Photography by Lexie Lou
Produced and Assisted by Hannah Keiffert
Makeup by Allison Yang and Jazmin Thomas
Modeled by Evan Tomchin (MSA) and Chad Bailey
Introduction by Ryann Casey
Gone are the days of makeup monotony. No longer is a boy’s relationship with beauty hidden and secretive. He isn’t sneaking concealer from mom’s makeup bag to cover a zit for picture day. He is submerged in makeup culture, finding the same confidence in color that so many generations of women have before him.
Makeup has transposed daily routine into complex culture. YouTube tutorials, Instagram accounts and Reddit threads are dedicated to makeup culture- a community that includes men.
Men wearing makeup in the past has been a subculture, i.e. Marilyn Manson’s nail polish, Kurt Cobain’s hair color and David Bowie’s blush. Unlike these icons of generations past, boys in beauty have infiltrated mass culture. Instead of pushing boundaries, they’re living outside of them.
Men in makeup aren’t a fad: they’re helping shape the multibillion dollar beauty industry. Maybelline collaborated with Manny MUA to stay relevant. Covergirl’s first ever CoverBoy, James Charles, was a move to reinvent the brand. Cooler brands like Milk have gender inclusive messaging woven into their brand identity, while brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills feature males in their campaigns to include the demographic. These efforts of cosmetic companies are meant to match Millennial and Generation Z’s disinterest in gender identification.
Gender stigmas are dissipating, and from this acceptance of men in beauty there is hope for a more inclusive future with further rejection of the gender binary. Regardless of gender, today’s beauty community is harnessing the subversive power of makeup. Beauty is power and confidence, and that freedom is genderless.