Why would anyone try to change their preferred way of being because of some perceived deficit so as purportedly to seem more appealing?
The only advice I can provide to females is not to lop hair off. Running back over the years, I cannot think of one female who was made more appealing by chopping her hair short. Sure, it's slightly easier to take care of, but when I was in grad school and hair length was no big deal for either men or women, it only took me about 90 seconds more to dry mine when it was near shoulder length than when short, so that excuse is a non-starter.
*You* don't like short hair on women. That is not universal. My hair looks like crap when longer than my chin. I now have a pixie cut and get tons of compliments on it. I have been told, by random men, that they love short hair, that they love women confident enough to pull it off, that I should never grow it back out, that it really complements my face...etc.
While I agree with the concept of not changing your whole look because you think someone else prefers it, I also think it is okay to want to try different things that make you feel good about yourself. Confidence is such a huge factor in looking good. People look better when they carry themselves confidently, even when just wearing sweats.
As far as the original topic - I think well-groomed brows, mascara and lip-gloss go a long way. Getting skin tone evened out with a tinted moisturizer also helps, especially as you age a little. My other trick is a cream shadow or shadow base in a nude color. It brightens up the eye area but doesn't require any great make-up skills and looks like you aren't wearing make-up.
Skirts with tights and knee-high boots always look cute, and all the guys I know have a thing for that, for some reason.
Oh I forgot the number 1 weapon to get mens attention. You need to get a black knit with a brim AC/DC hat. I have one, and for some reason men go crazy over it. I can not wear it in public without a truck load of random men approaching me about it. DH absolutely hates it, and all the attention I get because of it. Go figure.
The only advice I can provide to females is not to lop hair off. Running back over the years, I cannot think of one female who was made more appealing by chopping her hair short.
Oh I can! Seriously, when you're 50 years old long hair does nothing but drag down your face and make you look older. And long grey hair is just plain icky. I think lots of women keep their hair long just because "that's what women do". I've seen lots of younger women chop many inches off their often butt length hair and they look so much more vibrant!
My hair is super short and I get nothing but compliments on it. I don't even own a hair brush, and my blow dryer lives in the barn for drying horse's tails. I have a chubby face and long and/or curly hair looks awful on me. The longest it's ever been is shoulder length in college, and because it doesn't "do" anything, it was a PITA to deal with. When I show, I just slap on some makeup and earrings, put the derby on, and go- no hairnet required!
We've been over this on here before... men (and women... and dogs.. everyone) hate MAKEUP! on women. Everyone likes a polished, clean, natural look which is often achieved with subtle, simple makeup.... and you don't know it's there.
I am a hard core tom boy. No one doubts my femininity. A little mascara, clothes that fit well (they can STILL be t-shirts and jeans! Just get stuff that FITS.) a simple pair of hoops and voila! I'm a girl! Walking in heels helps too but does take some practice... find a comfortable pair, not open backed, not stiletto, and practice at home. I can nurse a lovely scotch and clean up the pool table just fine in a good pair of heels. I can and have also hayed and watered in a good pair of heels.
I had short hair during my punk rock days. A pixie. It was far more work to take care of than my long wavy hair. You actually have to style it. Usually the most I have to do to my hair is let it air dry and make sure it isn't too tangly once a day. If I want to dress up I can hot iron it straight in 5 minutes.
Anyway, now that I'm over 30 i look better with a little tinted moisturizer and blush, very natural color but a little pink. I think blush is highly underrated. I read an interview with Catherine Zeta Jones that said it was her one nonnegotiable beauty tip. If it is necessary for CZJ, who is astoundingly gorgeous, I figure I can benefit too.
I don't like mascara, I don't look any different with it on. That might be different if I were blond but mine are already dark.