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Biology Backs Up the Need to Look Good

Posted: April 12, 2010
Four crushed eye shadows in different colors

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Despite the occasional popularity of goth lipstick, classic crimson shades are more objectively attractive. Red lips can signal healthy circulation and even sexual arousal, a message that grabs most men's attention.

The shape of your kisser, something often redefined by lip liners and their ilk, can also affect attractiveness. Lip symmetry is an important trait for both men and women, according to researcher Kendra Schmid and colleagues at the University of Nebraska.

Full lips, however, are more a woman's prerogative. Lush lips tend to develop under the influence of female hormones and could indicate fertility, explained Fink in a 2005 issue of the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Balms and other lip products aim to create this look.

If you are now ready to throw out your makeup bag and just stick to your lip gloss, consider this: At least one study, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2003, found that lipstick alone does nothing to increase attractiveness.

By Robin Nixon, LiveScience, March 28, 2010