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8 of the best men in makeup


These days men wear makeup in ways they never did before. There's always been actors in powder and glam rockers, but the growing fad tends to be full face – at least for the #boysofinstagram.

In actual fact, makeup and the male gender - my forthcoming book - have an interesting relationship. We all know historically that men have worn makeup, from pharaohs to fops, and punks to mimes!. And while makeup is still pretty much marketed towards women, guys are buying everything from foundation to matte lipsticks, and some even have their own lines - see Jeffrey Star.

It’s totally acceptable for a man today to have his own personal collection of makeup. Some of my previous partners have, and I myself wear foundation/powder most days and favour a winged eye, black lip or black nails every now and again. I don’t really care for the whole Manny MUA ultra-femme-with-stubble look (he’s infinitely more bangable without ANY of it) but it’s a strong look, and it's real popular right now.

Notwithstanding drag personalities, I want to share with you 8 of my favourite style icons/men in makeup. I have a particular style, so there’ll be no basic bitch glitter beards here. I tend towards the goth end of the scale. You may not agree (let me know) but these are the guys who #wearitwell to me.

1 Jack White

Jack White’s shadow game is so strong. This is my preferred look for him: red eye shadow, white waterline and powdered skin. And that big curly hair of course. He rocks my world.

men in makeup

2 Adam Lambert

TW: shade. Before he got a team of stylists, Adam Lambert was doing it for the goth gayboys but he looked a hot mess. Ever since his appearance as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I clocked his superb makeup and style. When he’s on top of his game he’s completely stunning, but when he falls, he falls hard. I think the perfect combo for Lambert is the medium length quiff, shaved sides, mascara and perfectly kept facial hair INCLUDING THOSE EYEBROWS OMG. Oh, and black nails of course.

men in makeup

3 Ezra Miller

My more arty friends are stalwart supporters of Ezra Miller and his sexiness, so he’s always been on my radar. I’ve tended to prefer beefier guys, BUT THEN Miller turned up this year with a bigger body and one hell of a jawline and I was sold. This look from the Fantastic Beasts premiere is so hot - I’ve tried to replicate it myself just because I love it so much. It looks to me like mainly red eyeshadow and a little blending with a darker shadow - but I’m no expert. I just know that Miller looks fiiiiiiine.

men in makeup

4 David Bowie

How could he not be on this list? When Bowie died I realised just how important he’d been to me. He was a vanguard in music and fashion. He totally wrote the book on men in makeup, or at least, he was on the cover. When I want to feel brave about wearing makeup, I think of him.

men in makeup

5 Prince

I’ve always admired Prince’s look. When I was in the closet, he was an interesting example of metrosexuality to me. Overtly feminine yet totally straight. Prince tends work a black waterline and long lashes - it’s a sexy combo I might pick up on in future.

men in makeup

6 Marilyn Manson

To quote my sister in an odd Facebook post a few years back, I think Marilyn Manson is quite beautiful. I’ve always felt that his album The Golden of Grotesque had a transformative effect on me. It wasn’t just about the music, he was a figurehead for a countercultural group that I didn’t quite understand but wanted to be a part of. And he was badass. Whenever I wear black lipstick, I’m always channelling Manson.

men in makeup

7 Paul Capsis

I first knew of Paul Capsis when I watched Head On several years ago. He is a complete stand-out in that film. Capsis is well known in Australia as a burlesque performer and singer. Again, I think he looks beautiful - he could be Helena Bonham Carter’s campy older brother! Check out his duet with Conchita Wurst for further confirmation of his amazingness.

men in makeup

8 Boy George

When Boy George got it right, he got it RIGHT. Just like in this picture where he looks oddly like Isabella Rosselini. Boy George’s makeup was always bright and colourful - unlike many on this list. But I still think he looks fierce: his iconic method paved the way for men to wear makeup today.

men in makeup

Have I missed someone incredibly important? Lindsay Kemp, Steve Strange, Stu from Big Brother UK? Let me know in the comments.

Sam ClealComment