How Guys Responded to 3 Very Different Lipstick Colors On Tinder (2023)

"Girl, put ON this lipstick! It's called 'Sin' by MAC! It will make your gorgeous eyes POP!" I exclaimed to my best friend Sia* as I dramatically placed the gorgeous vampy color beneath her warm hazel eyes.

It was her first night out on the town since her f*ckboy ex-boyfriend dumped her a few months back. I was doing her makeup whilstsimultaneouslyfeeding her champagne, like real best friends do for each other.

"That lip color rocks, Z, but you know I can't wear it if I want tomeet dudes," Sia darkly murmured, as she waved my hand (and my beloved lipstick) out of her face.

"Why the hell not?" I pressed, feeling defensive. I'd been painting her face since childhood, and this was the first time she had ever challenged me on my cosmetic prowess.

"Because men areterrifiedof lipstick," she retorted, her cigarette voice irritated.

"That's not true. COOL guys love lipstick. It's stylish. It's sexy and it's affirming to a woman's identity!" I cried, a little too passionately, as I began to contour her cheekbones with a matte bronzer.

"You will never understand, Z. Because you're alesbian. Lesbians can rock whatever lip color they want because other women appreciatestyle. Men don't," she lamented, guzzling down her (third glass of) champagne.

Weeks later, I found myself in a typical animatedMonday morning brainstorming session with my Elite Daily co-workers.

"Do men really hate bold lipsticks?" I asked, hoping it wouldspark debate.

"MEN are SO not into lipstick. I wear lipstick for other women, not for men," the leader of the straight-girl pack stated, as if it she were reciting the official heterosexual woman's mission statement. The rest of the team nodded their heads in silent solidarity.

Cut to 2 am, and I'm lying in bed staring at the cracks in the ceiling.

"Are men really so f*cking terrified oflipstick?" I pondered

"I mean the classic, TIMELESS women -- Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Liz freaking Taylor -- all rocked intense lipsticks, and they are the great sex icons of the universe!" None of it was adding up.

Right then and there, I decided thatI, Zara Barrie, was going to embark on a lil' ~Tinder~ experiment.

I decided that for the next three days, I was going to go on Tinder, change my settings to "men only" and experiment with three different lipsticks (nude, purple, red) in my profile picture to see what you girls are really up against:

Day one: nude lip

So word on the straight girl street is that ~boys~ want a chick in a nude lip.

"It's not intimidating," the breeders tell me.

So I had my BFF, celebrity hair stylist and photographer,Owen Gould, snap a cute "straight girl" picture of me. I felt subversive and dirty inside as I changed my profile settings from "women only" to "men only."

"You signed up for this life of social experiments, bitch," my inner voice reminded me.

She was right. I took a deep breath and deleted "Totally gay, seeking the same" from my profile, feeling like my seventh-grade self who used to pretend to like boys to fit in.

Within minutes, my profile looked like this:

With the nude lip, I matched with 20 men over the course of 20 hours, which was a whole new Tinder experience. With girls, I'm lucky if I get 5 matches in a week.

It was a diverse mix; there were preppy guys with popped collars sitting on yachts. There were alternative boys in dirty Converse who claimed to play in bands. There were young, smug-looking finance boys. The entire rainbow was there for me to taste. (Too bad I didn'twant to, oops.)

However, I did notice a definitivepatternwith the nude lip. The pick-up lines were super corny or super basic. If it wasn't the lame "Hey cutie" or "Hi," it was sh*t like this:

OK,I may have walked into that one by putting "I'm a sea of useless information" in my profile, but come on, dude -- what kind of basic pick-up line is that? Should we blame the basic lip for the basic words?

Again, basic lips beget basic lines. I had a high success rate, but found every single message to be b-o-r-i-n-g or insulting to my intelligence. I was impressed with the quantity but not with the quality.

Day two: purple lip

I was sure no one would swipe for me todaywhen I didmy vamp-y purple lip,Heroine by MAC. I'd been told violet lips would even scare the lesbians.

MAC Heroine Lipstick,$17,Nordstrom

I didn't have a f*cking professional photographer to snap this pic of me this time, but BABES, I did the best I could!

