Are you superstitious? Good fortune is anyone’s for the taking—as long as you believe in it, that is.That’s what research published in the academic journal Psychological Science found after studying the phenomenon of “lucky charms” and how they impact successful people.QUIZ: Do You Feel Lucky?In a range of experiments, scientists at the University of Cologne, Germany, found that participants consistently outperformed competitors when they believed a lucky charm was present. In the first test, volunteers who were told they had a “lucky ball” in a golf putting game won more games than the others. In the second test, participants had to quickly place as many balls as possible into a slab with holes, and those who were told, “I’ll cross my fingers for you,” hailed more victory.In two more experiments, participants were allowed to bring lucky objects to tests involving memory and anagram word play. Half of the group were then asked to hand in the good luck charms before the exams, and those who were able to keep their cherished talismans performed better on both tests as a group.With results like that, even cynics may be inspired to reconsider the mystique of a rabbit’s foot. But experts say it’s less about the magic of hocus pocus, and more about the psychological power of the human mind. Those who carry and believe in lucky charms tend to set goals higher and enjoy boosts of confidence, which seems to result in enhanced performance and improved results. “Engaging in superstitious thoughts and behaviors may be one way to reach one’s top level of performance,” conclude the researchers in the article.MORE: Four Ways to Improve Your LuckAthletes are renowned for playing to superstition, from figure skater Michelle Kwan’s display of a Chinese charm necklace given to her by her grandmother at competitions, to Tiger Woods’ tradition of wearing a red shirt for Sunday tournaments. A similar proclivity towards good luck charms holds true for the fashion and beauty world, where dogged years of hard work and struggle often reap big rewards after an auspicious moment when a designer or artist is in the right place, at the right time.We asked some of beauty and fashion’s brightest stars to share what treasured charms have brought them luck and waves of prosperity. Might any of these talismans work the same magic for you? Perhaps they will, if you put your mind to it.
“My friend Gia created a jewelry company called Social Anarchy awhile back. She gave me a gold rune necklace with the symbol for a spiritual warrior,” says Carmindy. “It represents courage and dedication, and a willingness to undergo your passage with compassion and total trust. The ancient Norse [Vikings] used to paint this symbol— an arrow pointing upward—on their shields before heading into battle. I’m always forging ahead and planning onward and upward, so this rune fit me. I wear it every day as a reminder to never give up on anything in life.”MORE: How Lucky Will You Be With Aging?
Rachel RoyKnown for classically feminine designs that include sleek blouses, structured trench coats and draped dresses, it’s no wonder the California-born designer has repeatedly wooed today’s most prestigious fashion client: First Lady Michelle Obama. In fact, it’s her, er, seamless blend of design sensibility paired with socially conscious messaging (she ’s also a philanthropist) that draw both a stable of celebrities and everyday women to her designs. Fittingly, her lucky charm evokes the sense of inspiration fans often find in her designs.“I always carry seashells in my handbag or clutch as a good luck charm,” Roy tells YouBeauty. “I have a fear of open water and they remind me that if I conquer my fears, there’s always beauty waiting for me. They also remind me of everything that is created by the universe, as seashells are unique, very special and beautiful in their own way. Each shell that I carry on me is one that I or my girls have found,” says Roy, of young daughters Ava and Tallulah.
Mally RoncalWith a larger-than-life personality and brimming with quips, warmth and a girlish excitement for all things beauty, Roncal has attracted a regular client list of equally big names: Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige and Rihanna, among them. Her charm ties into the deep sense of family she shares with former-model –turned-husband-and-now-business-partner, Phil Bickett.MORE: How to Get Lucky in Love“My good luck charm is my “III” necklace!” says Roncal, who is often seen wearing the sentimental piece. “It’s a vintage Cartier charm that my husband and I miraculously found going through some of my aunt’s estate jewelry. We just thought it was so special because of our three beautiful babies!” says Mally of five year-old twins Sophie Grace, Pilar Elizabeth and youngest daughter, Vivienne.
Rita HazanArguably the most in-demand celebrity colorist in the world, Hazan’s work has inspired hair color trends and even resuscitated fledgling celebrity careers with the help of her sharp eye for reinvention. And clients are loyal –Celine Dion flies Hazan to Vegas every six weeks to maintain her pitch-perfect blonde while performing at Caesars Palace. For Hazan, a charm brings feelings of safety and security.
MORE: The Best Hair Color for Your Skintone“My grandmother gave me a small, flexible rose gold fish charm on a necklace, so it moves like a fish would,” says Hazan. “I wear it all the time, no matter what I’m doing, or what I’m wearing. I never take it off. My grandmother said fish protect you because they never close their eyes, even when they’re asleep. So I feel like someone is always looking out for me.”
Deborah LippmannHer nail color has graced the fingers of Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz, Reese Witherspoon and Renee Zellweger—as each leading lady reached out to accept their Oscars—and she has custom-blended shades ranging from the shimmering beige “Satin Doll” for Mariah Carey to the inky gunmetal “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” for Pat Benatar. Yet Lippmann’s lucky charm reminds her of what’s most important at the end of the day.“I travel so much for work. I never take my wedding band off when I’m away from my husband and our home,” says Lippmann of Jude Severin, who helps oversee her eponymously named polish brand. “My husband had it custom-designed, and it bonds me to him and our home, and keeps me grounded no matter where I am, or what I’m doing.”MORE: Oscar Winner Women, Unlucky in Love?