Everybody knows about the "beer goggles" effect, where other people start to look more attractive to the drinker. A recent study suggests, however, that the drinker can look more attractive to others as well after having a couple of drinks (but no more than that).
Photo by BluEyedA73
The study, conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and Macquarie University in Australia, and published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, asked pre-screened participants to have their photos taken at three different points. The first photo is of them completely sober, the next photo is of them after they have had about two glasses of wine, and the third is of them after consuming around four glasses of wine (or about 2/3 of a bottle). A separate group of participants was then shown different pictures of the same individual from the first group and asked to identify the most attractive photo of the person.
Overall, people thought participants looked the most attractive after having only a couple of glasses of wine. Lead researcher Jana Van Den Abbeele believes the results came down to two things: facial skin flushing after consuming alcohol, making the skin look healthy; and an increase in positive mood, shown by subtle smiles and relaxed facial muscles.
An important thing to note, however, is that the photos of participants after four drinks were rated the lowest, even when compared to the sober pictures. So if you're wanting to look your best at a party or bar, have a drink or two to loosen up, but don't go overboard. Alcohol can do a lot of wacky things to your brain and body, so make sure you know what you're getting into. You can read more about the study and methodology at the link below.
Increased Facial Attractiveness Following Moderate, but not High, Alcohol Consumption [the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, Oxford University Press via PsyBlog]