Is it time for men to pick up concealer and foundation?

Not too many years ago, a man wearing makeup occurred in only a few settings: entertainment and jungle warfare. However, in 2019, more and more men are embracing makeup in their everyday lives whether they appear in front of the camera or not. The men’s makeup trend has come up a few times over the past few years. But will it stick this time?

The Pressure to Look Younger

Men are under pressure to look younger more than ever before. This is especially true in the competitive job market. As one tech guy put it, as he was looking for a new job, “I need to not look like I have a wife, two kids, and a mortgage.” Tech is especially vulnerable to this youthful trend. The focus in tech has always been towards the bright ideas of young (mostly) men and although the leaders of the industry are getting older, their employees feel the pressure to at least look and act like they are 22, free of commitments, and fresh-faced. In other industries, men feel the pressure to look fresh-faced. In a tight job market where competition is higher than ever the pressure is now on men and women equally to look their best at all times.

Chanel, Tom Ford, NARS, and More!

Brands ranging from Chanel to Tom Ford are releasing more and more products explicitly geared towards men. They feature single stick application, dark packaging and simplicity. The glossy packaging of women’s makeup is laid aside for these particularly products. A UK Brand, called War Paint leans into the masculine side of makeup. The only think missing from the packaging so far is a makeup line created to look like woodworking tools or automotive parts. Where is the foundation packaging that looks like a small oil filter? Either way, more brands are releasing these collections. However, many men aren’t waiting for a brand to create a line for them and simply shopping alongside the girls at the makeup aisle. The trope that only women wear makeup is beginning to die out.

Men Used to Wear Makeup

Historically, men wore makeup all the time. If one were to be transported to the French court of the 16th and 17th centuries, the men and women would be decorated in bright clothing and made-up faces. Although makeup for both sexes fell out of fashion in the 19th century, the 20th century brought makeup back for women. 200 years later, makeup for men is now front and center again. While there is a beauty element to this, there is also a competitive element. If a man wants an advantage in looks, makeup can give him an edge on his unadorned peers. In the 21st century society of service work, office works, and the knowledge economy, a good face is just as important as a good hair cut and the bonus is a lift in self confidence.

Will Men Buy In?

Anyone who has noticed advertising has noticed that men have come under advertising scrutiny. Women used to have to endure magazines and websites of thin, waxed, svelte models reminded them to keep up with the latest trends. Now, men are coming under fire as well. The late Aughts and early Tens have brought male fitness culture to the fore. “Do you even lift bro?” is a male cultural mantra that encourages men not to lazy about and watch TV but instead to watch TV while at the gym lifting weights and running on the treadmill. Working out and being in peak physical condition plays into the “strong man” type that has been apart of masculinity for ages. It remains to be seen if this new makeup trend will catch on in the same way as gym memberships. Could “Do you even concealer bro?” become a new mantra for men rushing to the makeup counter? The sales figures of these new men’s makeup brands will let us know.