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Do Guys Like Makeup? 5 Surprising Reasons Why Your Man Might Prefer Your Natural Face

Updated on July 25, 2017
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After seeing many friends (or himself) seduced by love, only to crash and burn afterwards, Jorge writes advice based on his observations.

Chances are, your makeup will be more appealing to you than to a guy.
Chances are, your makeup will be more appealing to you than to a guy.

Do Guys Like Makeup?

Are you a woman? Have you ever slaved away in front of the mirror, scrutinizing your face, trying to make your skin look as flawless as possible, only to find that your boyfriend barely seemed to care?

Maybe you did your makeup completely differently that day and you had a conversation like this:

"Notice anything different?"

"Uh, did you change your hair?"

"God, why do I even bother?!"

Right now you might be wondering how I know your life. What, have I been spying on your conversations? Am I a fly on the wall? Am I psychic?

Nope. I'm just a guy who has had this same conversation countless times--with both girlfriends and (fabulously gay) boyfriends who wear makeup.

I'm sorry, but here's the truth: We don't care. The question, "Do guys like makeup?" is kind of moot because we don't even think about it, to be honest.

Unless a guy is feminine, chances are that he will not notice what you put on your face--at least not directly.

Yes, I know, I know. You do all that hard work, would it kill us to appreciate it?

Or maybe it bothers you that someone would even imply that you do it to be attractive to men. You do it for yourself, not to please "the male gaze," right?

Let's get real here. Many women put on makeup to look more sexually attractive. Most women are straight, so many (though not all) are at least subconsciously trying to appeal to men. At the very least, it's common for a woman to expect to be more appealing to men by wearing makeup.

This sounds logical on the surface. You look nicer, so why wouldn't a guy find your face more attractive when it's done up?

The problem is that women often miscalculate what actually makes them attractive to the opposite sex. In fact, a study on men and women's makeup preferences supports this.

As a woman, you will tend to find different things attractive than a man would--and yet how often do you take for granted that a man sees female beauty the same way you do?

All humans are guilty of assuming that others view things from our personal perspectives when they don't.

The truth is that your man probably prefers less makeup on you than you think, for a few important reasons that you might have not considered:

1) Men View Appearances Holistically

The first thing you have to understand about (most) guys is that the small details escape us.

We forget anniversaries, birthdays, and so on. We forget random comments that we made during an argument (even though you'll remember every word). We barely notice when our fly is open and when there is lint on our pants.

Similarly, a guy is unlikely to notice small changes in your appearance. If he doesn't notice his own messy cowlicked hair and the stains on his T-Shirt, how is he going to notice that you plucked your eyebrows into the perfect arch?

It's not that guys don't appreciate the appearances of women. Obviously, we do. It's just that we view them holistically.

What does this mean? Well, rather than seeing you as a collection of a million little details--your eye shadow, your lipstick, your fancy blouse, your cute heels that you paid way too much for--we'll view you as a whole picture.

A guy will look at you for two seconds, and in those important few seconds, his brain will say, "Nice, I like" or "Meh, I don't like."

It really is that simple. You press the right button or your don't.

There is no, "Hmmm, she's cute, I guess, but if she wore a bit more eyeliner maybe it would bring out her eyes more."

Nope. To be crude, either a guy looks at you and is aroused by how you look, or he's not.

A woman with a good makeup job can look attractive to a guy, but he won't care about the makeup per se.
A woman with a good makeup job can look attractive to a guy, but he won't care about the makeup per se.

2) What You Don't Show Speaks Volumes

Another factor that you might consider is that makeup is meant to cover things up most of the time. Maybe you feel that it is just enhancing your features--and maybe it is--but often makeup is used to hide (perceived or real) flaws in the skin.

The fact that you have to hide these imperfections directly implies that there's something to hide in the first place. Maybe people can't see it, but their mind will subconsciously fill in the blanks.

More importantly, when used excessively, it can reveal insecurity about ones appearance. That's not attractive on anybody, no matter how "perfect" ones face looks physically.

Your Personal Theory

Do guys like makeup? What do you think?

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3) Raw Nature is Arousing to Men

If an older woman wears tons of makeup in an effort to hide her signs of aging, is she as appealing to most men as a young woman with no makeup would be?

No. The natural signs of youth cannot be faked without surgery, so most men will find the younger woman more attractive. The exception to this would be guys who are specifically attracted to older women (in which case, they will want to see her signs of age).

If a guy finds something attractive, he will most likely prefer the natural version of it.

For example, most people find natural breasts to be more attractive than fake ones. Talented plastic surgeons go to great lengths to make the fakery look as natural as possible for this very reason.

Similarly, if you are a woman, what do you find more attractive: a guy who looks lean and cut from naturally taking care of his body, or a guy who looks like a massive hard lump of impossibly huge muscles that could only have been built with steroids?

It makes sense that people would evolve a tendency to be attracted to what looks natural and effortless. These are signals that tell us someone is fit for survival and reproduction.

This doesn't mean you have to be perfect. Please don't take it to mean that! A few flaws here and there are a good thing. It makes you look real. A warm body made of real flesh is more attractive than flawless plastic to most people. If your lover wanted perfection instead of messy humanity, he'd be dating a mannequin.

In fact, if you doubt the primacy of nature, think carefully about what your boyfriend's favorite outfit on you is. That's right: none. Your birthday suit is probably his #1 choice every time.

You can wear the most elaborate dress in the world and, at the end of the day, all he will be thinking about is what's underneath it. The same is true for the makeup on your face.

If a guy really likes you, he's going to be too busy wondering what's under your clothes to care what's on your face.
If a guy really likes you, he's going to be too busy wondering what's under your clothes to care what's on your face.

4) There is Nothing You Can Add to Who You Are

If a guy physically likes you, he likes you for you--not for the stuff you add on top. Likewise, if he does not find you attractive, there is nothing you could add to yourself to make him truly attracted to you.

In general, a guy will be attracted to your rawest form, so you will get better mileage by becoming your best raw form. This means that if you want to be attractive to a guy, focus on the big-picture things that will make you appear more fit.

Cleaning up your diet and looking more healthy, for instance, will make you much more attractive to a man than learning to do your makeup better.

5) He Sees You Differently Than You See Yourself

Finally--and this may be the most obvious point of all--he may not see the flaws that you see in the first place.

Just as he doesn't notice your new shade of foundation, he probably didn't notice the pimple that you were trying to cover it up with. In a sense, his lack of awareness is a blessing and a curse.

It goes both ways, though. There are probably flaws that he sees in himself that you never think about. A person is often his own worst critic.

One thing is certain, though: Others see you differently than you see yourself. Unless they are particularly judgmental, they will scrutinize you way less than you do. With that kind of lens, you can't expect someone to care about, appreciate, or even notice the makeup you put on your face.

So, Do Guys Prefer No Makeup or What?

Yes, some prefer no makeup. Some prefer a little makeup. A minority prefer a lot.

Chances are, though, that most of the guys in your life prefer less makeup than you think.

Does this mean that you shouldn't wear makeup? Of course not. Wear whatever you want! Just don't expect any guy to notice or really care. You're more likely to attract a woman's admiration with your cosmetics.

Your makeup, clothes, and fancy accessories will mean very little to most guys.

If you really want to get a guy's attention, just be naked. That'll do it.

Your Preferences

Forget about other people's opinions for a second. What do you prefer on your face?

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