So anyway, after I uploaded my wicked lip as my Tinder profile picture, I began to indulge in the art of the swipe. And to much to my surprise, I matched with roughly the same amount of guys.

But I noticed that a different type of man actually put in the effort to message me when I was rocking a purple lip. Long gone were the basic 24-year-olds on yachts; I had real men in finance mixed with creative boys with creative tech jobs.

But here is the ~truly~ fascinating part of the whole charade. The messages I got were an entirely different animal.

I guess I appear "bookish" to the naked eye with a purple lip?

Confession of the day: When I first read the word "bibliophile," I thought he meant the BIBLE. However, I quickly came to find that bibliophile actually means "lover of books." OOPS, my bad.

Corny pick-up line, but another book mention.

I swear to the fierce goddess up above that I'm not, in any way, even remotely kidding.

I was grateful that I got ONE style shoutout. See? Men do (occasionally) value s-t-y-l-e. (Even if they don't know the difference between "you're" and "your.")

For the record, this couldn't be further from the truth. I think Elite Daily just threw me a bone, since my old ass isabout to turn 30(which is old as f*ck when you work in a Millennial microcosm).

Day three: red lip

When I asked mymale editor,Kevin, what he thought of my red lipstick pic, he said, "Well, red lipstick is very intimidating."

Even KEVIN, who I regard as one of the coolest heterosexuals on the block wasn't feeling the RED (Mia Moore by The Balm).

theBalm Mia Moore,$17,Amazon

"What the f*ck is wrong with men?" I once again wondered, incredulous.

I expected to swipe with no one, especially since I was rocking red and a power blazer (I can't help but sport a lesbian power blazer sometimes). But alas, I matched at about the same rate (which I continued to realize is very easy as a "straight" girl).

With a pounding heart, I opened up my first message. I was curious what a young man would say to a red lippy girl.

So apparently, I don't seem American. Maybe he thinks I'm an exotic foreigner? I'll take it; I've been called far worse things.

Maybe I have the Rimmel "London Look?" This guyspecifically noticed I am in London in one of my pictures.

What is up with the LONDON obsession? I have one picture in London, and no boy responding to the other lip colors seemed to notice or care.

OK,now this whole English thing is starting to get weird. Are guys who are drawn to red lips all Anglophiles, or guys with a travel fetish?

And again:

Clearly I'm not from around these parts.

My red lipstick was winning the heart of an Irish man. Interesting.

Not one guy pressed me about where I was from when I wasn't wearing red lipstick, but suddenly, it was all anyone could focus on.

Somy experiment had come to an end, with stranger results than I could have imagined. I will say that while I'm not an active Tinder user these days, I felt unsettled with"seeking men" in my profile.

By the end of the third day, I couldn't wait to embrace my gayness again. I was ready to rock a rainbow flag string bikini and strut my sexuality in the mean city streets.

I enthusiastically added "TOTALLY GAY" back into my description. All was fine and dandy until the boys from before began to catch on...

It's been several days, and I'm still getting messages like this. Oops. Sorry, boys, I'm only trying to make your lives better by doing vital research on male/female dynamics. It was an act of selflessness, really.


First of all, I'm in a state of very real shock about everything: the size of the straight dating pool; the absolute, concrete patterns I unearthed; all of it. Straight Tinder is a whole other PLANET (article coming soon, myqueer kittens).

So yes, while I might haveappealed to the widest audience with the nude lip, I would still choose the bold lip for my Tinder profile picture. The men I matched with were more interesting when I added a bit of color. Yes, some of the boys were weirder, but they definitely had thingsto say beyond ":D".

They seemed more into books and travel, less interested in corny pick-up lines and cheap hellos.

So girls, I've concluded that you were right: Boys are afraid of lipstick. Men, on the other hand f*cking loving a girl with a fierce lip.

So who do you want to attract?


What color lipstick turns a guy on? ›

447 visitors were served during the experiment. Earlier explorers from the University of Rochester in New York have already scientifically confirmed that women in red attracts men's attention most of all. It's no secret that red is the color of passion, love, energy, courage.

