Do men really prefer the “natural” look on women?

Can men even tell when it’s no makeup vs makeup meant to look like no makeup or natural makeup.

Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:

I was just reminiscing on the many face-offs I’ve had with my guy friends over this ๐Ÿ˜€

I wear make-up, yes. I grew up in a part of the world where dolling up like this on a daily basis is the norm…

The more wax-like your face, the more perfect you are….as per the local beauty standards. I have colleagues who come to work like this. And from my profile pic, you’d be able to make out that I don’t wear even an eighth of what these women have dabbed on their faces.

When I moved to India to do my engineering in Tamil Nadu, I used to wear no foundation, no lipstick, no blush, no eye-shadow, nothing. The only ‘make-up’ i used was eye-liner, kohl and a bindi. Yes, I did have long and neatly manicured finger-nails that I painted in all sorts of colors. Besides this, I used no make-up at all. Yet I challenge anyone who’s reading this to check with any of my college mates even now about what’s the most lasting impression they had about me…’fashion crazy & overly made-up‘ will be the default answer.


It look me a long while to understand why the kids I studied with found my dressing so ‘offensively fashionable’. I had short hair that reached just below my shoulder. It looked a lot like the model’s hair in this pic

Once I went to class leaving my hair open. Before I stepped out of the hostel, I caught girls staring at me as if I’d just stepped out wearing a Viking helmet or something – wide-eyed, surprised, suppressing giggles -_-

I was like, ‘Uh…am I missing something? What’s so funny?!’

One of my girlfriends jogged up to me and said “Raakhee, is your hair still wet after your bath? Why didn’t you tie it? Do you want me to lend you a hair tie?”

“No, it looks like I’m having a good hair day today and I thought I’ll leave it free. We don’t have any workshop classes today either” She shrugged and didn’t say anything more.

When I walked into class, a sudden hush descended over everyone as they took in my new ‘daring’ look. About 20 minutes into the first class of the day, I got a folded note passed and addressed to me without a sender’s name. It was obviously from somebody in the class and from the handwriting, it was from one of the guys. It contained a rubber band inside and a note that said “You look like a ghoul. Please use this if you don’t have the money to buy one“. I knew what it felt like to go from 1 to 100 on the anger scale right at that moment


So I broke the rubber band into several minuscule pieces, struck off the note, wrote “Mind your own business and keep your eyes to yourself“, put the pieces inside, wrapped it back and passed it back to whoever had sent it to me.

So I took out my rage. But the reaction had disturbed me. What was wrong with these people?

We were taken to Delhi on a visit to an international exhibition towards the end of our final year. A message was asked to be conveyed from the boys to the girls on the night before traveling to ‘avoid wearing any ‘modern dresses‘ like jeans, and to make sure the dresses we’d chosen to wear were loose fitting’ and ‘not provocative’. “It’s for your safety” they said. ๐Ÿ˜ก

Needless to say, I had defiantly worn jeans and some other pretty amazing dresses on the trip, much to the irritation of the boys of my class who found my attitude to be arrogant and stupid.

I explained so much just to show the general attitude of the men I studied with for my Engineering degree. So much for professional college broad-mindedness. D-oh!

So one day, I was on my way home and a classmate was sitting next to me on the bus. We were chatting away and he suddenly saw something outside that made him stop mid-sentence. I followed his gaze and saw that he was ogling at a billboard with an ad for ladies’ underwear with the wax-doll-faced model striking a rather provocative pose in her underwear. I decided to jump at the opportunity…

Nice,no? Such flawless skin!” *me trying rather desperately to distract him from what he was obviously focusing on*

“Totally! Nice? Man, she’s frikkin’ HOT!”

Hmm…but she’s caked up in make-up

“So?” *still gaping at her shamelessly*

And what she’s wearing leaves pretty much nothing to the imagination

“Yes! Isn’t that kind of her? Man, if only I had a camera right now…”

Vijay, I thought you said you like girls who don’t wear make-up and who dress modestly

“Yes I did”

And what are you ogling at now?


Ahem! Hypocrisy much?” *thankfully the bus started to move again at around this point of the conversation and I was spared from any more torture of having to sit near a guy who was visibly excited after seeing a bra ad*

“Huh? Oh…hmm…well, how would you like it if somebody ogled at you the way I just did? Oh thank God you can’t do mind-reading!”

Well, I wouldn’t be bothered much as long as they don’t behave indecently with me by word or deed. We can’t control people’s thoughts

“No we can’t. But the least we can do it to try and prevent the people we care about from being objectified by others. We know what boys talk about. And you are someone I care about, Raakhee. I won’t take it easily if I overhear some bloke talking lewdly about you or your body. We guys ogle at movie stars despite knowing that they probably look like trash without all that face-paint. They are the objects of our…uhh…umm….d-dreams. But we can’t think of you girls that way…it’s not that we can’t. We don’t want to. It’s just wrong. Y’all are real. And we feel protective about you. And all these comments we make asking you to dress down is because we want you to feel okay with yourselves…because we don’t want other boys to make you the subject of their wild dreams…because we know what you are as a person. It’s your personality that we all like. But at the end of the day, y’all are women and we are men. It’s only natural that carnal thoughts do creep in. You wear heavy eye make-up (“No I don’t!This is nothing!” I cried)…yeah,maybe. But it looks totally ‘made-up’ to us. Do you know how many guys talk about how enticing and inviting your eyes are?

Random pic of my eye just to show you what he was talking about…ahem! ๐Ÿ˜›


Girl, that’s the ONLY part of your body you’re accentuating. And look at the reaction. We are young blood with our youth bursting at the seams. You can’t really blame us for our thought process. It’s only human nature. We just don’t want to view you the same way we view celebrities. Makes us feel terribly guilty”


It was my turn to gape at him. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t buy more than 80% of what he told me. He shrugged and said that he still stood by his ideology. That conversation didn’t really stop me from wearing eye-liner either…but it helped me in understanding the reason why most men tell their wives/girlfriends/sisters “You look great without make-up…why do you have to wear so much make-up?You look gorgeous anyway…”

I still wear make-up but I make sure I don’t look ‘made-up’. And no, I don’t do this kind of transformation either

People don’t get a major shock if they see me without make-up. But if ever I change the shade of my face powder or if I forget to dab on my eyeliner, people go all out fussing over me….Are you sick? You look tired…you wanna go home? Do you want me to drive you home? Here take this medicine. How about some herbal tea? o.O

The trick lies in keeping it as natural as possible and not letting anyone know about it ๐Ÿ˜‰ *wink*wink*

P.S.: I wear browns and burgundy shades of lipstick only, though. No other shade suits my skin tone. Strangely, I’ve never been criticized for wearing only dark shades of lipstick.

Do men really prefer the “natural” look on women?


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