If you ask a dozen people what makes someone attractive and you’ll get a dozen different answers: a six pack, a curvy shape, or even a great sense of humor could all be deciding factors in whether or not you get someone’s phone number or second date. But there are plenty of subtle changes you can make that will help you look universally more attractive in no time, mostly because they’ll give you tons of confidence. From adding a certain color to your wardrobe to working on your body language, these small tweaks will help you shine.
A splash of eye-catching color can make all the difference. Adding some red to your outfit won’t only make you stand out in a crowd, it can make others find you more attractive, too.
According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, women deemed men wearing red more attractive than those in other colors. In fact, the effect was so profound that even men standing in front of a red background were perceived as more attractive than those in front of a white one.
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A smile goes a long way, but a white one might go even further. According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, the condition of a person’s teeth is highly associated with their perceived attractiveness. The researchers also found that lightening a person’s tooth color was the change most likely to cause others to perceive their teeth as attractive.
Many people “get stuck in a hairstyle,” says makeup artist Mindy Green, founder of mobile beauty salon MG Beauty.
“As you discover more about who you are and achieve different milestones in your life and career, you should make sure the hair still suits you,” Green explains. “Maybe your hair is too long or short and doesn’t compliment the best features of your face or your new lifestyle. Or you spend too much time styling because your current style doesn’t work with your hair texture. Either way an update every few years is a good idea.”
Another key to looking good is not flying solo: According to a 2013 study published in the journal Psychological Science, people tend to look more attractive to others when they’re in a group. That means don’t leave home without your wingmen and women.
One of the easiest ways to look better? Remind people of just how kind you are with a few good deeds. A 2014 study published in Personality and Individual Differences revealed that people perceived as good and kind enjoyed what’s called a “halo effect,” meaning that their kindness actually made them more physically attractive to others.
One surprising thing that can make you feel better and look better to others is being open about your feelings, whether you’re happy, sad, or even stressed. According to a 2016 study published in the journal Proceedings the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the degree of attraction people felt to others was directly related to how well they understood the other person’s emotional state. And for the traits men find attractive, check out 22 Traits Men Find Attractive in Women
Being the only person in jeans and flip-flops when everyone else is dressed to the nines is rarely an attractive look.
“Always dress appropriately for the situations you’re in,” suggests stylist Patrick Kenger, founder of men’s image consultancy PIVOT. “This shows that you have intelligence by being able to put together something appropriate, as well as respect for the people around you. Both attractive qualities.”
The right pair of jeans can have a major effect on how attractive other people perceive you to be. “The baggy light wash jeans that you use for outdoor work won’t cut it anywhere else,” says Kenger. “A slim pair of dark wash denim is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing [one] can own and looks great dressed up or dressed down.”
That standoffish body language isn’t doing you any favors when it comes to your attractiveness. “Take note of how you’re sitting or standing. Most people display very closed body language the majority of the time—arms are folded, legs are crossed, back is hunched forward, etc. Take up some room and spread out a bit,” suggests Kenger. “Uncross things. This will make you appear more confident and relaxed, inviting others to feel comfortable around you as well.”
In fact, in a 2016 study published in PNAS, researchers found that an expansive body position—like one with your arms uncrossed—made people appear more desirable to others.
The right glasses can make a world of difference—and it’s all about learning your face shape. “Those with rounder faces look better with more angular frames, and those with more angular faces look better with rounder frames,” says Kenger. “This allows your frames to offset some of that roundness or squareness, and thus makes things more proportionate.”
And when it doubt, go rimless: A 2011 review of research published in the Swiss Journal of Psychology suggested that rimless glasses were the only type of eyewear that increased a subject’s perceived trustworthiness without diminishing their attractiveness.
While nobody loves being bombarded with too much perfume or cologne, the right one can do wonders for your attractiveness level. “There is an incredibly strong link between attraction and scent. Choosing a fragrance that you love has also been shown to boost your own confidence, leading to more attractive body language,” says Kenger. “Mix things up by rotating two to three different scents so things don’t get boring.”
A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that men who sprayed on a scented antimicrobial fragrance were not only more confident but when women viewed videos of them, they deemed the ones wearing the spray more attractive than members of the control group.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to appear more attractive is to look in the eyes of the people you’re talking to. A 2018 review of research published in Frontiers in Psychology confirmed that eye contact from someone good-looking can actually activate reward centers in the observer’s brain, making the person giving good eye contact appear even more attractive. And to know what turn women on instantly, check out 20 Things That Turn Women On Instantly, According to Science
You know that your dog is adorable, but did you know that that good boy makes you look better, too? That’s according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, which found that men with dogs were perceived as more attractive and better partners by others.
“A well-groomed brow will polish your whole look,” says esthetician Stephanie Jones, owner of The Blushery in Beacon, New York. “Rather than walking around with disheveled, overgrown caterpillars or over-plucked sprouts, keep up with regular brow shapings every four to six weeks with a skilled esthetician. While getting your brows shaped, have your esthetician show you how to properly fill in sparse areas and define your arch with the right products at home, in between appointments.”
Even science backs up our cultural obsession with bold brows: A 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology revealed that high facial contrast—like thick, dark brows against skin—is perceived as particularly attractive.
If you want to up your attractiveness factor, start with your skin. A moisturizing skincare routine can make you look as though you’ve been lit from within. “Try incorporating a good face oil every night after cleansing,” suggests Jones. For more mature skin, add a couple of drops in the morning under your makeup” for a subtle glow.
Play up your eyes and you’ll look more attractive in an instant.
“Black mascara is universally flattering,” says Jones. “No matter what the natural lash color maybe, a quick coat of black mascara will open the eyes, lengthen and lift lashes, and define the eye shape.”
Much like that red accent in your outfit, a bit of vibrant color in your makeup is sure to turn heads, too. “Add some vibrancy with a pop of color,” suggests Jones. “Clear skin, black mascara, and a killer red lip is sure to elevate any look.”
And there’s research to prove it! A 2017 study published in the journal i-Perception found that red lips and darker colors of lipstick were perceived as most attractive.
Think that clean shave is making you look like a million bucks? Think again. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology on facial hair revealed that heavy stubble is most attractive to women, followed by light stubble, full beards, and, last of all, a clean-shaven face.
Before you go wild with the waxing, know this: A 2016 study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior revealed that men with chest hair were viewed as more attractive by women than those with hairless bodies.
It’s no wonder heels are considered such a sexy accessory: A 2004 study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences suggested that there’s a link between leg length in women and their perceived attractiveness. And that goes for men, too. A 2018 review of research published in Royal Society Open Science found that the same is true for women viewing men.
Want an easy upgrade to your look that only takes a few minutes? Get a sunless tan. According to a 2006 study published in Facial Plastic Surgery, light brown skin tones were perceived as the most attractive across races. And for what people find unattractive in the world, check out 20 Things People Find Unattractive In Different Parts Of The World
Adjusting the angle of your head by just a few centimeters could make you look more attractive in no time. According to a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Ethology, when given photos of women to review, people deemed those with their heads tilted down as more attractive than their non-tilted counterparts more than 60 percent of the time.
If you had to choose between someone scowling and someone with a warm, welcoming smile, you’d choose the latter every time, wouldn’t you? And you’re not alone: A 2016 study published in the journal PLoS One revealed that smiling not only makes people appear younger to others, but more attractive, as well.