Do guys notice lipstick? ›

Although your average guy may not admit having as strong an opinion about lip colors, a recent study at the University of Manchester found that men really are attracted to lipstick, with red being the most captivating.

What colour lipstick is most seductive? ›

Scientists at the University of Manchester found that red lipstick draws attention to the mouth, most notably from the opposite sex. This is because red is the colour of masculine energy. It is also the colour of passion and lust…

What do guys think when they see red lipstick? ›

Though red lipstick has a strong history in the women's liberation movement, it also has strong connections to female sexuality. Many theorists believe men are attracted to the color red because they subconsciously associate it with sex, fertility, and reproduction.

What color is seductive for men? ›

According to research by the University of Rochester, women find men wearing the colour red more sexually attractive than other colours.

What color lips are best for men? ›

So cool-toned men may do best with lipstick colors containing blue or purple undertones, shades closer to a true red, or more light pinky hues. The warmer men out there might want to stick to warm shades, orange and yellow undertones, or copper hues.

What lips do men find most attractive? ›

More than 60% of respondents thought a 1:1 ratio between the upper and lower lip was the most attractive shape. A cosmetic surgeon in London said a heavily-defined cupid's bow is the most-requested lip feature.

What do guys think when they look at your lips? ›

He is looking at your lips

If his gaze keeps slipping down to your lips while he's talking to you, it's a sign that he is admiring you, fantasising about you and might even want to start a stable, long-term relationship with you," says Madan.

Do men like looking at women's lips? ›

First impressions count, especially when it comes to the laws of attraction. And as shallow as it might be, research reveals the facial feature men find most attractive on a woman: her lips. So when you meet someone new and notice his eyes, he's actually looking at your lips.

Which lipstick is best for kissing? ›

  1. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. ...
  2. Dior Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer Proof Lipstick. ...
  3. Nyx Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick. ...
  4. Smashbox Always On Longwear Matte Liquid Lipstick. ...
  5. Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust: Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick. ...
  6. Giorgio Armani Lip Power Long-Lasting Satin Lipstick.
Mar 3, 2022

What color lipstick looks best younger? ›

If you do want to go out for a bold lip color, choose magenta or raspberry. These lip colors will emphasize your lips, making them look fuller and youthful.

What color lipstick makes you look older? ›

Wearing Lipstick That Is Too Dark or Too Bright!

Loud and bright colors can draw attention to fine lines around the lips, any unevenness or imperfections in the lip and make women look older.

What does it mean when my girlfriend wears red lipstick? ›

Red lips can also be viewed as sensual and devious. Pin-up models in the early 1900s often wore red lipstick, and this look became synonymous with femininity and sexiness, allowing women to feel comfortable in their sexuality.

Is red lipstick promiscuous? ›

Wearing red lipstick indicates that you have genitals that are super aroused (the labia gets darker as you get more excited.) That explains why, for much of history, red lipstick in particular was associated with prostitutes — though it was also associated with some other sexy-seeming women.

Is red lipstick classy or trashy? ›

It depends on the shade and your outfit. A darker red is generally classier than a really bright bold one. It can be both depending upon how it is applied and the outfit being worn. It will have a classie look if it is applied to the shape of the lips and NOT outside of the natural lip.

What color turns on guys? ›

Scientists have revealed that wearing the colour red will make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Studies reveal that red is the most attractive colour to both men and women but, curiously, the two genders are attracted to the same colour for different reasons.

What color makes a guy fall in love? ›

It concluded that men were more likely to be attracted to women wearing red. In similar studies, red was always found to be the best love-related color, but there are a few other colors that can encourage romance in unique ways.

What is a man's favorite color on a woman? ›

While favorite colors are subjective to each individual person, research supports that men and women favor certain colors. Universally, studies show that blue is both men and women's primary preferred color.

What lip is most attractive? ›

Science has found that the most attractive lip shape has an upper-to-lower lip ratio of 1:2. Lips are most desirable in different shapes and forms for different people – 60% of people prefer a 1:1 ratio where the lips are completely symmetrical and evenly full.

Do guys like dark lips? ›

Though most women love their dark lipsticks, the slash of neon lip colour or oodles of lip gloss, most men say they are repelled by anything too heavy and dark. From dark red lipsticks, cherry hues and deep browns, there is an aversion to such shades among men.

