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Can makeup ease anxiety? This beauty blogger (and her fans) think so.

Makeup has some powerful benefits beyond looking pretty. (Photo: Getty Images)
Makeup has some powerful benefits beyond making people feel pretty. (Photo: Getty Images)

Beauty lovers reap the benefits of glossy lips and shimmering highlighter. But according to beloved beauty blogger and entrepreneur Jaclyn Hill, some people also derive mental health benefits from the process of getting glammed up.

Hill opened up on Twitter about the role makeup plays in calming her anxiety. “I swear doing my makeup helps my anxiety so much!!” she wrote. “If I start getting anxious for no reason & just sit down & start doing makeup, my anxiety settles down within 10 minutes. Every time! Thankful for makeup!” The tweet has garnered over 51,000 likes and hundreds of responses from fans who also claim their beauty routine has helped their mental health.

Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the ritual of putting on makeup can soothe anxiety for some people. “Anxiety is about uncertainty — not knowing how a situation will turn out, negative thinking, and ruminating on unhealthy thoughts,” he says. “An activity that is structured and routine, such as this blogger’s morning makeup ritual, provides a degree of predictability and certainty that can help curb anxiety.” Routine activities provide the brain with certainty, he says, and eliminate unknowns. It follows that the ritual of layering on makeup can calm the mind for beauty lovers.

The effects of makeup itself may also play a role. “The act of applying makeup and the end result can be transformative for some and help boost confidence,” Alpert says.

Hill’s comment was met with powerful replies from her 1.49 million followers, many of whom agree that doing their makeup reduces anxiety. Others wrote in to share how their makeup rituals have helped them overcome addiction, panic attacks, eating disorders, and depression.

These testimonials are interesting in light of a recent study from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business that showed that makeup tutorials aren’t necessarily making their watchers any better at applying makeup. According to the study, tutorials provide an “illusion of skill acquisition,” which means that you may feel like you can create Hill’s flawless looks, but when you try to attempt it yourself, the results come out differently.

Regardless of how skilled Hill’s fans are at putting on their makeup, it’s clear that for many, beauty is more than a hobby. Applying makeup can also be a coping mechanism or even a means to take one’s mind off more difficult thoughts. As Alpert tells Yahoo Lifestyle, he doesn’t want his patients to need makeup to feel good about themselves. Still, if it helps curb your anxiety or get you ready to take on the day, go ahead and grab your fan brush.

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