The next time a woman stares at your sunglasses don’t be so sure she’s about to ask where you bought them from.
And if she’s looking intently at her smartphone, it may not be her messages she’s checking – it could well be her appearance.
Women will check their reflection an average eight times a day – and will happily use the reflection from other people’s glasses and phone screens to ensure they are looking their best, research has found.
Other popular places to take a peek include shop windows, car wing mirrors and even, for one-in-ten of the more technologically-minded, their smart phone screens.
Many women keep a constant eye on their appearance – with hair and make-up the most important things to check
The same number of ladies even admitted to being unable to walk past a car without bending to check their hair and make-up in the glass.
Ten per cent also said they check a compact mirror at least ten times in a single working day, with half claiming they wouldn’t leave the house without one.
Despite the findings, however, it emerged three quarters of women hate looking in the mirror altogether and 39 per cent said it affects their confidence.
The study, carried out by Simple Skincare, also showed that four out of ten women believe they look better or worse depending on which mirror they happen to look at themselves in.
A third think they are at their best in their own bathroom mirror – while one in twenty said they looked their worst in the mirror in the toilet at work.
A savvy ten per cent of women frequently check out their reflections in their smartphone screens
According to Dr Christine Bundy, a Senior Lecturer in Health and Medical Psychology at the University of Manchester, however, vanity or narcissism are not the reasons behind many women looking at themselves so often.
She said: ‘There’s an assumption women check out their reflection in the mirror a lot because they are vain, but that’s not often the case.
‘Many women have busy lives where they are constantly on the go and want to look their best so giving themselves a quick glimpse when they get the chance is only natural.
‘If you have a job where you need to look presentable and well groomed then it’s important to check your appearance to boost your confidence, but remember, it’s how you present yourself overall, not just how you look that matters.’
Paranoia is another reason why women often check their reflections – with one in ten looking to see they haven’t broken out in spots.
More than three quarters of women said they check their appearance far more than men do – with looking at hair and make-up the most common reasons for having a glance at one’s reflection.
Dr Bundy said there was a simple reason behind the discrepancy between the sexes: ‘There is so much more attention on how women look compared with how men look, and women who constantly check their appearance are more likely to be self-conscious than vain.’
The poll of 2,000 women also found one in ten girls touch up their make-up at least three times a day while one in five re-do their hair more than four times every day.
Half of those polled said they think that people who look in the mirror all day are vain and 24 per cent said they just take pride in their appearance.