By 2:30, I was still in the bathroom as Douglas patiently waited for me to finish perfecting my mascara, eyebrow powder and lip gloss so we could finally leave.
This was a stark difference from how quickly I bounded out of the house just a week and a half earlier–with the only enhancements to my face being the remaining dirt smudges from gardening that I was too lazy to wash off.
Why the big difference in how much time I put–or didn’t put–into my appearance? It boils down to the week I was on in my monthly cycle, of course. Here’s why:
Yesterday, I was careening into my Week 2–which starts 8 days from the onset of menstruation and leads up to ovulation in the middle of your cycle.
And that’s key since several studies (such as this one published in Hormones and Behavior and this one published in The Psychological Record) show that women tend to use more mascara, lipstick and other cosmetics and take more time to apply them carefully in the days leading up to ovulation.
Chalk it up to your high estrogen being a bit pushy in the romance department, researchers say. As the level of this hormone climbs, it revs your desire to make yourself look more attractive to your current love or new potential partners so you can boost your chances of bedding someone during the fertile phase of your cycle.
Meanwhile, a week and a half ago I was deep in my premenstrual Week 4. A time when fertility–and the desire to enhance your appearance–hits a serious low. Hence, my ability to dart out of the house faster and not bother with cosmetics. Or even soap, for that matter.
The takeaway here? Simply this: When getting prepared to head to work, school, social functions and other events in Week 2 of your monthly cycle, try to allow yourself more time to get ready. You’ll likely need it to make sure you get your makeup just right.
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