Love and Lashes: Men in Makeup


By Alexander Ledet

If you look at photos taken throughout the decades, it’s pretty notable how beauty trends have changed. I mean, seriously. Look at pictures of your parents in their younger years; I bet your mom is sporting some variation of colored eyeshadow with enormous wavy hair, and your dad is wearing an interpretation of a stylish mullet.

Nowadays, sculpted brows and highlighter are all the rage, and women aren’t the only people who are up to date on the latest makeup trends. The amount of male makeup gurus and teenage boys who wear glam eye looks and glowing skin with confidence is growing fast. It is difficult to pinpoint a particular person who started it all, but we can all agree that genderless makeup is changing the beauty industry, and it deserves to be discussed.

I’d like to think that the younger generations have a lot to do with this particular societal change. Us millennials are becoming more open minded than our elders. Almost every day, I glance at my Twitter feed and see multiple threads of young men and women beating down negativity towards gender fluidity.

The amount of transgender and gay individuals have grown immensely over the last year.  With that, younger men and women are breaking barriers. It’s as if everyone woke up one day and said, “You know what, I am going to express and accept my true self, no matter the repercussions.”

The trend of men sporting makeup has not been widely accepted, but it is a new concept that the younger generation is making sure does not go overlooked. It’s no surprise that companies within the beauty industry have noticed.

Recently, Lush produced an ad featuring a gay couple taking a bath and smiling lovingly at each other (swoon). Earlier in 2016, Covergirl released its first ad featuring James Charles, a male model sporting perfectly sculpted brows and mauve eyeshadow. While he is often mistaken as transgender, he identifies himself as gay, and someone who is very in touch with his personality. He just loves to look fabulous.

He’s not the only one; Jeffree Star, a popular makeup guru on YouTube, provides viewers with intense full-face tutorials, product reviews and encouragement. He even has his own makeup line. Then there is MannyMUA, a makeup artist who follows in the footsteps of the aforementioned makeup guru. Not to mention Nikita Dragun, a transgender makeup artist who relates to any person struggling with his/her identity. The list goes on and on.

Things are changing, and the line between the sexes is continuing to blur. Gender fluidity is hitting the mainstream hard. There has been backlash over the last few months regarding the LGBTQ and identity-questioning community, but the trend is ultimately about a shift in choice for the better. Men and women alike are allowed to become and embody the person they truly want to be.

The beauty industry is no longer a uniformed ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of deal. Makeup is art. It is intended to make men and women feel confident, and complete. It allows people to feel comfortable in their own skin. Does anyone really have the right to take that power away from them?

To me, men wearing makeup shows bravery. I can’t imagine the type of condescension men receive from wearing products in public. It probably knocks them down a peg or two, making them feel as if they haven’t earned their individuality.

Let’s just clear the air a little bit; this movement is not about feminizing men, but rather about making makeup genderless as a whole. It’s not a movement about degrading someone’s sexual orientation, but instead being accepting of it. It’s not about taking away someone’s ability to choose who they want to be, but instead giving it to them.

So keep on keepin on, gentlemen. Slap on that highlighter, glue on those fake eyelashes, and blot that lipstick. This world is yours for the taking.

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  • By Alexander Ledet

  • By Alexander Ledet

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