What is a healthy lip color? ›

Normal, healthy lip color varies, depending on skin color and other factors, but should fall in the reddish-pink-to-brown range.

Do guys prefer eyes or lips? ›

The lips have it: Research shows men are drawn to a woman's pout more than any other facial feature. If you want to catch a man's attention, don't bother fluttering your eyelashes or flicking your hair. Just practise your pout. According to a study, a woman's lips are the most attractive part of her body.

Why do guys notice your lips? ›

Looking at someone's lips are one of the major signs that the other person wants to Kiss You. Psychology proves it. Another meaning of it may be, the person is comfortable talking to you and is physically attracted towards you.

Do men prefer fuller lips? ›

The vast majority of participants identified “full lips” as the most attractive feature although researchers were quick to point out that women who wear lipstick, regardless of the fullness of their lips, help the male gaze longer.

How do you know if a guy is into you? ›

Here are 10 common signs that someone likes you but is hiding it.
  • They may act a bit awkward around you. ...
  • They compliment you often. ...
  • They get a little jealous. ...
  • They ask questions. ...
  • They remember the details. ...
  • They want to spend time with you. ...
  • They listen. ...
  • They lean in when you talk.
Mar 24, 2023

When a guy stares at you what is he thinking? ›

He's Staring at You

If you notice he is making more eye contact with you or you catch a guy staring at you, he is probably attracted to you. He may be enthralled by your good looks and may be fantasizing about kissing you. Perhaps he stares at you and smiles; that could mean he likes you, too.

What body part do guys notice first? ›

Your eyes. Though a less tactful guy might get caught sneaking a peek at other assets, your eyes are what a guy should be looking at during conversation. But any experienced guy will want to look into your eyes for more than just their lovely aesthetic properties.

What do men notice first? ›

The eyes most definitely get all the attention, especially when a man first meets a woman. The shape, size and color can easily tempt a man into wanting to know who the woman is behind those eyes. Yes, a smile is one of the things that a guy will first notice about you.

Is red lipstick a turn on? ›

Moreover, it draws attention to the lips, which are an erogenous zone for many people, and this can add to its seductive appeal. Media and popular culture have reinforced the association between red lipstick and sex appeal, turning it into a symbol of sensuality and allure.

Which lip kiss is most sensual? ›

French kiss is regarded as the kiss for lovers. It is the most passionate and erotic kiss.

What does a lipstick kiss mean? ›

💋 Kiss Mark emoji

The kiss mark emoji 💋 is a flirty little symbol of a lipstick marking that can indicate affectionate or friendly kisses, love and romance, sexiness, cosmetics and beauty, and in some cases, sassiness. Related words: 😘 face throwing a kiss emoji. 💅 nail polish emoji. ❤ red heart emoji.

How do you make a lip kiss more romantic? ›

If you and your partner both feel comfortable doing more, go for it!
  1. Pay attention to body language. ...
  2. Gradually increase the intensity. ...
  3. Make eye contact between, or even during, kisses. ...
  4. Take a break from their lips. ...
  5. If you're going to bite, be gentle.
Dec 7, 2021

What color of lipstick should a 50 year old woman wear? ›

A moisturising pink or coral shade with mid-strength colouring is universally flattering for mature lips and will ensure your lips look fresh and lively without being overpowering.

Should 60 year old wear red lipstick? ›

There's a common misconception that we have to stop wearing bright or bold lip color as we get older—and it makes us madder than a wet hen. Pick flattering shades for your undertones, to be sure, but never, ever stop wearing your signature red or pink if you don't want to.

What lipstick to wear over 50? ›

Coral tones, pinks, and soft rosy colors can make your lips appear plumper, brighten up your skin and make your teeth appear whiter. Very bright, hard, loud colors like pillarbox red and shades of maroon can make older lips look thinner, harder and more defined.

What color makes me look older? ›

Colours to avoid for aging include blacks and greys which can throw shadows on the face and make you look older. 'If you simply love black, then consider pairing with a scarf, statement necklace or a faux collar for a pop of colour,' she says.

