One Eye Color Is Regarded As The Most Attractive (& It's Not Blue)

When you think about the features we notice first upon meeting another person, eyes probably rank high on your list. Whether or not they're really the windows to our souls, eyes can communicate a lot in a single moment. Are they crinkled with laughter? Narrowed with skepticism? Rolling in a sarcastic critique?

Eye contact can also affect how we feel about the people around us. As BetterUp explains, locking gazes is an important form of nonverbal communication that helps us convey honesty, build emotional connections, and show respect. One study in the journal Applied Ergonomics even suggests that significant eye contact can help listeners remember what you're saying.

But our eyes don't just help us get our point across. It turns out, they can also be an indicator of attractiveness. Some people might rave over the warmth of brown eyes, while others might swoon over a cool pair of baby blues. And although beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, it seems that some eye colors are commonly preferred over others. A recent survey by 1-800 Contacts set out to settle this debate once and for all. Here's what they found.

Gray eyes earned top scores for attractiveness

The analysts at 1-800 Contacts polled 1000 people online, asking them to rate each eye color on a scale of one to 10. When these scores were averaged, gray eyes beat out the competition with a ranking of 7.4 on the attractiveness scale. But what makes these smoky gray orbs so desirable?

Asked for further information, the top three ways respondents described people with gray eyes were as intelligent, quiet, and serious. Of course, there's no scientific evidence to suggest that eye color corresponds to personality traits. However, the mystique of gray eyes may have to do with their novelty. As Medical News Today reports, less than 3% of the global population has gray eyes, making them a rare sight to behold.

Interestingly, this choice also wasn't unanimous across genders. While gray eyes were the hands-down favorite of male respondents, they actually ranked third among women, who gave green and hazel eyes slightly higher scores. So if you aren't one of the rare few walking around with smoky irises, don't let it ding your confidence. Besides, gray eyes only barely edged out the second- and third-place colors, which trailed close behind.

Blue and green eyes tied for second-most alluring

While men's preference for gray eyes helped catapult them into the winning position, blue and green eyes both ranked high with an attractiveness score of 7.3 out of 10 — just 0.1 behind gray eyes, in fact. Green eyes are even rarer than gray eyes, with only 2% of the world population boasting emerald irises (via WorldAtlas). Of course, blue eyes are a much more common sight, but the survey results show that they still maintain a desirable reputation. Describing people with blue eyes, respondents suggested that they seemed expressive, affectionate, and confident.

To round out the bracket, hazel eyes took fourth place with an attractiveness score of 7.2 out of 10, and brown eyes — the most common — scored a 7.1. With only a variance of 0.3 between first and last place, it's safe to say that all colors have their fans, so no one should feel bad about their gorgeous eyes. If you want to help your eyes look their best, though, there are always little tricks to lend your color extra vibrance.

In addition to dressing in colors that vibe well with your eye color, consider playing around with cosmetics like eyeshadows that make hazel eyes shine or mascaras that help brown eyes pop. You can even have more permanent fun with your look — for instance, adopting flattering hair colors to set off your green eyes. And while you hopefully love your eyes for all their inherent beauty, there's no rule saying you can't play around with colored contacts on occasion. In the end, the most important thing is that you feel stunning and confident.