Beauty and methods of achieving it is an ideal that our modern society is very much concerned with. Since the latter half of the 20th century there has been an increasing focus on the body as a vehicle for identity and self expression with a greater recognition of the role of appearance and the desire for self-improvement (Honigman and Castle, 2016). More so, the desire for beauty is not purely a late 20th century phenomenon. There are well documented beauty practices and use of cosmetics that date back as far as Cleopatra’s milk baths, the use of kohl to darken and enhance the eyes, vegetable dyes on cheeks and lips, and hair adornments (Honigman and Castle, 2016). Cosmetics are natural or synthetic/chemical substances used to improve or enhance the appearance of an individual. Cosmetics are artificially applied to the body either by surgical or non-surgical methods, which are meant to enhance the physical appearance of a person. The use of cosmetics is mostly associated with women due to their constant desire to enhance their appearance. This study would therefore go further to examine and describe certain underlying factors promoting women’s desire to enhance their appearance. Furthermore, the output of cosmetic use depends on the style of application, current trend, quality of product and the level of exposure or civilization of the individual. Some people abuse cosmetics usage while to others, it is the most irrelevant but no matter how cosmetics are used or applied, they remain an effort to enhance the physical appearance of a person (Bruno and Luisella, 2010). There are two categories of cosmetics enhancement: the surgical means and the non-surgical means. The Surgical means refers to cosmetics enhancement conducted with the aim of adjusting the normal body structure to be more attractive. For example, procedures such as breast augmentation, facelift, tummy tucks, and so on. While Non-surgical means refers to cosmetics enhancement done by the application of substances to the body. Examples include the use of makeup- such as foundations, powders, eye shadow, eyeliners, lipsticks, etc., the use of bleaching creams, skin toners, fake eyelashes, padded buttocks, padded bras, and nail polish, amongst others (Bruno and Luisella, 2010). The Non-surgical means of cosmetics enhancement is what this research study is concerned with, this is because, it is the most common and frequently used form of cosmetic improvement. Most young women opt for this method of improvement, as it is affordable, easier to use and less risky. The research will go further to investigate certain underlying factors that promote this behavioral pattern. These factors include the mass media, psychological factors, religion, etc.1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMThe standards of beauty has varied throughout time, various cultures and has gained diverse perceptions of the world. Many have asserted that “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” implying that beauty itself is a self-concept and that everyone has their definition of beauty. But in recent times, beauty cannot be held to be a self-concept anymore as women most especially young women go to great lengths in altering their appearance with cosmetics. Cosmetic use and subsequently the use of make-up has gained utmost prominence amongst young women. In Nigeria today, cosmetic application has become a common phenomenon among younger women especially ladies in tertiary institutions. Some are well addicted to the use of cosmetics and thus feel unattractive without it (Amubode,Olabode and Goriola, 2015). Furthermore, a study by the Smart Beauty panel found that women spend about $7.5 b on beauty products each year, but when it comes to cosmetics, 80% more money is spent (Smith, 2009). Thus, revealing that a good percentage of time and resources go into the purchasing of cosmetics and the subsequent use of it. This study is therefore directed towards understanding certain underlying factors promoting the use of cosmetics among female students of tertiary institutions particularly the University of Ibadan. 1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONSWhat are the factors influencing the use of cosmetics?What are patterns of use of cosmetics ? Do female students wear them for some situations only? Do female students use cosmetics depending on the social context in which they find themselves?How does using and not using cosmetics relate to self-identity? RESEARCH OBJECTIVESTo ascertain the prevalence of cosmetic use among female students of the University of Ibadan.To find out the factors promoting the use of cosmetics among female students of the University of Ibadan. To investigate the challenges faced by female students of the University of Ibadan in the course of using cosmetics.1.5 STUDY HYPOTHESISHo = there is no relationship between female students course of study and the level of cosmetic useHo = there is no relationship between religious beliefs and level of cosmetic use. Ho = there is no relationship between mass media and level of cosmetic use. 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDYThis study is directed towards identifying the underlying social factors that influence human behavior and perception. Therefore, this work will go a long way to increase the knowledge and understanding of human behavior for both the researcher, reader and the general public. 