Little social test, how men on tinder react to makeup?

graffiti, Shoreditch
Tim is once again on a roll with this  little test of the effect of makeup on profile pictures in the domain of online dating. Or how men on tinder reacted to three different levels of makeup.

As many of you know, on Tinder you cannot view any reciprocated likes (matches) until you indicate your interest in that person by swiping to the right. So, when planning my experiment, I decided to swipe right for the first 100 suggested matches per account, then allow one hour afterward to see what kind of messages and matches it turned up. I then counted the reciprocated likes, messages and ages of my matches to see any general trends when it came to my level of cosmetic “enhancement.”

To be clear this isn’t a scientific in anyway… but the results did surprise me and the conclusions were slightly interesting… I say slightly…

Despite my reservations about the entire concept, however, the guys on Tinder surprised me. More men flocked to a bare-faced girl than a heavily made up one, yet they seemed most aggressively interested in a face adorned in average levels of makeup. Their language seemed to reflect what they thought of the woman behind the makeup, treating my bare-faced account as a friend before a hook-up. While it’s unfortunate to me that many of these men treated a woman as more sexualized because of her cosmetics, their cordiality in most of the messages was refreshing.

Part of this could be the out of your league thing? Or maybe its a good thing for once…? Because heck nothing else good seems to come from Tinder 🙂

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and

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