There is no doubt, makeup for men is a growing trend. From Chanel’s and Tom Ford’s male beauty lines to YouTube and Instagram influencers Jeffree Star and James Charles, makeup companies are continuing to advertise and create makeup lines catering to male clients. It’s another sign that the uniqueness of women and differentiation between the sexes is slowly disappearing.
When I first became aware of the growing male makeup trend, it was when an advertisement for one of my favorite brands came up on Instagram. My first reaction was confusion. Why do men need makeup? And the second was frustration. Why is beauty and makeup, one of the few remaining female domains, increasingly dominated by men?
There’s nothing wrong with men using skincare products like moisturizer or using some undereye cream now and again. Skin is our body’s largest organ after all. But makeup, like brows gel comb, concealer, foundation and mascara? That’s a step too far in my opinion.
However, men are increasingly dabbling in the world of makeup and, sometimes, even dominating it. Jeffree Star and James Charles are two of the largest YouTube makeup gurus on the platform with about 15-16 million subscribers each. James Charles, due to a controversy with another YouTube personality, was also one of the most searched for names on Google last year. Most of the women on the platform don’t reach those levels. Even Lisa Eldridge, a professional makeup artist with decades of experience working with high fashion, photoshoots and celebrities, doesn’t have two million followers.
The reality is that some women are increasingly turning to men for makeup advice.
There’s also a “boy” or young connotation in makeup for men. For example, Chanel calls their line Boy de Chanel. Boy? Isn’t this makeup for men? Or are some men trying to portray themselves as boys through the use of makeup? There is already one Instagram influencer, Reuben de Maid, who as a 12-year-old boy wears a full face of makeup and in 2017 gave an 11-minute makeup tutorial for The Ellen Show channel.
Some girls aren’t even allowed to wear makeup at 12. It’s inconceivable that a boy of the same age is encouraged and praised for doing the same.
Boy de Chanel, the male makeup line designed by the world-famous fashion house, says that “beauty knows no genders.” But shouldn’t women want to look feminine and men want to look masculine? Apparently not. (Speaking of Chanel, I even had a man agree with me once about how Le Volume by Chanel is the best mascara. It was strange.)
Again, this is not to say that men can’t look good, but why are some trying to achieve flawless skin by using foundation? Most women don’t really care about that stuff. I would say women, by and large, want men to be men. But this male beauty movement signifies something even more troubling.
Women no longer have a monopoly on beauty and may be losing some of our femininity in the process.
Men are using makeup, and in some instances better than women, but result seems more like a caricature than anything else. Women, by our very biology, have hormones that cause our skin to naturally develop more acne and other issues where makeup is not only helpful but sometimes a real confidence booster.
A woman is supposed to be beautiful and a man is supposed to be handsome. Isn’t that how it goes?
If a man is self-conscious about a zit and wants to use concealer to cover it up for a day or two, that makes sense. But I think society needs to begin drawing the line when it comes to men and beauty products. I don’t really need to see a man with globs of makeup on trying to emulate a woman. Let’s celebrate the God-given differences between men and women rather than trying to blur the line between the sexes.
Otherwise, the femininity and uniqueness of women will be lost in the process.