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What makes women attractive?

It’s a contentious question for sure so let me define some parameters here, I want to talk about the female face and what science has found to be the answer to the question “What makes women attractive?”

Before we continue, I want to add that this article doesn’t take into account the wide array of who uses makeup and why. The current research on this topic focuses on straight men and women and is on the assumption that only women wear it. This is not to say that this article does not apply if you don’t fit within this specific group, but the currently available research for different groups is limited.

What does the science say about what makes women attractive?

Research has discovered these two universal characteristics that contribute to the attractiveness of a woman’s face.

1. The amount of color contrast around the lips and eyes

Generally women tend to have darker lips and skin around their eyes. So the male brain will subconsciously note that as a sign of femininity. The more color contrast between a woman’s eyes and lips and her skin tone, the more feminine and therefore, evolutionary attractive she appears to be. Lipstick and eye shadow are makeup essentials because they enhance these two features.

Remember: The visual of enhanced outer eye and lip color is greatest on straight men, after all, they biologically are wired to be drawn to feminine-looking, fertile women.

2. How symmetrical the face is

The Association for Psychological Science explains that we like symmetrical faces, even when we can’t perceive the symmetry. Although it is mostly unnoticed, the majority of faces are slightly asymmetrical– one side of the face might be wider than another, eyes can have minor differences, one cheekbone may be a bit less pronounced, and so on. The fewer of these variations a face has, the more attractive it is perceived. Makeup evens contouring and skin tone , lip liner and eyeliner can also make those features appear more symmetrical.

Watch the video below about how 100 different men reacted to a the same female with 3 different makeup looks on Tinder.

The three standout things from the video to highlight:

  1. The account with bare-faced makeup received the most friendly—not flirtatious—replies. Men appeared to see her as a potential new buddy as opposed to a sexually-attractive partner.
  2. The account with an average amount of makeup received the most flirty replies and request for dates.
  3. The account with the glam makeup gave men the impression that she was looking for easy hookups.

If you’re single, consider these findings when you present yourself online or when dating and also consider how do you want to be perceived.

Makeup is an effective tool to appear more biologically attractive. The question is how do to make the most of it?

If you have the time, energy and inclination to do so, you can fcapitalize on the power of makeup with these four tips:

  • Blush: Biological studies show that a pink tint to your cheeks makes you look younger and, to the subconscious mind, slightly aroused, because for many, it resembles their natural color in a state of arousal.
  • Mascara, eye shadow and eyeliner: Cosmetic surgeon Adam J. Scheiner, M.D. says that because women naturally have more color variation around their eyes, eye makeup enhances that and makes them look more attractive. You can use these products to increase the perceived size of your eyes so you look younger.
  • Lipstick: This increases the color contrast of the mouth. It also is probably no surprise that women who wear red lipstick are perceived as more attractive to straight men than those who opt for a more muted color of lipstick or none at all.
  • Contour: As we previously discussed, our brains love symmetrical faces. Contouring your face can make it more symmetrical in addition to sharpening your angles.

Closing Note: Keep it Subtle and Sweet

Makeup can be important, but far too many women make the mistake of wearing so much that they lose its benefits.

One study had women do their makeup as they would for a night out, and researchers took pictures throughout the process. Then they showed the pictures of women’s faces ranging from zero makeup to fully made up— several in-between pictures—to men and women, and asked them to judge which photos were the most attractive. They found that, on average, women were rated the most attractive with 60% of the makeup they put on for a night out. In other words, most women wear so much makeup that it exceeds what is considered attractive.

Another study found that when makeup is not overdone, it makes women appear more likable, trustworthy, and competent.

Bottom line: Be mindful of the impression you want to make, and focus on using makeup to enhance your natural beauty but what ever you do that makes you feel more attractive or confident in public is always the best thing for you.