Grow a beardg-stockstudio/Shutterstock
Biologically, heterosexuals look for typically male or female traits in the opposite sex—the most glaring of which for women is men’s facial hair. “The research indicates some sex-specific characteristics are attractive—particularly those that highlight differences between males and females,” Dr. Nicholson says. “For example, different styles of facial stubble and beards can signal a man’s masculinity.” A recent study from Australia found that women considered men with heavily stubble the most attractive—but interestingly, rated men with full beards as the highest for parenting ability and healthiness. Although a beard’s connection with health seems random, it actually may be true: Beards are able to block the sun’s rays, so they might protect against skin cancer. They may also keep dust and pollen from entering the airway. And as for being a good dad, a beard might indicate that a male is sexually mature and ready to reproduce. Find out the best beard style for your face shape.
Show off your curvesSvitlana Sokolova/Shutterstock
Women tend to think men prefer thin figures—but the opposite might actually be true. According to research, men prefer a waist-to-hips ratio of 7:10, which means you’re fairly curvy and have “good childbearing hips.” Biologically, men might be onto something: Women with this waist-to-hip ratio have been shown to have optimal levels of estrogen, and are less prone to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. You can play up your hips by walking with a “swaying gait”—researchers at Texas A&M University found that this swinging motion was seen to be extra-feminine to men. “High heels can accentuate women’s feminine characteristics as well,” Dr. Nicholson says, so if you really want to exaggerate your swinging walk, science says to wear heels. Read how science has found the sexiest possible dance moves.
Don’t wear too much makeupSubbotina Anna/Shutterstock
This one seems a bit counter intuitive: Aren’t red lips a draw for men? Yes, but only to a degree—in fact, women think men like a lot more makeup than they actually do, according to a U.K. study. “Women tailor their cosmetics use to an inaccurate perception of others’ preferences,” the study authors wrote. Another study also showed that the amount of makeup women wear can impact others’ impressions. “Faces with natural makeup were seen favorably but faces with more dramatic makeup were seen as less trustworthy,” study author Nancy Etcoff, PhD, a research psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says. But, she also says women don’t wear makeup just to please men; they wear it because it makes them feel more confident—which may be another way how to be more attractive. Here are easy beauty tips lazy girls will appreciate.