One of these days I’m going to write about going from using no makeup to a full face at age 35. I talked about it a little here, but I think it does really boil down to feeling more confident.

It can seem really frivolous, though, to talk about “makeup is actually empowering! I’m totally not doing this for the male gaze!”–but this study about┬ámakeup purchase habits seems to back that up:

In a series of experiments, Netchaeva and Rees demonstrated that when women are concerned about money, whether due to a recession or their own circumstances, they use makeup to alleviate their worries “because through the use of makeup, women feel more confident in their ability to find a romantic partner and to get (or keep) a job,” said Netchaeva and Rees.

In one study, in which the researchers asked women to choose between two lipsticks, they branded one shade as both “Pouty Pink,” with a tagline “It may not get you your dream job, but it will get you your dream man,” and also “Professional Pink,” which claimed the opposite. Women concerned about money were significantly more likely to select Professional Pink. “Between the options of securing resources through getting a job or attracting a partner, women opt for the former,” Netchaeva and Rees wrote.