Make-up, not money, is the root of all evil, though the two are inter-connected. It gives us confidence, self-esteem, allows us to let out our artistic side before it is wiped off at the end of the day, leaving all of these glorious benefits on a dirty cotton wipe. Nowadays, make-up has become not just something the odd girl does to attract male attention, but an industry, a business. It has become routine for some to spend hours every day honing their image in front of a mirror, but not to look ‘pretty’, as the case may have been years ago. Today, make-up fanatics sweat over perfecting their contour, sharpening their eyeliner, adhering on false eyelashes. Make-up isn’t a concealer, mascara, blush and a tiny bit of lip-gloss anymore- it has very definitely become a very solid art form.
Art forms and other creative outlets are inclusive, which means they celebrate diversity and include everyone of all genders and this is why and how we see the rise of boys wearing make-up and frankly, out-contouring many celebrity make-up artists.
Men in the make-up industry is nothing new- for years and years there have been men working as celebrity makeup artists, or wearing make-up- examples include Wayne Goss and the late, great David Bowie. However up to very recently, there were few men wearing make-up as girls would- to accentuate their cheekbones, with sharp liner and pretty rose blush.
Social media means we can put anything out into the open within a matter of seconds, whether it’s a cat video or a make-up tutorial. That is exactly what male make-up artists do, who not only work their magic on models but themselves also. Instagram has become the number one platform for anybody with even a slight interest in cosmetics- professional, high quality and carefully edited photos with good lighting grace our newsfeeds, showing us pore-less foundation and gleaming highlighter. Just as girls have access to Instagram and expensive brushes, so do boys. And just like girls have been showing off their blending skills online, so have boys.
In my opinion, this has been a long time coming, and it isn’t a new subject for conversation. It’s not something that should be discussed in regards to the sexual orientation or gender specifics of the boy who happens to be extremely talented at make-up- he, like anybody else, likes art. He should have the freedom to express himself. There is no correlation between being able to perfect winged liner and your gender or sexuality. If he chooses to put some make-up on his face and take pictures, so be it. Worse things have happened. Move on.
As we all know, life isn’t as simple as that, and people are not as welcoming to guys getting in on the shimmering, flawless action. But online trolls and haters have significantly decreased over the past few years. Youtubers such as MannyMua and PatrickStarrr have worked repeatedly with make-up giants such as Benefit and Ofra, in not just promotional posters but products created in collaboration. Instagram star Bretman Rock has over 6.5 million followers and recently launched his own lash line, only at the age of 18. Covergirl has just announced James Charles to be its first ever Coverboy, a male face of the massive make-up brand in the US. Boys in make-up have not only taken the make-up world by storm, but they are doing undeniably well- deservedly so.
Make-up is not something gender specific, nor is it something for anybody to analyse and somehow identify that it is only for girls. In its simplest form, make-up is paint, creams, liquids, powders. It can be applied anywhere, used in any way. I’m so glad that our beautiful boys in make-up are finally getting their deserved cosmetic recognition, the recognition they have deserved for a very long time.