Are Men More Likely to Flirt If You Don't Wear Makeup?

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The other night, I was running late to teach a creative writing seminar ... so I dashed out of the house without a lick of makeup on. I was dressed pretty drably and looking pretty plain, without as much as a smidge of lipstick to liven me up. So I was surprised when, on both legs of my train journeymen seemed to go out of their way to be flirtatious with me. A few made eyes at me — one offered me his seat, and another struck up a conversation about my seat preferences.

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Now, I'm rarely on the subway during rush hour (or, really, at all), so it's possible commuting men are frequently that friendly. But maybe it had more to do with the fact that I wasn't all dolled up ... which made me more approachable?

I asked my male friends if they thought there was anything to this theory of mine.

Seems there's at least something to it...

Male friend No. 1 said: "It's true: I'm much more comfortable approaching a woman who is dressed down and not wearing makeup. That's partially because I like a more casual look, but I think that has something to do with the idea that a woman who isn't wearing a Chanel suit and a ton of eyeshadow seems more attainable."

Male friend No. 2 said: "What I like is a tiny bit of makeup — stuff that's so subtle it just makes a woman look better, without screaming, 'This is fake! I don't really look like this!' That said, I can handle a little lipstick."

Male friend No. 3 said: "I'm not saying I'd never talk to a woman who was wearing lipstick, but it's a turn-off for me. Gloss is all right, though."

But a fourth guy told me, "I'd be more likely to chat with a woman who'd put some noticeable care into her appearance."

Ladies and gents, what do you have to say about all this?

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