What facial features make you look older? ›

Loss of muscle tone and thinning skin gives the face a flabby or drooping appearance. In some people, sagging jowls may create the look of a double chin. Your skin also dries out and the underlying layer of fat shrinks so that your face no longer has a plump, smooth surface.

Should a 50 year old wear red lipstick? ›

The key to wearing it at 50 is all about finding the right texture and shade according to your skin and complexion. Generally, fair ones look best with a blue-based red lipstick, warmer tones look best with an orange-based red. And women with very dark complexions look fantastic with bright reds.

What does it mean when a girl wears pink lipstick? ›

Pink Lipsticks:

Women who choose this colour exude a sense of playfulness which also matches their high energy level and also provides subtle hints at their mischievous sides. Hot pink lipstick shades are a bold choice, it shows one off as not being afraid to stand out and be the centre of attention.

Why do some people look good in red lipstick? ›

Key points. Women have more luminance contrast between facial features and skin than men, which is enhanced through make-up. Research indicates that red lips are universally appealing, possibly due to a perceived association with sexual arousal. Highly attractive women were perceived as even more attractive in red.

What does a lipstick symbolize? ›

Lipstick became a symbol of female emancipation in the early 1900s, bolstered by the endorsement of the suffragettes. The swivel tube, used today by the majority of lipstick brands, was invented in 1923 by James Bruce Mason, Jr. Colors and lipstick materials continued to change as make-up became more common for women.

What does red lipstick symbolize? ›

Red lip color gained popularity internationally as women's rights movements spread worldwide. As red lipstick symbolized American suffrage, its sway traveled across the pond and then some. British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst donned a red lip, which helped spread the symbolic action among her fellow activists.

Does red lipstick show confidence? ›

Red lipstick is a classic representation of implied confidence, expressing boldness even if you are unsure. Scientists argue that an individual's lipstick shade reveals more about their internal feelings than the color they prefer.

Does red lipstick make you look confident? ›

Iconic, bold, and beautiful — these are only a few qualities lent by the classic red lipstick to anyone who dares to wear it. Rocking a red lippy can make you stand out and feel empowered to take on anything.

What skin tone does red lipstick suit? ›

Light or fair skin people are most flattered by light and bright red lipsticks. Keep in mind that the smaller your lips, the brighter the lipstick should be. Dark lipstick makes small lips look smaller. Deep red lipstick looks best on medium to dark skin.

Does red lipstick make you look younger or older? ›

Researchers say bright red lips and rosy cheeks could amplify the facial contrast and make women appear younger. Female faces also have greater facial contrast than men's.

What is lip blushing for men? ›

Lip blushing for men 😍 ,is a form of semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo that. enhances the lips, natural tint and shape, not a lipstick. effect.

Why is red lipstick seductive? ›

Red lips have been considered attractive in women in geographically and temporally diverse cultures, possibly because they mimic vasodilation associated with sexual arousal.

Does lip kiss increase love? ›

Kissing causes a chemical reaction in your brain, including a burst of the hormone oxytocin. It's often referred to as the “love hormone,” because it stirs up feelings of affection and attachment. According to a 2013 study, oxytocin is particularly important in helping men bond with a partner and stay monogamous.

What causes a man to blush? ›

Adrenaline's effect on your nervous system causes the capillaries that carry blood to your skin to widen. Since blood is then brought closer to the surface of the skin, it causes you to blush.

Who should not get lip blushing? ›

Lip blushing is quite safe if your treatment is done by a licensed professional. It is not recommended for those who are pregnant, nursing, or undergoing chemotherapy or medical care or treatment (such as Accutane). It is also not recommended for those who have a compromised immune system (diabetes, lupus, etc).

Does lip blushing look fake? ›

“The biggest con to lip blushing is if it's not done appropriately, it could appear fake looking,” says Frank. That's why it's so important to do your research and find an incredible technician. Other things to note: If you have a history of cold sores or herpes, the procedure could trigger an outbreak.

What is the psychology of red lipstick? ›

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology characterizes red as a bold and attention-grabbing color that naturally attracts our attention. Red lipstick is a powerful tool for making a statement and boosting confidence.


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