Women who never leave the house without layering on foundation, blush and eye makeup might want to reconsider their beauty routine, especially if the goal is to make themselves more attractive.
A study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology concludes that women are seen as more attractive when they have on 30 to 40% less makeup than they typically wear.
However, if their ultimate goal is to become more attractive to men, all of their efforts have likely been in vain, according to the results of a recent study reported in TIME.
Researchers at Bangor University and Aberdeen University asked 44 women to put on makeup as if they were going out for a night on the town.
Each woman was photographed before and after putting on the makeup, and the photographs were then altered so that there were 21 images of each woman, each with a different amount of makeup.
The photographs were shown to a sample group of both male and female university students who were asked to select the image they found the most attractive.
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Overall, men and women alike preferred the images in which the women were wearing around 40% less makeup than they had initially put on.
Compared to men, however, women revealed a preference for slightly more makeup than men.
"Taken together, these results suggest that women are likely wearing cosmetics to appeal to the mistaken preferences of others," according to the study's authors.
"These mistaken preferences seem more tied to the perceived expectancies of men, and, to a lesser degree, of women."