A few weeks ago, I pitched a story on men’s makeup. Almost immediately my idea got shot down, because others claimed that “Guys don’t wear makeup” and “No one would want to read about that.”
It’s shit like this that makes me realize how devoted we are as a society to keep men “manly,” making sure they never take a bite of female forbidden fruit, to never do anything that’s condemned as feminine for fear they’ll turn into wimps instead of the burly dudes they’re supposed to be. Admittedly, I had the same views as the naysayers not too long ago.
I recently had my makeup cherry popped. Until about a year ago, I thought dudes who wore any kind of makeup were Gaaaaaay with a capital G and attention seeking (sorry!). Then queer karma came around, made my face break out, and sent me into the fetal position every time I looked into the mirror. So, like a straight guy buying tampons for his girlfriend, I ventured into the unknown: I braved the arduous journey through the makeup section at CVS and bought some concealer.
Through experimentation and the guidance from my girlfriends, I learned to use makeup to enhance my day-to-day look, without turning into an unintentional Ru Paul’s Drag race contestant (which would be AWESOME, but not how I want my face took look when I go to Chemistry). I've found that some of the most essential items include:
1. Tinted Moisturizer – God bless the father, son, and the holy Lord Disick for introducing this into my life. What’s great about it is how there’s no technique needed, it basically does the work for you (lazy bastard). Just find your shade and rub it in. It’s perfect for that “no I swear, I’m not hungover” Friday morning look you’re trying to pull off. It adds a little life to pale, winter skin, and works as a SPF depending on what kind you get.
2. Concealer – Calling shenanigans right now on any dude who says he’s never used concealer to hide a really bad pimple. It’s perfect for hiding zits, scars, and, depending on how little you slept last night, under-eye circles. Beware how much you cake on, because too much will make you look like a raccoon and you will be sorry.
3. Eye Brow Pencil – Perfect for defining and filling in your brows, which we’re all aware is what makes someone powerful in today’s world. Like concealer, use gently- but with the perfect amount, you and your brows will be contenders for masters of the universe.
4. Lip Polish – Basically a fancier version of lip balm. Use it in to rid your lips of dead skin and chapped sickness, and maybe you'll score a drunken make out.
5. Eye Liner – For the more daring. Using a green or brown can help subtly define your eyes without making you look like 2009 Pete Wentz. You might want help from a professional (your mom, sister, YouTube) for the inaugural application.
Bottom line: makeup isn't girly, it’s not feminine, and it’s not female. It doesn't have a fucking gender. Just like beauty doesn't have a gender. Looking and feeling good, however anyone chooses to do it, shouldn't be marginalized or ridiculed. So use makeup to look good, or don’t, but do us all a favor and stop acting like men’s makeup, a $3.9 billion industry, is wrong.