Will makeup ever find its way into a man’s grooming routine? Photo: Simon Sim

Would you wear makeup? It’s a question that emerged in our office as the debate on gender equality gains momentum around the world.

After all, if women can do the things that are traditionally assigned to men, would men consider venturing into the areas that are traditionally assigned to women, too?

Cheat Sheet

Already, the male half of the earth’s inhabitants are using skin care products and services. The men’s grooming industry is growing by leaps and bounds. According to Euromonitor, it’s projected to reach US$60.7 billion by the year 2020. The highest growth market is unsurprisingly Asia Pacific.

Grooming ourselves is less about vanity and more about personal care. After all, putting your best self forward means taking care of your skin. While make-up isn’t in the realm of personal care, it does help you to present your best face to the world.

Male celebrities around the world already wear make-up while heading to events or preparing themselves for photoshoots. Perhaps it’s time we pick up a tip or three from them.

When to Wear Make-up

The two instances that we would recommend a dash of make-up would be dark eye circles and blemishes, especially before an important job interview or a date.

With a single swipe of a concealer, you’re ready to face the world without worrying if they are distracted by your zit. Developed a mysterious rash the day before a major meeting? Just blend foundation to hide it, but don’t forget to book an appointment with the doctor.

Make-up is an instant fix. but men still don’t think of it as such, probably because we’re still stuck in the mindset that make-up is the domain of women.

The Times, They Are a-Changin’

The notion of make-up being the sole domain of women is outdated. When it comes to beauty, as with most things, it’s all about progress. Boundaries have been broken: Amna Al Haddad and Ibtihaj Muhammad have already respectively weightlifted and fenced their way to the Olympics. Rihanna has created over 40 shades of foundation to include all skin tones for Fenty Beauty.

And when it comes to beauty, men like Tom Pecheux and Peter Philips have painted enough faces throughout their careers to secure respectable positions in the beauty industry – they are the global beauty director for YSL Beauté and creative and image director for Dior Makeup respectively.

Even Tom Ford Beauty has created a beauty line specifically for men, which includes everything from eyebrow gels to bronzers. With all that laid out, it’s safe to say that there’s definitely a place for make-up in your world.

Makeup can easily be an instant fix for blemishes or a simple option for enhancing the features. Photo: Simon Sim

On One Hand

When AUGUSTMAN’s editor, Farhan Shah (@thesecondmrhan), was questioned on whether he’s more bothered by the feminine aspect of make-up or simply because it was inconvenient, he stated the latter as what stands in between make-up and himself. If anything, he’s more than open to attempt make-up to fix imperfections. It’s just that he “doesn’t know where to start”.

What about the idea that make-up is strictly for women then? “We need to stop fixating on tired gender roles. Men can wear make-up. Women can kick ass. Gender doesn’t matter,” Farhan said.

Like Farhan, writer Terence Stanley (@terenceruis) also states “inconvenience” as a factor that stops him from shopping for foundations and eyebrow pencils to add to his grooming table. According to Terence, there is “less societal pressure” for men to keep up with a flawless complexion, hence he, as with most men, can live without it.

That’s What She Said

Daniela Monasterios Tan (@a_dna_lie), fashion lecturer at LaSalle College of the Arts feels that men are put off by make-up because they associate it with “performance and dressing up as characters.” And it’s not far from true, as names like Eddie Izzard and G-Dragon first come to mind when Farhan and Terence were made to throw names of men in make-up from the top of their heads.

For Daniela, it’s Boy George. And to her, it’s not a turn off if her man wears make-up “as long as we get along.” After all, the legendary David Bowie – he of the scarlet lightning bolt painted across his face – also indulged in make-up from time to time while married to supermodel Iman.

Last Stroke

We are not suggesting that men contour their faces. You can if you want to – we’re all for pushing boundaries. Instead, we’re suggesting that make-up provides the convenience of instant fixes to address visible skin issues, and we don’t need to shy away from it.

While skincare products provide long-term benefits and equip you for maintaining good skin health, make-up can also have a part to play in men’s appearance and self-confidence. We simply have to keep our minds open. At the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt to try looking the best we can. 



First and cover image (from left): Diorskin Airflash Foundation, Dior, $92; Stylo Sourcils Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil, Chanel, $59; Touche Éclat Face Highlighter Pen, YSL Beauté, $62; Complexion Kabuki Brush, Sephora, $21; Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, Hourglass at Sephora, $76; The Small Brightener Brush, NARS, $86; Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation, Chanel, $90.

Second image (from left): Encre De Peau Le Cushion, YSL Beauté, $92; The Multiple Multi-purpose Stick, NARS, $60; Crease Shadow Brush, Sephora, $22; Diorskin Forever Extreme Control, Dior, $98; Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, NARS, $70; Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer, Dior, $60; Graphic; Brow Fix, Zoeva at Sephora, $20; Retractable Foundation Brush, Chanel, $80


Art Direction: Chia Wei Choong (@chiaweichoong)

Styling: Syed Zulfadhli (@zoolius.caesar.salad)

Photographer: Simon Sim (@00simons00)

written by.

Syed Zulfadhli

Syed Zulfadhli knows a thing or two... thousand about skincare and grooming.
Of Men And Makeup
Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.