchases made people 52% happier.

Out of all the purchases made, however, buying a houseplant boosted people’s mood the most. This increased positive emotions by 67%, followed by games consoles (66%) and trainers (64%).


The online purchases that bring us the most joy

The full top 20 list is as follows:

  1. Houseplants
  2. Gaming console
  3. Trainers
  4. Fiction Book
  5. Home Gym equipment
  6. Video game
  7. Eyeshadow palette (check out our list of the best eyeshadow palettes)
  8. Scented candles
  9. Exercise clothing
  10. Fashion jewellery
  11. Perfume
  12. Nail polish (check out our list of the best nail polish)
  13. Jacket
  14. Beachwear
  15. Dress
  16. Camera
  17. Speakers
  18. Football kit
  19. Jeans
  20. Lipstick (check out our list of the best lipstick)

FURTHER READING: Makeup sale roundup: Big savings on Elemis, Benefit, CeraVe and more

“Online shopping has the ability to make us happy through several different mechanisms,” said psychologist and wellbeing consultant, Lee Chambers. “Firstly, even in a world of plenty, we are still evolutionarily designed to consider scarcity. Because of this, acquiring new items, especially when discounted or limited, tends to make us happy, the feeling we have satisfied a need and potentially averted a future threat.

“Shopping is also an exercise in control. We select from millions of items precisely what we want, and especially in the uncertain times we live in, we know we will get exactly what we have purchased, and it will be delivered straight to us. This control of selection and guarantee of receipt is powerful, as it becomes a defined event. We also build a level of expectation and anticipation from the moment we press the purchase button, as we believe we now have ownership over the item but have a delay until it is with us physically.”

There is also a physiological response from shopping. It has been linked with changes in the nucleus accumbens region of the brain. This region is responsible for releasing dopamine and motivating us to repeat the behaviour.

To work out the percentage improvements in positive emotions, each participant’s response was allocated a number of points based on how happy they were. For example, if they said they “definitely” felt happy, this observation was given 50 points. If they “definitely did not feel” an emotion, it was allocated 10.

The opposite method was used when analysing negative emotions. “Definitely” feeling an emotion scored 10 points, while not feeling it scored 50.

Participants recorded an average score of 287 out of the total 500 before making a purchase, which was used as a baseline throughout the study for comparison purposes, to see how much happiness levels increased by, on average, after buying something online.

FURTHER READING: Study finds a quarter of women hate the way they look – and almost a fifth feel worthless

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