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How Do Men View Our Makeup?

As a single woman in my late 20’s, I consistently observe the male attention I receive on my weekday grind and when out with friends. Admittedly, I enjoy getting dolled up before stepping out for a special event and thanks to The YouTube School of Beauty, I have been a makeup lover since my college years.

Recently, I began to notice obvious differences in male reaction to my full makeup looks (complete with my favorite shade of MAC lipstick, Ruby Woo) versus my everyday face that involves only concealer, mascara, and tinted lip balm.

Though I have always heard men say they prefer a “natural look,” I wanted a better understanding of this seemingly widespread opinion. A male friend was more than willing to elaborate on why he feels women should wear makeup minimally or none at all.

He explained that a guy would rather meet us at our perceived worst than find out later what lies beneath.

“When I’m interested in a woman, I want to see the real her…I don’t want to be tricked.” There’s all this stuff women use to conceal their imperfections and I don’t like it. I shouldn’t be able to ‘wipe away’ her beauty with a wet wash cloth.”

In addition to feeling like (as he put it) women use foundation as a “filter,” my friend admitted that in social settings, he is actually intimidated by a woman wearing excess makeup. “A woman with a more natural looking appearance automatically seems more down to Earth to me, and I will be more inclined to walk up to her and introduce myself.” It is important for men to feel like women are within their reach. A “beat-faced” woman sitting at the bar may be as interesting as or even more interesting than the next, but a man may not even bother to find out due to fear of rejection.

Surely, there is nothing wrong with a woman putting extra effort into her appearance, but the effort tends to be more appreciated in wardrobe. A man will not likely complain about a nice dress paired with sexy heels (unless, he is vertically challenged and unconfident about it). Thus, softer, “no makeup” looks allow intriguing outfits to do the talking.

Considering my own approachability factor, when applying my makeup, I will continue to use my own judgment of how much is enough. However, I will be mindful of the signals I am sending to potential suitors. After all, the best make up is a smile that exudes genuine confidence. That’s what truly matters above everything else.


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