Why more men are wearing make-up

Updated: May 7, 2020

Chanel recently made headlines, when they announced the release of a new make-up line in South Korea, officially for men, earlier this month.

Consisting of a natural-finish foundation, retractable eyebrow pencil and matte lip balm, this revolutionary collection aims to combat communal attitudes defining masculinity, and social norms that rule the idea that only women can wear make-up.

Chanel make-up line for men

New range: Boy De Chanel by Chanel Photo: www.cosmopolitan.com


For Chanel, beauty is not a matter of gender; it is a matter of style. This new range allows men in their beauty routines to have the tools necessary to feel better about themselves. Moreover, men should be free to use makeup products to correct their appearance, without calling into question their masculinity. Kristine Kim, PR/Communications Manager for Chanel, Korea

Male grooming is already a big thing…

The male grooming industry is undoubtedly booming right now; estimated to be worth $29.14 billion by 2024, according to Statista. And its not just deodorant and shampoo that men are flashing their cash on, but also on beard grooming products, professional treatments, skincare and yes, make-up.

Cosmetic companies have been trying to subtly sell to men for many years before now. The pressure to sell is evident in the following examples. Foundations are more likely to be bought by a men, on the whole, if labelled as a tinted moisturiser. Eyeliner for men is sold at a higher rate when labelled as a ‘guy-liner.’ Brands such as MMUK Man, cleverly market their products using a concise choice of wording; in the form of CC creams, complexion enhancers and anti-shine primers.

MMUK Man

MMUK Man is a award-winning cosmetic line, exclusively for Men


Why are more men wearing make-up now, more than ever before?

The rise of social media has increased the practice of humanism and the commercial fight to live the best, authentic life whilst exploring the pursuit of happiness. We are now encouraged more than ever to be trending, and to be different, and the only, possible way to do so is by being ourselves.

What better way to do that, than making the best of what we have, whether that mean physically or emotionally?

Why is it not widely accepted for a man to moisturise, but not to bake, or to highlight, or conceal his under-eye?

Prosperous, global-superstars like Jeffree Star, James Charles, Patrick Starrr and a long string of successful others, have been promoting the idea of men wearing make-up, online for years; conditioning and altering the way in which many of us used to think about it. Oh and they also making thousands a day by doing so, as they intrigue larger crowds and inspire the generations after us.


For those that didn’t necessarily approve or feel comfortable towards this concept in the beginning, are now more likely to be comfortable with the idea more than ever before, based upon one other theory.

It is just like a song one might detest, when they first hear it. However as the weeks go on, inevitably you learn to live with the tune you hated so in the beginning, and eventually begin to tolerate it, and with a bit more effort, actually enjoy it.

Companies thrive on this prospect and often use these online entrepreneurs to advertise their products. It is a hypnotic fact that we know the 20-minute make-up tutorial is nothing more than an endorsed ad, but quickly forget, and then are more likely to hold a future interest in the product we are watching.

Morgan freeman giphy

GIF: reddit.com


To conclude, male vloggers have played a significant role in normalising the idea of men wearing cosmetics.


Women no longer need to be rescued…

For thousands of years, the majority of us have grown up, being told the same, familiar fairytale.

This consists of the ideology that the man, can only be strong, masculine entity with the only intention of rescuing the humble woman. The humble woman is reserved and caring, with the only intention of taking care and doting upon the manly man and her (or his?) family, as he plays the ultimate hero of the world.

man american flag gif

GIF: interstellardesignz


The last 30 years have brought an incredible amount of change and is slowly destroying the one-sided belief that women need to be rescued, and men need to play the constant hero.

Women can now work over 60 hours, are free to vote and curse, whilst hashtagging the word ‘badass bitch‘ on their social media feeds, whilst men are free to discuss glycolic acid and their love of sunbeds and facials, retire to a life of house-husbandry if they want to. Equality is more fashionable than ever.

youre a badass bitch gif

GIF: Rocket Jump Film School


The influence of pop culture

It is common knowledge that pop culture has an equally profound effect on the societal attitudes of what we deem gender-appropriate and contribute to our definition of complex qualities we may seek in a potential spouse.

Now, it’s not just the Hollywood actors that are openly relying on powders and palettes. Last year it was revealed that French President Emmaneul Macron spent over $26,000 on a personal make-up artist in the first three months of presidency.

China has seen a healthy 7% growth in the men’s beauty market -estimated at a $2 billion.

China's male beauty market is expanding

China’s male beauty market is expanding


Additionally, the global phenomenon of K-Pop is said to have had a powerful influence over the idea of what it means to be a real man in 2018.

The culture has given birth to millions of die-hard female fans worshipping the sensitive and graceful ‘pretty-boy’ look. This particular type of pop culture has evidently made aesthetic shifts in Korean society, based upon several reports on the increased demand of feminised plastic surgery.


K-Pop’s androgynistic choice of lipstick-wearing male superstars are changing global attitudes just as much as David Beckham’s recent launch of personal grooming products for men.

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Will men wearing make-up eventually become the new-norm?

Product-endorsed advertisements, Korean pop bands, ex-footballers, Youtube stars and the freedom of choice seem to be the fundamental factors in this make-up movement, but will, and how long for, will it last?

Comment your thoughts below or find me on Instagram.

#menmakeuprevolution #malegroomingindustry #makeupformen #malemakeupvloggers #chanelmenmakeupline #effectofpopculture

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