This article appeared in the first 2016/2017 issue of the Look magazine

The makeup industry has changed drastically due to social media and the rise of beauty bloggers. Within mere seconds of logging onto Instagram, you can see the same pose from expertly painted faces. With the rise of the beauty blogger, came the rise of males participating within the beauty industry. The involvement of men in the beauty game is not something that is new, however it is something that has become a lot more accepted in our society.

The world of drag has embraced makeup techniques long before they were main stream. Contouring was used in drag to change the shape of the performers face long before beauty bloggers sculpted their faces. The popular the television show ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, and in Ireland, the huge fame of Panti Bliss, pushed the art of drag to the forefront. Although it may alienate some conservative people, it is one of the art forms that allow men to wear and perform whilst wearing makeup.

However drag makeup is an exaggeration of female features. A rise in men wearing makeup in an everyday way can also be seen.

The late, great Kevyn Aucoin was one of the most sought after makeup artists in Hollywood during the nineties. Between 1987 and 1989, he did nine Vogue covers in a row, and an additional seven Cosmopolitan covers. He launched his own beauty line in 2001, a year before his death. It was he who changed the beauty industry by opening the door for more men to take part in something that is regarded as highly feminine.

One of the most famous makeup artists of our time is Mario Dedivanovic, the man behind Kim Kardashian’s famous contouring skills. He pushed contouring to the forefront with his many celebrity clients. He has even collaborated with the highly coveted makeup brand Anastasia Beverly Hills to create the Mario Palette.

So why are people so turned off by the idea of a men using makeup like women?  Makeup has no gender and is an art form in itself. However, so many male beauty bloggers get a lot of hate because of their job.

MannyMUA, Patrick Starr and Jeffree Star are beauty bloggers with 2.7m, 2.6m and 3.6m followers respectively on Instagram. Both MannyMUA and Patrick Starr have both been brand ambassador for various brands including Benefit Cosmetics. Jeffree Star has his own beauty brand which includes lipsticks, eye shadow palettes and his famous highlighters. Star released limited edition black and hot pink highlighters for Halloween, two new colours to the highlighting world.

With these beauty gurus gaining large numbers of followers, it allows other boys to explore makeup and allow their artistry to flow and expand. The very existence of these makeup artists is a shining beacon for young men who do not feel like they fit in or feel confused about their love for makeup.

Just this year, Covergirl, a makeup brand that was strongly tied with America’s Next Top Model, announced its first male ambassador. The seventeen year old, James Charles, rose to fame when he went viral for retaking his high school yearbook pictures with his own ring light to showcase his highlight. The high schooler only began wearing makeup last year and is a self-taught makeup artist.

The world has been changing drastically since the beginning of the century. The welcoming of men into the beauty world is something that has been happening slowly but surely. Now with the rise of social media stars we can see the huge amount of men who are amazing with a makeup brush. Makeup has no gender, and it’s time for men to take the beauty industry by storm.


By Bronwyn O’Neill