For as long as I can remember, men have declared they prefer ''the natural look'' on women. But that could all be complete hogwash, says a new study from internet dating website Zoosk, which claims men’s online actions actually say the opposite.
The study analysed 1200 women’s profiles on Zoosk, and the results are rather damning: women wearing make-up in their profile pictures attract three times as many hits as those who don’t.
But still, men swear they like women without make-up. And we’ve all heard it. ''Lipstick is gross.'' ''Do you really have to wear all that stuff on your face?'' '''I wish you’d wipe that off.'' ''Blah blah blah.'' (Which is actually what this sounds like to us, because we ignore comments like this.)
Ernie Arias, 38, confirms: ''Push-up bras, heels, spray tans, hair colour, fake lashes and make-up too? No guy wants a girl that turns into a pumpkin at midnight.''
While 42-year-old Sam Delate is adamant he married his wife because she was a natural beauty. ''The reason I have a preference for little make-up on girls is that's what they will look like naturally in the morning, as opposed to lying next to someone who can supply all the concealer to fill the cracks in the wall,'' Delate says.
And we believed you. But we’ve also seen guys lose control of their jaw when they stumble across the heavily made-up Miss Universe contestants on TV one Saturday afternoon. Or while checking out the latest caked-on babe in the new Transformers movie.
The Zoosk study is the most specific piece of evidence yet, however. Ladies who wore eye make-up were 139 per cent more likely to receive a note than those who didn’t. Women who wore lipstick were 119 per cent more likely to get notes than those who went without. If a gal happened to be wearing blush, they got 24 per cent more notes than those who abstained.
That doesn’t add up, does it, blokes? What’s with the ''go natural'' message if you’re going to only hit on dolled-up women?
Yet men maintain they’ll go for less over more every time. Recently single Rob Tigust, 41, who is now online dating, says: ''I only like make-up around the eyes. I don’t like lipstick, especially red. If it’s between a girl with no make-up or a full make-up job, I’ll take the girl with none. I guess in the back of my mind lots of make-up means [they’re] high maintenance and they’re probably not that secure within their own body.''
Words. But actions speak louder. If more guys are going for girls with an expertly applied face, it follows they must be more attracted to made-up women, correct?
Not necessarily. According to online dater Dan McMillan, 32: ''A lot depends on the photo. Eyeliner might mean she looks better in the shot, but in real life it’s a totally different story. I’m probably more likely to tap a girl if she’s wearing some make-up than none at all.''
Confused yet? So are the boys. In a different survey of men on the Zoosk site, 66 per cent of men said they didn’t like dark make-up, while 57 per cent said that they wouldn’t like a women wearing red lippie on a first date.
And you think we’re a mystery.
I didn’t even realise men knew what blush was, and perhaps they don’t. The fact that women wearing make-up get more hits online may have been because they just looked ''healthy'' with a glow on their face, whether that was natural or painted on. In my experience, men don’t really pay too much attention to how many coats of mascara you’re wearing, as long as you’re not channeling La Toya Jackson.
There’s always debate raging about whether women dress for men, and in truth, we don’t. A ''no make-up'' girl is not suddenly about to bust out the lippie just because guys like it, and a woman who loves her warpaint isn’t abruptly going to wipe it off just because a bloke tells her to. Women who radiate confidence and happiness always draw more people to them – men and women included – and online, I bet that translates best as women smiling in their profile photo. I wonder if Zoosk took that into consideration with its survey.