So you know how I’ve been wearing some blindingly bright nail polish lately? (As mentioned in last week’s Beauty Editor’s Picks video, it’s the Day-Glo pink shade called “It Girl” from Sally Hansen’s excellent Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.) Well, I discovered two things this weekend: 1) Women love it. And 2) Men hate it.
Broad generalizations? Maybe. But as soon as my (stylish, beauty-aware) friend swung by to pick me up on Friday night, the first words out of her mouth after “Hi!” were “I love your nails!” and “What shade is that?!?” (Of course, the name “It Girl” is terrifically appropriate for a nail polish, because I’ve been saying for a while that nails are the new “It” accessory instead of handbags.)
Anyway, once we arrived at our destination of choice, a few drinks in and select members of the male population were divulging that they, in fact, haaaaated the colour. Like, really hated it.
Clearly, there is a great divide between the sexes. So, with a nod to Miss Man Repeller herself, who has also written on this subject, let’s talk about which beauty trends bug men the most—and whether we actually care.
What “repels”: Even though creative nail polish colours and patterns (and even nail shapes) are, like, the most exciting thing to happen in beauty for AGES, I think most men would be happy to shut that shiz down. Like I said, fluorescent anything is pretty much a non-starter, even if it’s pink. And fuchsia is still borderline. I can still remember the reaction from an old boyfriend to pedicure I got years and years ago. I was SO thrilled with my hot pink toenails and never in a million years would I have dreamed anyone could find it fug. (Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last.) Of course, it goes without saying that there’s a long list of unconventional nail colours that men just don’t “understand”: the dark, Gothic shades (black, burgundy, navy), the grieges, the taupes and the brights (oranges, yellows, greens).
What “attracts”: Pale pink, on the other hand, is universally accepted. And you can’t really go wrong with a basic red (although I’ve heard some say even that is “too much.” Sheesh.) Oh, and in case you were wondering, men are the reason that the French manicure (and worse, PEDICURE) refuses to die:
Why IS it that season after season, most of the female contestants on The Bachelor have nails like this? There’s a clear correlation here, so I have to conclude that guys dig it.
What “repels”: Nothing is more man-repelling, really, than the top knot. Women think it’s adorbs—and in the summer, there is no better hairstyle for keeping cool—but there is an inverse relationship between the size and position of your topknot and your relative hotness level according to men. The higher it’s placed on your head (i.e., the more it looks like a Sumo wrestler instead of a ballerina bun), and the more that the size of said knot approaches the size of your head (see: Whitney Port), the riskier it is. (Although even I have to agree with that last one. Whitney’s execution was all wrong.) Other hairstyles are more hit and miss. I had a boyfriend who loved ponytails, but I’ve also had guys tell me that I look “soooooo much better with my hair down.” (Um, thanks? Sounds like an observation along the same lines as Ye Olde “Are you tired? You look tired.”)
What “attracts”: There is a reason they call it “bedroom hair.” If appealing to the opposite sex is your goal, your go-to hairstyle should be long, loose, softly waved and voluminous. Full stop.
EYESHADOW AND EYELINER
What “repels”: Do men pay that much attention to eyeshadow and eyeliner? Not unless it’s orange, yellow, bright blue or green. I don’t know if wearing a single shocking shade, in the style of Rachel McAdams, above, is a dealbreaker. But certainly, if you’re doing something like the rainbow eyes from frequent eye makeup-experimenter Derek Lam circa S/S ’10, you might want to save it for your girlfriends.
What “attracts”: I think men like to believe we ladies have naturally big, bright eyes and dark, thick, full lashes. Anything they can’t really detect—black mascara, subtle taupey shadow and liner—won’t get complaints, although I don’t think many men are too opposed to a smokier look, as long as it’s done tastefully in neutral shades.
LIPSTICK AND LIP GLOSS
What “repels”: No surprises here. Just like men hate nail polish that is a) too dark, b) too bright or c) in an unusual colour, the same thing goes with lipstick. If you aim to please, steer clear of the vampy burgundies and purples, bright oranges and hot pinks. Basically everything fun, really. Oh, and that blue lipstick micro-trend I’ve seen on Kesha and around certain parts of town?
What “attracts”: Just like in nails, there are really only two choices here. Classic red, although that’s not a universal winner. Or a run-of-the-mill pale pink lipstick or gloss. (Yawn.) But speaking of gloss—regardless of what men think, I’d definitely try to avoid the goopy, sticky ones (sorry, M.A.C Lipglass and Lancôme Juicy Tubes, I’m looking at you). I’m a HUGE, HUGE fan of the new hybrid gloss-balms, which give you the same shine but feel like a moisturizing lip balm. I’m currently using Givenchy’s, which is incredible (more on that soon), but you can read up here on a new one from CoverGirl.
So in conclusion? All of this can be summed up in three words: Men are boring.
Has a man ever dissed one of your beauty choices?
Do you care what the male population thinks of your nails/hair/lipstick etc.?
Which beauty trends do you think men hate the most? (And if you are a man reading this, we’d love to hear more from the source…)