What men want in women: natural nail polish and no heavy makeup

What men really want in women is always the million dollar question, and everyone has their own opinions. But one day, someone called me up while I was on holiday in a beautiful boutique hotel in Johannesburg, living a #Travelife, to discuss what men want.

Red velvet pancakes for breakfast
at a boutique hotel in Johannesburg

So there I was in Johannesburg one morning, enjoying being in a most special hotel, living a Travelife. The place is called Morrell’s, and it’s a charming boutique hotel created out of a historic farmhouse by a lady with a passion for flowers and old-fashioned things — and then she staffed the hotel with a talented young chef and fantastic private butlers.

This was sometime back so I don’t know how it is now. But when I was staying here at Morrell’s, it was the most perfect place for a relaxing R&R in Johannesburg before heading on to the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve for a safari at Earth Lodge.

I was having a wonderful and leisurely breakfast of red velvet pancakes and talking to a very interesting lady at the next table, also staying at the hotel, about apartheid in South Africa, when my South African mobile phone rang.



I had to go out into the garden to take the call, and it was from someone on the other side of the world.

He’d called just to chitchat long-distance about nothing in particular, perhaps to take the edge of the day in his very stressful, high-profile life.

I’d just read about him in the international business newspapers, in fact, while I was waiting for my flight to Johannesburg at the Cathay Pacific lounge in Hong Kong on Tuesday night.

We talked about a couple of things, including about this very interesting hotel I’m staying in.

Then he said: “So I watched this mindless show on TV last night about the three things that many women always do, that they don’t know will never get them a guy. Apparently someone made a real study on it.”

This topic about the the difference between what men want and what women think they want is not really rocket science, as far as I’m concerned.

But I let him go on talking anyway.


So he continued: “The first is wearing bright nail polish or all kinds of designs on the nails. So many women do it these days and it’s the biggest turn-off for men. It’s a good thing you don’t do that.”

I replied, with a little bit of humor: “I most certainly don’t. I would never have the patience to wait for my nails to dry.


Then he said: “The second thing is wearing too much makeup. Guys are so turned off by women who wear so much makeup, but so many women don’t realize this. It’s a good thing you don’t do that.”

Again, it’s more a matter of time constraints than anything else. I usually have something like 10 minutes to get dressed in the morning and 15 minutes to get dressed for an evening out, so that doesn’t leave much time to sit at a dressing table with lots of little jars and brushes.

I replied: “My idea of makeup is tinted sunscreen and tinted lipgloss.

Yes, I’m fanatical about skin care but I couldn’t care less about putting makeup unless I’m going to a black-tie event.

RULE # 3:

Then he said: “And the third thing is talking about travel. Apparently guys are turned off when women say they love to travel — especially when it involves traveling overseas. That’s super high maintenance, as far as they’re concerned.

This is when I burst out laughing so hard that my butler stuck his head out the garden door to see what was happening.


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So I replied: “Are you serious? Did you call me all the way in South Africa just to give me this punchline?

He replied: “Well, at least you got two out of three right. You’re absolutely hopeless in that last one…

And this is a true story from just another beautiful morning in South Africa, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.