Research proves purchasing nail polish boosts mood

By Kat Hill | 30 March 2021 | Movers & Shakers, News

Happy Nail Polish

New research from UK-based price comparison website,, has revealed what beauty products purchases are the biggest mood-boosters when shopping online.

Nail polish featured in the top 20 purchases that boost your mood, scooping the 12th position. Eyeshadow palettes appear 7th in the list with 62% increase in positive emotions. Perfume came 11th, lipsticks at 2o and skincare products came 24th. conducted an emotions test among 2,560 participants to discover which online purchases bring us the most joy.

Participants were asked to complete a variation of the BMIS test (Brief Mood Intensity Scale) and record the intensity of 10 different emotions after making an online purchase. The intensity of each emotion was allocated a score based on its positivity, with a maximum score of 500 points per item – the higher the score, the better.

Participants were also asked to complete the same test before making any purchases to uncover the percentage increase in positive emotions when shopping.

Participants reported the biggest increase in happiness when purchasing houseplants, as positive emotions soared by 67%. Gaming console purchases saw the second highest increase in positive feelings (+66%), while trainers and fiction books were also among the purchases boosting moods.

Holidays abroad came in last; participants noted high levels of excitement but also reported an increase in concern due to its uncertainty.

“Our research reveals how small purchases can increase customers’ emotions in a positive way, something we all need after the past 12 months,” states Catherine Hilley, mobiles expert at

“With an average 63% increase in positive emotions noted across all top 10 purchases, it seems that shopping online for items such as houseplants, trainers and candles are sparking a lot more joy at the moment, than booking a holiday, which comes with a lot of added uncertainty.”

“From a cultural perspective, we have been conditioned to see shopping as a reward, either an investment in ourselves or for the satisfaction of others,” adds Lee Chambers, psychologist and wellbeing consultant. “Shopping is likely to activate the nucleus accumbens in our brain, releasing dopamine and motivating us to repeat the behaviour.

“Our brain is adaptive, and shopping can relieve stress, provide entertainment when bored and give us a hit of dopamine. The rewarding feeling will keep us finding new things to purchase, especially since our excitement and anticipation fade once we’ve received the item.

See the full list of online mood boosting purchases and read more about the research at