What I Learned As A Guy Wearing Makeup

Before we talk about my experience of wearing makeup, let me preface this by saying that I’m not an expert in the world of beauty. I don’t know how to beat a face, taking it from pedestrian to glamour puss, like some of these male beauty bloggers do.

While I wasn’t one of those little boys wearing makeup and dresses, my first brush with cosmetics happened when I found my mum’s makeup box. What is this fabulous fuchsia powder that shimmers and sparkles, I asked myself as I picked up her blush kit.

I applied the blush on my younger brother’s face (always try anything new on someone else first) and exaggerated his portrait with a velvet red lipstick I found. He looked like the long-lost child of It.

guy in make up guy in makeup, cemetary fashion shoot

He looked in the mirror and started crying. Mum found my artistic project humourous but being a parent, she chastised me for the hot mess I created.

Fast-forward to today, this distant memory of makeup play was reignited by RuPaul’s Drag Race and social media. Unlike beauty bloggers who use cosmetics to transform into glamour goddesses, I like how drag queens such as Milk and Sasha Velour from the reality show use it as conceptual art to tell a story.

Having fooled around with makeup a few times for Instagram, I’ve learnt a few things about the power and possibilities of these beauty tools.

guy in makeup

1. A permanent mirror would be great, thanks

There’s no doubt that wearing makeup can be liberating and boost your confidence. The problem is, unlike being able to admire a statement sweater that you’re wearing, you only see your creation when you’re looking in the mirror or when you take a selfie. I’m still learning how to appreciate not being able to see it.

2. Winning when you experiment

I confided in my friend that I’m not great at painting my visage and a lot of what I do is emulating inspirations and moodboards I’ve collected. She reiterated that as long as you’re willing to experiment, that’s all it matters. I’ve lived by her words since.

3. There’s no right and wrong

If it’s all about experimenting, it will take a lot of trial and error before you become an expert. There’s also no right or wrong – or so I’ll like to think – I’ve used lipstick as eyeshadow when I couldn’t get the intensity I needed.

4. No one cares that you’re a guy (buying makeup)

The retail assistant probably doesn’t care that you’re a guy buying cosmetics since it’s become common and ok for guys to wear makeup. My first time asking which products to buy felt a little like I was visiting a sex clinic to get tested and hoping to remain anonymous but really, no one was judging. 

5. Get ready to live on a budget

Makeup isn’t cheap. Businesses hike up prices on products that make people feel good and makeup is one of them. As you often see with many of these beauty bloggers, their before and after transformation often leaves audience flabbergasted. This feeling of positivity and confidence determine prices since consumers are willing to pay.

It’s easy to see why makeup resonates with women, drag queens and now, men. While I’ve said beauty products can be expensive, they’re still cheaper and safer than getting cosmetic surgery. Guys, feel no shame – it’s time to let makeup become the new men’s grooming.

Street Style Poser
About me

Henry Ng is a writer, photographer, stylist and consultant. Henry found success owning his own menswear label, Orri Henrisson, before moving into digital marketing where his creative and strategy skills are highly sought after. Henry’s passion for menswear and travel saw him launching Street Style Poser. Henry loves all things bright and colourful, karoke, Kristen Wiig, and salted caramel anything!


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