1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDYThis project will focus on describing the factors influencing cosmetic use, with preference on the female undergraduate students of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State. The subject matter shall be restricted to the University of Ibadan with reference to its female undergraduate students. The study will center on the non-surgical means of cosmetic enhancement which is most common among female students.2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW/THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKHISTORY OF COSMETICS Draelos (2001) noted that the history of cosmetics is an important part of how color is used to adorn the body in modern society.He stated that:The use of eyelid cosmetics was recorded as early as 4000BC. Green powder made from malachite was heavily applied to both the upper and lower eyelids, accompanied by dark kohl eyeliner paste composed of powdered antimony, burnt almonds, black copper oxide, and brown clay ocher. Draelos also noted that the cosmetic pastes were put in a pot and mixed with saliva.In Japan, lipstick was made of crushed petals of safflower which was used to paint the eyebrows and edges of women’s eyes and lips (Chaudhri and Jain, 2009). Also, rice powder was used to color the face and back. In the traditional culture of Japan, women having whitened skin was common.In the ancient Egyptian times, cosmetics such as face paints, oils, solids, and fats(ointment) were for the skin (Lucas, 1930).The ancient Egyptians took great pride in their appearance and in cleanliness (Chaudhri and Jain, 2009). Throughout past centuries, cosmetics were applied as part of a variety of ceremonies and rituals. For instance, during the Middle Ages in Europe, economic status determined how much time a person had to spend outdoors. People in the lower classes had to work outdoors, whereas those in the upper classes had more leisure time and stayed indoors more, which kept their skin pale and unexposed to the sun (Chaudhri and Jain, 2009). Thus, European American men and women used white powder on their body to appear more aristocratic (Chaudhri and Jain,2009). According to Wells and Lubowe(1964), cited in Davis, C.(2013), the first true facial foundation was developed 1936 by Max Factor as a cake make-up that was widely used by women. This product added facial color as well as a velvety look. Since that time, vast arrays of cosmetics lines have been introduced tremendously. And according to Draelos (2001), facial foundation is a popular facial cosmetic with the greatest impact on the health of the skin.FEMALE ATTRACTIVENESSThe determinants of female attractiveness seems to have its basis on the physical characteristics such as body type, weight, skin colour, breast size, and facial symmetry (Voracek and Fisher, 2015).The idea about physical beauty are likely to differ from society to society, however more pressure seem to be put on women to be attractive than on men because women are often judged more on their looks than on any other personal aspect or quality (Baron, 2015). For this reason, women may be affected by how they look and by the way they perceive themselves because “a woman’s body image is at the core of who she is” (Baron, 2005). Marsha L. Richins and Peter H. Bloch, in their work titled “You Look ‘Mahvelous’: The Pursuit of Beauty and the Marketing Concept.” Focused on understanding adornments, items used to increase attractiveness and to obtain accompanying benefits, and how they are related to assessments about attractiveness (Bloch and Richins, 1992). As cited in Britton(2012), adornments could include a wide range of items from jewelry, make up, clothes etc., it is basically any form of decoration that makes a person feel better and more attractive. Results from the study indicated that people who believe they are unattractive will depend heavily on adornments as compensatory tools (Bloch and Richins, 1992). Research has shown that cosmetics go a long way in improving female attractiveness when judgements are made based on photographs (Guegen and Jacob, 2010). Graham and Jouhar (1981) as cited in…. in a study, reported that with facial makeup, women were rated as being more feminine, more tidy, cleaner and more attractive. They were also considered to be more secure, interesting, poised, sociable, organized, confident, and popular. In addition to this, Nash, Fieldman, Hussey, Leveque and Pineau, (2006) reported that women who wore cosmetics were viewed as healthier and more confident than when they were presented without cosmetics.Women in the quest to look attractive get drawn into the world of cosmetics. go ahead to alter their skin colour which is known as skin bleaching. Skin bleaching is the practice of applying hydroquinone and/or other depigmenting agents to parts of the body in order to lighten a normally dark skin. Women carry the perception that “the lighter their skin, the prettier”. Skin bleaching has been perceived as a method of enhancing ones beauty. PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORSRobertson, Fieldman, and Hussey (2008) looked at how women’s personality traits predicted their use of cosmetics. Robertson et al. (2008) found that the use of cosmetics was positively associated with psychological factors such as self-confidence, self-esteem, physical attractiveness and emotional stability. Furthermore, Robertson et al. (2008) suggested that some traits make women aware of an interest in their physical looks which results in the desire to alter their appearance according to an image that is ideal and more conforming to social preferences and expectations. Over the years, studies have shown that women are more psychologically required to maintain their beauty and attractiveness.Kelson et al., (1990) add that many women use cosmetics to meet societal standards and to gain attention from the opposite sex but also to receive compliment from other women. This reflects across different races and cultures of different nations. Societies all over the world have their concept of beauty and it is trajected into the consciousness of its women both old and young as to what is recognized or accepted as being beautiful. The need to show off as cited in Rahimi N.A.,2005, is one of the twenty defined cases of important needs and it is defined as thus: “The need to show off means putting yourself under consideration, affecting others, stimulating them, arising their curiosity, and entertaining them”. As a response to this need, women thus rely on cosmetics to enhance their physical look and appearance and project themselves as perfect. COSMETICS AND RELIGION COSMETICS AND MASS-MEDIAThe role of the mass media cannot be ignored in explaining the factors promoting cosmetic use among women. The mass media affects the perception, mindset, attitude and behavior of people profoundly. It transmits different types of information that people cannot access in other ways. Through different mediums such as TV, magazine, books, newspapers ,radio, films etc, the mass media is able