Go into just about any beauty store, and you will find a visibly uncomfortable-looking guy hesitantly following his girlfriend around the stacks of foundation and matte lipsticks. Heck, walk into your local Walmart and you can find dudes pointedly steering away from the makeup isles. You would think Maybelline and Cover Girl carried the plague, not affordable makeup lines.
Here's the thing:
Wearing foundation on your skin doesn't make you a male or a female.
Your chromosomes determine that.
Enjoying applying makeup isn't a one-gender-fits-all sort of situation.
Gender is made up anyway, so there goes that excuse.
Finding pleasure in having clean, clear skin, taking care of your body, and using "beauty" products doesn't decide who or what you are.
The makeup industry is one of the most women-driven fields out there, but that really is not something to celebrate. Girls dominate the makeup industry because guys aren't "allowed" to partake in the art that truly is makeup (they are called makeup artists for a reason). There are a lot of reasons for this, and none of them are good for men, women, nonbinary individuals, or other gender non-conforming people.
Society hyper-feminizes makeup.
Men make fun of men who like makeup.
People consider makeup to be misleading, to be put on as a show for others' entertainment.
Really, makeup is about making yourself happy, about putting the things you feel inside and showcasing them for the world. It is for making yourself feel good, for creating a living piece of art on your face or body. Makeup takes skill and practice, hours of refining and finesse. It is an expressive art.
Not being a femme woman does not mean your makeup interests should be policed. If you think makeup is cool, do makeup. If you don't like makeup, don't do makeup.
It really is as simple as that.
The thing about this constant battle of who is allowed to do makeup and in what context or for whom that bothers me most, is by doing this, we are preventing incredibly talented individuals from rising to the top in the industry.
Take the makeup artist in the cover image for this very article as an example. Manny is arguably one of the most talented makeup artists of this generation. His YouTube following is made up of over five million subscribers, and his Instagram also has surpassed the 5M followers mark. Not only is Manny incredibly skilled with a brush and makeup palette, but he is charming, witty, compassionate, and entertaining. His newly released makeup line, Lunar Beauty, is a testament to his legacy as an MUA.
Think. Dream. Create. This is how Lunar Beauty finds inspiration to create a world filled with life and color. By blending Manny's passion and experience, we have concocted cosmetics and designed apparel that both men and women will love.
Manny is not the only guy out there slaying the makeup game, and people like him are slowly breaking down the sexist barrier in the makeup industry.
Makeup is all about self-expression. Nobody should get to pick and choose who is allowed to participate.
If you are a gal and you feel threatened by a guy's wickedly sharp cut-crease, grow up and open up your mind. Complement him. Support him. Ask him for tips.
If you are a guy and some pigmented powder threatens your masculinity, go sniff some beef jerky and you'll be fine. Just because your fragile sense of self is easily deconstructed, it does not mean everyone else needs to follow suit.
Let people enjoy the harmless things they enjoy.