A study found both men and women rate eyes as the most beautiful facial feature, with someone’s nose the least attractive part of their face. Picture: Independent Media

London - Your eyes meet across a crowded room... and it’s love at first sight.

Not just Mills and Boon – but proper science too. It seems we get lost in someone’s eyes more easily than falling for their smile or fantastic hair.

A study found both men and women rate eyes as the most beautiful facial feature, with someone’s nose the least attractive part of their face.

A pair of baby blues, it appears, are more important than facial symmetry, flying in the face of ancient Greek wisdom saying that the "golden ratio" of how far apart our features are dictates attractiveness. Research from Winchester University is the first to look at individual components of the face and how they relate to beauty.

The results show someone’s facial symmetry and face shape are third in importance behind their eyes and hair.

The study’s author, Dr Daniel Gill, wrote in the journal Evolution and Human behaviour that many people believe faces are judged as a whole.

But he added: "Pointing out the beauty of specific facial attributes is common in everyday life. This suggests that facial beauty resides at different levels within the whole face at one level and at the level of “facial parts” attributes at sub-levels."

The psychologist asked 64 observers to judge pictures of female faces and the same number of people to look at male faces, rating their features compared to each other.

The top five features are eyes, hair and lips, followed by the entire configuration of the face in fourth place, with the nose the least popular. Men observing a female face attached most importance to the whole face, eyes and hair and least importance to nose and lips.

Women looking at a male face rated eyes and hair most important and nose and lips least important. Women observing a female face judged eyes and hair most significant and the nose or whole face least. Men judging male faces said eyes and hair were most important, while lips and nose were least important.