Tossing your hair and licking your lips? Please—amateur night! There are more surprising (and effective) ways to be utterly seductive.
Yes, it’s that simple. A bit of crimson has the power to put men in a lusty state of mind—one study even found they were 56 percent more likely to ask out a woman in a red top versus a white one. That’s because men are hardwired to respond to the hue: The color was used as early as 10,000 B.C. in lip color and blush to mimic the red flush we get when we’re turned on. Throw on a red dress and let primal instincts take over.
…Except on Your Lips
One study found that the lipstick shades men find most attractive are neutrals or soft pinks. Steer clear of anything Nicki Minaj–inspired and take cues from your natural color, picking something a few shades pinker. Women with fair skin look best in sheer rose (like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge lipstick in Eternal Rose). Medium-toned skin pairs well with pinks with brown undertones; sheer formulas (like Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Balm in Bountiful Blush) are extra flattering and hard to overdo. If you have a dark complexion, look for wine-y pinks—one supershiny formula is Lipstick Queen Jean Queen Lip Gloss.
It’s no surprise that anyone would be drawn to a megawatt grin, but what is fascinating is that a smile amps up how sexy you seem, according to a recent study. “A friendly and approachable woman may seem more sexually interested,” researchers at the University of British Columbia told Allure. We can’t vouch for the science on this part, but a little whitening could be nice, too. We like Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips, which brighten teeth in two hours.
Add Mega Shine to Your Hair
Practically nothing about Victoria’s Secret models is attainable—except possibly their shiny, soft hair. To achieve Angel-worthy gloss, try these shine-boosting techniques: Condition first, shampoo second. “For hair to be full and bouncy, it has to be free of residue,” says hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins. Then rough-dry hair by raking your fingers through it; if you want sexy volume, you have to embrace a little fluff. And when you think your hair’s dry, blast it with heat for another three minutes. “It has to be 100 percent dry, otherwise it will collapse,” says Hawkins. Mist a shine spray like Umberto Beverly Hills Shimmer Shine Spray over the whole head and voilá—you’re halfway to Gisele.
Choose the Right Perfume
We asked perfumers for the sexiest notes, and they all came back with the same answer: lush flowers, vanilla and amber, and powdery notes. One of our favorite seductive scents is Chanel No. 19 Poudre: French for “powder,” this scent’s fresh iris root tempers the heady jasmine. Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Sublime, with zesty orange blossom and intoxicating neroli, is warm, like a beach vacation in a bottle. Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge isn’t for the faint of heart, or head. Ford tossed in the whole spice cabinet—cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger are sweetened by vanilla and warm amber.
Dim the Lights
It goes without saying that candlelight is sexy (there’s a reason most Instagram filters wash everyone in a hazy glow), and the best way to flatter exposed skin is with a shimmery body cream. Dust Urban Decay’s Honey Body Powder over your shoulders and décolletage, where light will naturally enhance it. We love it because it’s a superfine, subtle, somehow grown-up shimmer, and—wait for it—it’s lickable. Just saying.
Animate Your Face
Blinking, nodding, shaking your head: Weird but true that doing a lot of all three can make you more attractive to the average guy. A study found that women with “high-motion faces” (yes, that’s actually what they were called) rated as best looking. Researchers at the University of Bristol told Allure it’s likely because these moves signal that you’re extroverted—and that’s sexy.