In many traditions, over millennia, people have used make-up to design or amplify their features. As Desmond Morris explored in The Naked Ape, all animals have ways to show their readiness and fitness for mating. In males the displays are more likely to be physical – shows of strength and power. In females, it is more often showing signs of fertility and availability. Baboons give us a good picture of this.

Although humans left these creatures far behind (no pun intended), we also face the challenge of finding mates. But in our societies, where we aren’t dependent on a rutting season, where we cover our genitalia, we still find ways to say, “Well, hello there.” Women accent their lips and eyes, giving their natural features a boost.

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