Sure, evening out your skin tone with tinted moisturizer or putting on red lipstick can bring out your best facial features, but apparently, neither would affect how attractive other people find you—well, at least, not by much. According to a study soon to be published in the journal Perception, makeup only accounts for two percent of people’s overall perception about how you look. Yes, just two percent!

Lead author Alex Jones, Ph.D. and psychologist Robin Kramer asked 62 people to rate the attractiveness of 44 models with and without makeup. None of the participants saw the same woman in both conditions, reports Today.com. They found out that while makeup does make you attractive on average, it’s not enough to sway the vote.

So what really makes women look beautiful to the opposite sex? Here are the big three:

Your smile
Flashing your pearly whites can instantly dazzle that cute co-worker or hunky neighbor. It makes your eyes look livelier, emphasizes the apples of your cheeks, and brings attention to your entire face. Plus, it looks good on everyone.

The way you tilt your head
While we’re on the subject of non-verbal cues, here’s another way to boost your beauty quotient: Raise your head slightly upward. Apparently, men find women more attractive when they are slightly looking up.

How you smell
“There is something called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC for short) which unconsciously guides our judgements of attractiveness,” reports Today.com. “The MHC represents the diversity of our immune response to disease—those with a greater diversity to us should smell more attractive.” Guess it’s time to pick out a new fragrance!

So does this mean you have to ditch your makeup collection now? Not exactly. But if it’s the only thing that makes you feel beautiful, now might be a good time to work on your self-esteem.

PHOTO: Mike Dee


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