Do Men Like Makeup?

I’m going to address the popular question that keeps springing up again and again:

Do guys like girls who wear makeup?

The answer is yes... and no.

Before I begin articulating on this, I’m going to say it right out: I am not speaking for all men but I am speaking for the majority of men. Need more information? Hit up Google so you can all foray into the wonderful world of evolutionary psychology and the laws of attraction.

I also want to say that we’re talking about makeup completely objectively. That means we’re talking about what men think of makeup on an as-is basis (as an observer) without worrying about your foundation rubbing off on his shirt or the taste of glitter and plastic when you kiss him. The question that you’re actually asking is if men like makeup when they look at your face.

Thirdly, we’re talking about an everyday situation. Usually girls who ask this question want to know if guys mind it when they wear makeup every day. For special occasions, well isn’t it obvious? Most of the women on the red carpet wear makeup. For birthdays and holidays and parties, makeup is like a fashion accessory. We want to know if makeup is okay when shopping at the mall or going out for coffee.
"The guys who are informed (and quite likely have sisters) will say that they like makeup that enhances a girl's features."

So what do men say when girls ask this question? The less informed members of the opposite sex will claim that they prefer no makeup on a girl. The ones who are informed (and quite likely have sisters) will say that they like makeup that enhances a girl's features.

These boys have brought up a good point. Things that enhance our features make us look biologically attractive. Men look for high cheekbones, full lips, big eyes because these are things that spell out good genes. If you want to read more on this, check out Jena Pincott and read about the Golden Ratio.

Think about it. Have you ever seen a tutorial on how to make your eyes look smaller? Or your nose bigger? Or your cheeks paler? Because these things mean that you’re not as healthy. Some type of features are more attractive than others and have helped women secure mates over thousands of years. So let’s add that to the list of what guys like...

1. Enhance your features – just like sucking in your cheeks during pictures, a little bronzer can make you look way hotter.

Here is what men don’t like in makeup: obvious makeup. That goes anywhere from racoon eyes to cakey foundation. Maybe some guys do like tastefully done thick eyeliner (he’s an Amy Winehouse fan?) but the majority of them want you to keep it simple.

2. Keep it simple – don’t wear bright red lipstick to a grocery store unless you’re Gwen Stefani.

Notice how I used the words ‘obvious’ instead of ‘too much’ to describe what sort of makeup men don’t like? Because too much is OKAY... as long as it doesn’t look like it is too much.



In 2006, Cosmo did a study on men's opinions on makeup. They were presented with one out of three pictures of the same model and asked to rate her attractiveness:
  • One with minimal makeup: concealer and mascara.
  • Another one with slightly heavier makeup: foundation, concealer, light blush, mascara, lip gloss.
  • A third one with full makeup: foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, highlighter, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss.
It's important to note that none of these girls looked overly made up but they did look different in every photo.

85% of men preferred the third photo. When asked if they thought the girl was wearing makeup in the latter photo, they answered that she was wearing either minimal or none. Furthermore, when asked what makeup they thought she had on, they answered lip gloss and sometimes eyeliner.
"My friend has always gone on tirades about “cake faces” and how girls shouldn’t wear makeup. He thought I didn’t wear makeup. What an idiot!"
Besides Cosmo, here’s a case study: ME. Before my tan this summer did me in, I was geared with MAC foundation, concealer, powder, the works basically. I was sharing a room with a male friend in Vegas and when I woke up in the morning- he asked me if I was sick. Granted, I did have a few breakouts and I was hungover as hell but I didn’t think I deserved that sort of treatment. While he watched me put on my makeup in the bathroom, he was in shock. My friend has always gone on tirades about “cake faces” and how girls shouldn’t wear makeup. He thought I didn’t wear makeup. What an idiot.

3. Keep it natural looking – even if you have a pound of foundation on your face, you can make it look natural with a few tools. Go get yourself some primer!

This primer point is important because sometimes what looks good in the morning can melt into a sticky mess at the end of the day. Keeping it natural looking all day can be a challenge but you want him to like you the way you look all day.
Gogus olculeri

4. Keep it in place – running mascara never looks natural.

I’m going to throw a bone to the boys and help them out because I know how much this can be a problem. Like I said, this article is meant to address makeup on a purely visual basis but let’s get real, some boys don’t like all that crap on you when they’re kissing you...

5. If you’re planning on rubbing up against him, go light or skip the heavy stuff.

And that really concludes this article. These aren’t makeup tips but a slight hint of what you should do if you’re looking to look better for the opposite sex. If you’re naturally beautiful, well... why are you worrying about this article, you lucky bitch?


Need more proof? Just show the closest guy a bunch of pictures of Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie without makeup on. That’ll do the trick.

So here is our answer: Men love makeup. They largely prefer it. They just don't like obvious makeup. And most don't know that they like makeup.
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What Guys Said 18

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  • I don't like girls wearing makeup at all, It's good because it gives them more confidence and all. But I've seen girls without makeup and they look a lot better (paler of course) but that's what I go for. Most guys can't tell when a girl is wearing makeup unless she looks like an extra from charlie and the chocolate factory. So I don't think it's a worth while investment, the only people who care/notice are other girls. I used to have glitter left over my face and would only find out hours later!

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  • Mostly agree with you. I personally like make up when it complements the girls features.

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  • I agree with you 100% I don't like cake faces.

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  • I only like makeup on a girl if I've seen her without it first.

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What Girls Said 30

  • @glitterberryalisa Exactly. It's not that we're not beautiful- it takes some serious skill to change the defining characteristics of our face just with makeup but makeup helps make it more attractive by smoothing out our skin, making our eyes appear brighter and larger etc.

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  • this is my opinion, but my take on it is that NOTHING against girls but lets be honest, guys always say "oh I like it when girls are natural" well I think they really mean natural makeup because most girls don't look attractive with a bare face, nothing against them, I sure look dead myself without makeup on lol so as long as you don't have a TON of makeup caked on your face, I really don't think it matters that much. as long as you look attractive and normal, guys will like you.

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  • I don't know if I agree with that Jonny. You're right, most guys can't tell when a girl is wearing make up but they usually know when she's not.

    P.S. Like I said, anything that will rub off on your guy is a no-no.

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  • AWESOME ARTICLE. Thank you. You finally answered the question. Men actually love makeup, they just don't know their girl is wearing it ;]

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  • And most don't know that they like makeup. - Indeed. ^^

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