With the rise of social media apps like Instagram and TikTok, men and masculine-identifying people are trying out makeup as a form of self-expression. It’s an increasingly common view that society should separate beauty from stereotypes and gender binary norms. This article will explore the history of men’s makeup and question if men ever stopped wearing makeup. We’ll also take a look at the role of social media in influencing the future of men’s cosmetics.
History of Men Wearing Makeup
Men have been wearing makeup for thousands of years. Although some think it’s uncommon to see men (particularly straight men) wearing cosmetics today, men have never really stopped wearing them throughout history. In ancient Egyptian history, we see references to pharaohs wearing cosmetics to express their wealth and status.
It was also common to see both men and women using makeup and wigs in the colonial era. These beauty standards made class distinctions clear. Both men and women were wearing white face powder, blush, lip colors, massive wigs, and lots of fragrances to keep up with beauty trends.
In modern times, we see rock, pop, and metal bands and artists like KISS, David Bowie, and Prince showing off elaborate looks onstage. In many forms of performance, including theatre and film, the public sees male actors wearing significant amounts of stage makeup. Celebrities often play a role in beauty trends, and men are never absent from the makeup scene.
Social Media’s Role in Men’s Cosmetics
It is easier than ever for men wearing makeup to achieve influencer status by showing off detailed beauty looks in pictures and videos. Social media has increased exposure to makeup for the male gender.
The hashtag #meninmakeup has millions of views on TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Many men who wear makeup have achieved influencer status on social media, such as James Charles or Brad Mondo. More and more individuals are becoming comfortable expressing themselves through beauty products.
It’s important to remember that beauty standards change over time. They also differ from culture to culture. As social media connects people worldwide, it’s essential to acknowledge that beauty standards will continue to evolve.
As society grows increasingly inclusive of people of all gender identities, more people accept how people express those identities through beauty and fashion. This means that cosmetics are not limited to women but accessible for people of any gender identity.
Cosmetics and Gender Identity
There are already several lines of grooming products and cosmetics that are designed for male-identifying individuals. Brands like Boy de Chanel and Danny Gray’s War Paint have introduced male cosmetic lines. Other prominent brands have marketed their products towards the LGBTQ community.
Social media plays such a significant role in highlighting masculine artists and influencers. This means that these individuals have a greater opportunity to create their own makeup lines that are masculine or gender-neutral.
People of all genders are increasingly using makeup to express their personalities or to cover up blemishes and acne.
LMI’s founder and professional makeup artist Lissette Waugh believes that cosmetic lines are never created for only one gender: Society may try to impose who can wear makeup, but there are no limitations when it comes to cosmetics and their use. Makeup is “for everyone.” She also believes social media will continue to increase exposure to cosmetics as a form of expression for people of all genders.
Learn More About LMI
The L Makeup Institute offers classes covering all styles of makeup artistry. Since 2010, LMI has taught the art and science of makeup artistry to the next generation of makeup and special effects artists. Our “Mastering the Art of Beauty” course offers strong foundational cosmetics skills and covers the role men’s makeup has played in the evolution of makeup artistry. There are thousands of cosmetology schools, but only a handful of schools like L Makeup Institute. We focus exclusively on preparing you to work as a professional makeup artist immediately upon graduating. Discover why LMI is well known in the MUA community as producing talented, well-rounded, and sought-after graduates.