Is men’s make-up designed for looking good on camera?

When it comes to TV and photoshoots, make-up is used to brighten the face or mattify so that the subject looks better on camera. In recent years it is obvious that more and more men have dipped into the world of make-up, it could be because of shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race. 

Taken from market research company, Morning Consult’s website; ‘One-third of young men said they would consider wearing makeup, according to Morning Consult polling. Founders of men’s cosmetic brands credit the increased interest among young men not only to a wider acceptance of the idea that gender is fluid but also to the pressure to be picture perfect at any moment, thanks to social media. 

Credit to Morning Consult

Make-up is for everyone, but beauty brands aimed at men do exist and they are becoming more and more popular, especially since the Harry Styles Vogue campaign. Searches for Men’s make-up via Goggle in the past month since the campaign are currently at About 20,400 results. The month prior to the campaign, between October 1st to 31st are at ‘About 11,700 results’ showing a clear rise in searches The hashtag ‘Men’s makeup’ on Instagram has currently been used 55.1k times (data recorded on 24/11/2020). 

War Paint Make-up for men’s press team told us; “War Paint was created to give men a makeup choice specifically marketed towards them and designed for them that is lightweight and natural. All our products are Vegan and Cruelty free, all our makeup is also made in the UK. 

“We’re a brand designed for all men, of all ages. Our highest demographic is 25-34 and interestingly our second highest is men aged between 50-70. 30% of our customers are over 50. 

“Confidence isn’t gender exclusive and neither is makeup. Men should have the option to wear makeup if they wish, we understand it isn’t for everyone and that is fine too.”  

Many people believe that female and male skin can differ quite a bit however many make-up brands package the same formula in just a more masculine looking bottle, or a very similar formula.  

Make-up artist Shelley Scott said; “I have done lots of male makeup for photoshoots and fashion shows.

“The men went on to ask me about products available for them like tinted moisturisers/concealers and so on. We’ve seen a huge rise in men’s skincare over the last decade and I see more makeup products targeted at men becoming popular over the next decade. I’ve had models that have been incredibly insecure about aspects of their skin and the difference in their confidence once it had been covered with makeup was incredible and they were so grateful. 

“My experience has been that men are often reluctant to wear or even try makeup as they see it as something exclusively for women. But men have just as many insecurities as women about their appearance and so my experience has usually been that they are amazed by the effects once they’re wearing it. Ive also had models who, like Harry Styles, had no fear of it at all and we’re more than happy to wear elaborate makeup – they saw it as cool and artistic. 

Male makeup is mostly about correction i.e covering spots, rashes, cuts, skin conditions, tattoos or dark under-eye circles and contouring so that in photos cheekbones/jawlines are emphasised as well as six-pack muscles.

I remember doing the makeup for Durham University’s charity fashion show at first, none of the male models wanted any makeup. I did one model’s contouring and then I had a queue of about 30 boys all desperate to have their abs and cheekbones done! I also had a model who decided to wax his chest for the first time the night before a show; he immediately broke out in a huge angry red rash and was panicked. I was able to completely hide it with makeup and he was astounded. 

It is clear to see from the make-up experts that a lot of products and many of the techniques used on men seem to be more about evening skin tone and creating perfect looking skin for the camera, rather than colourful exciting products that women know and love.  

Men’s make-up and grooming brand Benny Hancock said; “Yes we have seen a rise in sales as of late but this has come from a variety of factors a move to online shopping with the help of our virtual mirror tool, Black Friday and Christmas. 

“We feel Men are starting to think about grooming in other ways and makeup is a natural progression. We still have a long way to go but this is an emerging market. 

“Our founder Benny Hancock believes everyone is entitled to look and feel good and has designed a collection that helps Men start to explore this emerging market. 

Make-up can be fun and exciting and should be for anyone who wants to try it out.  


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