From a light skin moisturizer and translucent lip balm, to bright eye shadows and fake eyelashes, there are many different ways that men are using makeup nowadays. While for many people male makeup still feels taboo, this trend seems to be on the rise now, and we are seeing more and more men with beauty products on their faces, both at red carpet events and in everyday life.
We took a cl0ser look at the modern trend of male makeup, and it turns out, it’s not an invention from the 21st century.
Men used makeup hundreds and thousands of years ago.
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The image of Pharaoh Tutankhamun with his eyebrows and eyes thickly lined
Yes, male makeup is not something new, and we can trace its history back to ancient Egypt where men would apply oils and fats onto their skin to protect it from the desert heat and harsh sunlight. Upper-class men of ancient Egypt often lined their eyes. You’ve probably seen the images of Egyptian kings with their eyes thickly lined with black kohl.
Men from ancient Rome were also encouraged to use makeup under the influence of those who conquered them, including the Egyptians. Roman men didn’t wear bright makeup, as it was frowned upon by society. Instead, they would wear light perfume, remove certain body hair, and sometimes whiten their faces.
During the times of Queen Elizabeth I, men were into powdering their faces, and in Japan in the 17th century, male actors from the Kabuki theater would wear eye-catching makeup with bright red and black lines on a thick white background created with the help of rice flour. Getting cl0ser to modern times, we have to mention the era of old Hollywood that brought male makeup onto the big screen and into the public eye.
Hollywood actor Clark Gable
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Even though wearing makeup is not new for men, until recently, it was mainly actors and musicians who were wearing makeup to make their looks on screen and on stage more eye-catching and bright. Today, we see more and more men using beauty products in their daily lives as well, so why is male makeup on the rise now?
More male beauty products are appearing on the market.
© abeMUE / Reddit
Yes, men have been using makeup since ancient times, but until recently there were very few cosmetic products designed especially for men. Things are changing now as more companies are manufacturing male cosmetics and are selling these beauty products at men’s beauty counters in their stores. Of course, men can use traditional cosmetics designed for women, but some might still feel uncomfortable with that. So, the wider the choice of male beauty products, the more men are encouraged to try them on their faces.
It looks like the male aud!ence is a huge growth opportunity for the beauty industry, and it is believed that we are going to see more male-targeted and gender-neutral cosmetics in the near future. Big brands are introducing collections that are specially created for men. The Boy De Chanel collection by Chanel, for example, offers a wide variety of beauty and skincare goods for men, including moisturizer, foundation, concealer, eye pencils, lip balm, and nail polish for creating a natural look.
There are more male makeup influencers.
© Noam Galai / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images
Makeup artist Manny Gutierrez (Manny MUA)
Male designed beauty products alone would probably not be enough this big rise in male makeup usage. There need to be people who inspire others to not be afraid of stereotypes and to try something new. Manny Gutierrez, Jake-Jamie, Gabriel Zamora, and James Charles — are just a few popular makeup artists who are sharing their beauty tips with thousands of men and women.
In their posts and video tutorials, these artists share makeup techniques that can help men and women create a large variety of looks, from light and natural to bright and festive. But what is more important is that they teach their aud!ence to be more confident with their look, to love themselves the way they are, and to not be afraid of stigmas, stereotypes, and judgment on their way to expressing themselves through makeup.
Here is a little collection of looks created by these and other makeup artists that can inspire you when it comes to your own beauty experiments.
1. By Jake-Jamie
2. By Jake-Jamie
3. By Manny Gutierrez
4. By Manny Gutierrez
5. By Manny Gutierrez
6. By Bretman Rock
7. By Alex Faction
8. By Jack Emory
9. By Jack Emory
10. By Gabriel Zamora
We support the idea that makeup should be enjoyed by all people, despite their gender, and we hope to see more and more gorgeous makeup masterpieces in the near future. What do you think? Let’s talk about makeup in the comments!