Research nugget #6

Article citation:Enhanced female attractiveness with use of cosmetics and male tipping behavior in restaurants, N., Jacob C., J. Cosmet. Sci, 62, 283-290 (May/June 2011).
Link to article:

Previous studies concluded that women wearing makeup were rated as being cleaner, more tidy, more feminine, and more physically attractive. The intent of this paper was to explore the effect of makeup on individual behavior as contrasted with previous research in which impression formation of facial attractiveness was evaluated in a laboratory. In particular, tipping behavior was used to evaluate the impact of cosmetics. Previous studies showed that diners left larger tips for those waitresses who wore flowers in their hair, or those exhibiting larger smiles. This was particularly true for men rather than for women. Based on previous literature, the authors hypothesized that waitresses’ make-up would increase tipping behavior. Three random variables were examined: the frequency of tips, the amount of tips and the attractiveness of the waitress. Samples from these random variables were subjected to statistical analysis and the conclusions of this analysis confirmed that male patrons gave tips more often to a waitress who wore makeup and that when they did so they gave her a larger amount of money. On the other hand no difference was found in tipping by female patrons when tipping the waitress with or without makeup. The study found no significant difference between attractiveness ratings of the waitress by male and female patrons — both sexes found the waitress to be more attractive when wearing makeup.


This nugget describes, in detail, the setup of the experiment. The experiment that the authors conducted involved 112 single male customers, 62 single female customers, one waitress who was serving meals with and without make-up. The experiment took place in one restaurant in France, where tipping is not usual because a service charge of 12% is added to the bill. It had a duration of 30 days. The tips to the waitress were recorded and the patrons were asked to rate the attractiveness of the waitress on the scale 0 to 9. There are some obvious limitations of this experiment. That the authors used only one waitress and one restaurant is the most significant weakness of the experiment. Otherwise, it seems that the authors tried their best in maintaining objectivity of the experiment.

Nugget #2

This nugget summarizes the findings of the study. The article confirmed the initial expectation of the authors that male patrons gave tips more often to a waitress when she was wearing makeup than when she did not wore one. Also the tips were larger when the waitress was wearing makeup. The authors also reported that there was no significant difference in tipping by female patrons when tipping the waitress with or without makeup. Both male and female patrons considered the waitress more attractive when wearing makeup. But wearing makeup was positively correlated with frequency of tipping and amounts of tips only for male patrons. For female patrons, wearing makeup and frequency of tipping, and wearing makeup and amount of money tipped, seem to be independent.

In relation to the paper examined in Nugget #4, Cosmetics: They Influence More Than Caucasian Female Facial Attractiveness, this paper reconfirms, that in the special case of a waitress, wearing makeup can be financially beneficial to women. It also provides a partial positive answer to my research claim:

Do all women agree that wearing make-up has positive impact on women’s career, improves her relationship with a partner and boosts her self-esteem?