Jo Macfarlane for MailOnline
As every woman knows, a touch of lipstick or a flick of mascara can be a real confidence booster.
But some strategically applied make-up can also boost a woman’s earning power, a study reveals.
It shows that waitresses are more likely to receive a tip if they wear make-up. In fact, female waiting staff wearing make-up attract 25 per cent more in tips than their fresh-faced counterparts.
Handy tip: Lucie Couturier is considering wearing more make-up to get greater tips
However, slapping on make-up only works with male customers, the study found. Women generally tip less and in smaller amounts and are not affected by how much make-up a waitress is wearing.
Researchers studied 186 men and 98 women who all lunched alone in the same restaurant, served by two waitresses aged 19 and 20.
A third of male customers tipped a girl if she had no make-up – but this rose to 51 per cent when the waitresses wore cosmetics applied by a beautician.
The average tip size also rose from 96p to £1.20 if a girl wore make-up.
However, the waitress’s make-up had no effect on the amount female customers left. Only marginally more women left some loose change for waitresses in make-up.
Researchers said the results had implications for all female workers.
Psychologist Ingrid Collins, from the London Medical Centre, said men tipped the made-up waitresses more because they appeared more sexually alluring – and also because the cosmetics made them seem more child-like and needy.
She said: ‘The object of make-up is to enhance the features, making the eyes bigger and the mouth fuller, much like the proportions of a baby’s face. Women look more vulnerable but alternatively the enlargement of the lips suggests sexual availability and arousal.
‘It makes men feel they need to be masculine and tipping, providing for this need, does that rather well.’
The study, published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, was carried out by French researchers at University De Bretagne Sud and University De Maine.
Previous research has shown that more attractive waitresses earn more money. Other studies have found that people see women who wear make-up as cleaner, tidier, more feminine and more interesting, as well as more confident, organised and popular.
Pippa Rees, spokeswoman for the Federation of Image Consultants, said: ‘If you look good, you feel good and that impacts on your behaviour.’
Lucie Couturier, 20, a waitress at Le Pain Quotidien, in Notting Hill, London, has never worn make-up to attract tips. ‘But if it helps, I’ll keep it in mind,’ she said.
‘I don’t wear make-up every day. I’m not a big fan of it. I just put on some mascara and eye shadow. People just like you to smile and be pleasant. I think they’re grateful for that.’
Colleague Marianna Salmistraro, 27, often wears make-up at work but said: ‘I don’t think putting it on in a place like this changes how many tips you get.’