Study reveals what men really think of women wearing makeup

About 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt, men and women were practicing good skincare with essential oils and using available materials as makeup to beautify their faces.

The cosmetics industry has largely evolved since times when paint was used to highlight eyes, with women today going as far as cosmetic surgery, all in the hopes of being more attractive.

But, if you’re a woman on the prowl for a good husband, a new study reveals that makeup is more of a repellent to men than bait. Keep reading to learn more about what this study reveals about the connection between makeup and women finding an awesome partner.

Women have long used makeup to hide imperfections, enhance their natural features, and as a confidence-booster.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “appearance can be manipulated for better or for worse,” meaning that women wearing cosmetics are either using makeup to camouflage imperfections, or as a tool for seduction.

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This can be tricky for men, who might see someone different when the makeup is removed.

A new study reveals that men are not wanting to be duped by a perfectly painted face.

Artificial is less attractive

Researchers say that men, who are looking for long-term relationships, prefer women without makeup.

The study, titled “The cost of beauty: Perception of makeup and male mate choice,” shows that men looking for serious mates, are less interested in “artificially enhanced” features, and that women wearing makeup lowered their preference “during mate choice, especially for men who are pursuing a long-term.”

Surprisingly, no matter how beautiful a woman is naturally, men can also tell if a woman is wearing cosmetics, or if she had cosmetic surgery.

In fact, the participants – even those who don’t know much about makeup – made the distinction between make-up enhanced faces and natural faces within 50 milliseconds. 

Also, these men consistently perceived women wearing makeup as having lower perceived mate value as potential long-term partners, even with longer exposure time (6500 milliseconds).

The findings suggest that men are quickly aware of genuine physical features when looking for a potential partner, which drives their decision of rejecting women with cosmetics, especially when seeking a serious, long-term relationship.


The study writes, “These results suggest that men are sensitive to the authenticity of the physical characteristics of potential mates and they can alter their tendency of mate choices accordingly, especially for men who are pursuing a long-term relationship.”

So why do women wear makeup?

Women across the United States were asked why they wear makeup and here’s what they said:

  • 49% for a confidence boost
  • 45% use it for special occasions
  • 34% to enhance features
  • 30% to cover blemishes
  • 26% for self-expression
  • 25% to hide the signs of aging

What people are saying

Meanwhile, online users had a lot to say about women wearing makeup to please men.

“We wear makeup for ourselves. Not others approval,” writes on woman. A second shares, “I wear makeup for myself, because I like it. Makeup is not bad for the skin, poor hygiene habits are. Let people do whatever they feel like doing as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else!”

A third adds, “My hubby said he loves both. without makeup because it’s the true look of myself – all natural. with makeup because he said I look happy in it, playing with colours and stuff.”

Credit: Shutterstock

One gentleman jumped in an offered his opinion, “I love to see my love with very little amount of makeup. That way I still can see her natural beauty. And I fell for her natural beauty not for makeup after all.”

Other netizens say makeup is a great tool to cover medical issues. One user writes, “I have some health issues so I wear some makeup (especially blush) to look healthy. Otherwise, I look really pale and tired. I wear makeup for me, not for others.”

What do you think of this study? Please let us know your thoughts and then share this story with your friends so we can hear what they have to say!


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