Why women wear lipstick: preliminary findings

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




Ogilvie, M., & Kristensen-Bach, P. (2001). Why women wear lipstick: preliminary findings. In proceedings of the 2001 ANZMAC: Bridging Marketing Theory and Practice. Auckland, NZ: Massey University.


Lipstick has cast a spell over cultures throughout history. From the past to the present, the little tube of colour, oil and wax has been scorned, shunned and embraced. This paper explores why women wear lipstick, their reasons for purchase and some of the behaviours associated with its use. Results from a mall intercept survey of 300 female lipstick users are presented with particular emphasis on self-perceptions of lipstick and grooming habits using this product. Results indicate that women wear lipstick today more for reasons of self-esteem and confidence than as a sexual allurement as previous literature would suggest. Lipstick is a significant vehicle through which women can transform themselves through the image they present to the world. Despite these feelings, society still maintains strict codes of conduct in applying and using the product.