Makeup Mismanagement

Ancient Egyptians used copper, lead and malachite to color and define their faces and kohl to line their eyes. Ancient Greeks used crushed mulberries as rouge, oxen hair as fake eyelashes, and clay mixed with red iron as lipstick. During the Middle Ages, Europeans applied carbonate, hydroxide, and lead oxide as foundation. Indeed, since the beginning of time women have been adorning their faces and bodies to make themselves more beautiful. Over the course of their lifetimes today, most women will spend approximately $13,000 on beauty products and one year and three months applying makeup. The question is why are women doing this and, more importantly, is it worth the time and money? A study sheds light on these questions. Researchers asked test subjects to rate the attractiveness of women with varying degrees of makeup. The results showed that both men and women prefer faces with less makeup – bad news for fans of a “more is more” look. Given that a natural look is preferred by both genders, why do some women apply so much makeup? The study’s lead scientists attribute this to misperception. When test participants were asked what they believe men prefer, they found that women mistakenly assumed men prefer women who wear more makeup. According to the researchers:

These results suggest that women are likely wearing cosmetics to appeal to the mistaken preferences of others.

As the study shows, too much makeup isn’t appealing. It may even be sending the wrong message: that you are trying too hard, have too much time on your hands, or are trying to hide something. Furthermore, it might even be making you look older.

Makeup can only make you look pretty on the outside but it doesn’t help if you’re ugly on the inside. Unless you eat the make-up. ~ Audrey Hepburn

How to Achieve That Inner Glow

Our mothers may have told us not to judge a book by its cover, but research shows we cannot help it. In fact, according to research, the moment we first lay eyes on someone we make snap judgments about who they are. A study from Princeton, entitled “First Impressions: Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure to a Face,” found that it takes a tenth of a second to draw conclusions about other people’s attractiveness, trustworthiness and competence:
Before we can finish blinking our eyes, we’ve already decided whether we want to hire, date, hate, or make friends with a person we’re encountering for the first time. These first impressions color the way we interact with other people from that point forward. And all of this happens outside of our awareness, in the unconscious processes of the mind…
Consider how the complexion of a fresh-faced healthy individual compares to that of a lifelong chain smoker or sun worshipper. The health of someone’s skin speaks volumes and contributes to the snap judgments we make about them. It is no surprise that a radiant complexion affects how healthy and attractive someone appears. The good news is that there is a simple way to get that inner glow and it doesn’t require expensive creams or beauty treatments. It is by eating a healthy diet. According to researchers:
 What we eat and not just how much we eat appears to be important for a healthy appearance. The only natural way in which we can make our skin brighter is to eat a more healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables.
They found that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, especially carrots and tomatoes, gives a golden glow that is perceived as more attractive than a suntan. Coco Chanel said:

Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.

By eating well, you can achieve both.

Do “Perfect” People Annoy You?

For all those who live in fear of making a mistake, take heart. Kevan Lee explains:
“Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likeable than those who commit the occasional faux pas. Messing up draws people closer to you, makes you more human. Perfection creates distance and an unattractive air of invincibility. Those of us with flaws win out every time.”
This theory labeled the pratfall effect was tested by psychologist Elliot Aronson. In his test, he asked participants to listen to recordings of people answering a quiz. Select recordings included the sound of the person knocking over a cup of coffee. When participants were asked to rate the quizzers on likability, the coffee-spill group came out on top.”  That said, there is nothing charming about someone you don’t hold in high regard spilling coffee on you. For this to operate, the person must already be perceived as competent. The appreciation of imperfection applies to art as well. Ellen Langer, professor of Psychology at Harvard, explains:
“With writing and art, mistakes tend to make the product more interesting. The major difference between a machine-made rug and a handmade one is that the regularity of the machine-made rug makes it uninteresting. Errors give the viewer something to hold onto. When you make a mistake in a painting, if—instead of trying to correct the mistake—you incorporate it into what you are doing and go forward, you are working mindfully. When we ask viewers to choose between this kind of art and ‘flawless’ works, people say they prefer the mindfully created pieces.”
Beauty is in the cracks, the smudge, and the imperfect line. In an age of machine-made products, human touch is more valuable than ever. As with people, minor flaws can make objects more appealing and more unique. There is elegance in imperfection. Making minor mistakes isn’t the worst thing in the world; in fact, it can work in our favor.

Georgie Morley

Georgie Morley, a wellness entrepreneur, spends her time in Nantucket curating a visually perfect, well informed website, and her Chasing Joy Podcast is a fan favorite. Georgie explores living a healthy, vibrant and active life, while managing stress and being creative in the process.

Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Terrible Advice

Graduation speeches, self-help books and well-meaning therapists preach the gospel of “following your passion.” It is predicated on the belief that if you follow your passion, you will be happy, and you will become successful in whatever you do. This is actually terrible advice. Stay with me. Cal Newport, PhD, explores this misguided wisdom is detail in his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love. He explains that this is problematic because it assumes:

1. People have preexisting passions.

2. If you match this passion to your job, then you’ll enjoy that job.

3. There is the perfect job somewhere out there waiting for you.

Research shows that many people don’t have preexisting passions and moreover, that workplace satisfaction is far more complex and more nuanced than simply matching innate interest with one’s job description. Rather than following your passion, Newport argues that passion is something to cultivate and build. Hard work and mastery are the gateways to passion, not the other way around:

When you hear the stories of people who ended up loving what they do, this same pattern comes up again and again. They start by painstakingly developing rare and valuable skills — which we can call career capital. They then leverage this capital to gain rare and valuable traits in their career. These traits lead to a feeling of passion about their working life…Stop worrying about what the world owes you, it says, and instead, put your head down, and strive to become so good you can’t be ignored. It’s this straightforward goal—not some fairy tale about dropping everything to pursue a dream job—that will lead you toward a working life you love.

The One Thing Happy People Do Daily That Makes a Difference

We all know people who seem to be just naturally cheerful and upbeat. Our friend, “Sam,” immediately comes to mind. His partner “Beth” told us that he was one of the happiest people she has ever encountered. It’s what initially attracted her to him nearly 30 years ago, and what helps sustain their bond decades later. We, too, have noticed his incredible and consistently positive attitude. Despite any challenges that he may be going through personally or professionally, he seems to maintain an optimistic outlook on life.  His mere presence seems to uplift everyone in his proximity. What a great person and role model to have around! If only we could all be like “Sam!” Many of us automatically might think he was born this way naturally seeing the sunny side of life. Indeed, his genetics likely play a factor. However, that’s not the full picture. After inquiring more about his daily activities, we soon discovered something he’s been doing for years that has been recently found to be associated with heightened well-being. And the good news is it’s a practice that we can all adopt in our daily lives. “It’s called “prioritizing positivity,” which means making decisions and organizing our lives in ways that are likely to result in the experience of positive emotions. We discuss this important concept in our book Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That LastsIn a nutshell, positive psychology pioneer Barbara Fredrickson and her colleagues found those that “prioritize positivity” experience greater well-being than those who simply will themselves to be happy or wait around for happiness to happen. In fact, research indicates that overvaluing and obsessing over happiness can backfire making us feel even worse off. Rather than dwelling on how we are feeling at every moment, forcing ourselves to be happy, and feeling frustrated if we aren’t feeling as upbeat as we wish to be, we want to plan our days in ways which are more likely to result in the triggering of positive emotions. Perhaps, spending time in nature evokes a sense of serenity, tackling the NYT crossword puzzle fills you with pride, or delving into an engaging historical novel stimulates deep feelings of interest. The activities will vary from person to person, of course. The key is noticing what they are and consciously scheduling them into your daily life which is likely to result in greater levels of positive emotions. So the next time you are not feeling as happy as you’d like, stop beating yourself up by comparing yourself to those who seem to naturally wake up on the right side of the bed. Instead, remind yourself that perhaps they experience regular positivity precisely because of the daily effort they place on prioritizing positivity in their lives. Follow in their footsteps by practicing the following suggestions:

1. Don’t overvalue and force yourself to be happy. Research has shown this can backfire making you feel worse.

2. Ask yourself what activities and experiences bring you joy and contentment. Who are those people who uplift and inspire you?

3. Take a few moments each day to plan those positive activities into your day and schedule time to meet with those people who inspire you to become better.

While these suggestions won’t magically transform you into a “sunny Sam,” who couldn’t benefit from some more positivity in one’s life? In the beginning it might seem unnatural and tedious to practice these tips. With time and effort, however, they will likely become enjoyable habits that may pay off in dividends with a boost in your daily happiness. ********************************************************************** This article was adapted from Suzie and James’s Psychology Today “Happy Together” blogHappy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts, written by positive psychology experts and husband-and-wife team Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski, is the first book on using the principles of positive psychology to create thriving romantic relationships. James O. Pawelski, PhD, is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Suzann (“Suzie”) Pileggi Pawelski has a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a freelance writer and well-being consultant specializing in the science of happiness and its effects on health and relationships.

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Georgie Morley


Georgie Morley, a wellness entrepreneur, spends her time in Nantucket curating a visually perfect, well informed website, and her Chasing Joy Podcast is a fan favorite. Georgie explores living a healthy, vibrant and active life, while managing stress and being creative in the process.

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