to bring us closer with the trade we could not otherwise have adequate knowledge about (Rafaatjah, 2003).According to Brown (2001), and Synnot (1988), In today’s society, due to the overemphasis on beauty and image presented in fashion, cinema, and media magazines, attention to appearance and body shape among women is extreme, that almost all women at a point in time in her life has experienced feelings of dissatisfaction and shame with appearance and it is not peculiar to a specific social class, race, or level of education. The role of the mass media cannot be overemphasized as it affects the mindsets and attitude of people deeply.It has been found that compared to men, women are more sensitive to body image (Hajigholizadeh, 2016). The mass media through advertisements creates unrealistic images of beauty, which has resulted in anxiety, low self-confidence, and low self-esteem among many women (Britton, 2012). Because the mass-media has been identified as a cause to why women feel unattractive, it is therefore in correspondence that these women who lack self-esteem and self-confidence will resort to using adornments. According to Cash and Cash (1982), in their study, “Women’s Use of Cosmetics,” discovered that public self-consciousness is positively related with the use of cosmetics. They included that, many women who lack self-esteem are also self-conscious, and thus they use adornments to blend into a world of beauty they –these self-conscious women do not fit into (Cash and Cash, 1982). CHALLENGES INVOLVEDIn the use of cosmetics, women are faced with many challenges such as irritations, 2.4 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK . SELF-OBJECTIFICATION THEORYFredrickson and Roberts (1997) proposed objectification theory as a framework for understanding the psychological effects of being a woman in society. On a regular basis women are faced with objectifying images and messages within the media, thereby encouraging women to objectify the self (Wolf, 1991). Self-objectification arises when a person or society places emphasis on physical appearance, beliefs about the importance of appearance and internalization of appearance ideals (Lee and Johnson, 2009). In this light, using cosmetics to enhance or improve one’s appearance may be a consequence of objectifying the self. 3.0 METHODOLOGY Research methodology is a systematic investigation or method applied for the purpose of solving a problem in a particular field of study. It seeks to understand and identify problems such as natural and social events through observation or experiments with aim of explaining them.3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN The research design to be used in this study is cross-sectional survey design. Data will be collected from a representative sample at a specific point in time. The design will provide a glimpse of the variables included in the study, at one particular point in time. It will investigate the factors promoting the use of cosmetics streamlining it to the female undergraduate students of the University of Ibadan.3.2 STUDY LOCATION This study will be conducted among the female undergraduate students of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The university is the oldest in Nigeria founded in 1948. It is the premier university in Nigeria and it is ranked the number one in Africa. It is located five miles from the centre of the major city of Ibadan in Western Nigeria.3.3 POPULATION OF STUDY This is a study of group of individuals taken from the general public. It defines the population, whom to be studied, which could be based on age, sex, ethnicity, etc. This research study is aimed at investigating the factors enhancing the use of cosmetics among females, therefore the population of this study will comprise of the female undergraduate students from the University of Ibadan. Due to the limitation of both time and resources, the research will be conducted by randomly picking female students from different faculties, level of study, age group, religious affiliation, etc. This would help in obtaining a valid and reliable data. 3.4 SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE The University of Ibadan has thirteen faculties and about fourteen halls of residence. In order to effectively collect data and information that would be representative of the total population, a sample size of 200 participants will be selected to provide unbiased results. Sampling technique is a process of selecting a number of individuals to represent a population. For the purpose of this study, Stratified random sampling will used (because of the different individual characteristics) and Purposive sampling (this is to derive the faculties for research and to enable the study cut across different fields of study. 3.5 INSTRUMENT AND METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION The instrument of data collection for this study will be the use of questionnaire. The questionnaire will be administered to female students of the different faculties in the university of Ibadan. The questionnaire will be divided into two sections which are :SECTION A: this section will contain the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and it will be called the demographic section. SECTION B: This section would contain questions related to the topic under research and it would be called opinionated questions.Questionnaires will be distributed among a random sample of 200 female students of the University of Ibadan. The questionnaires contain 35 questions related to psychological, religious, and social factors. 3.6 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSISThe simple percentage statistical tool will be used in analyzing the demographic characteristics of respondents and the data collected. The completed questionnaires will be screened and data entered into the Scientific Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for analysis. 3.7 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONDue to the importance of ethics in research, the respondents would be adequately informed about the study. Their consent would be duly sought, and participation in the study will be voluntary, and withdrawal from the study at any time will be granted.