Can Boys Wear Makeup? Should That Even Be a Question?

Publish date:
July 5, 2012

If there’s one thing that gets my sexuality questioned more than dying my hair or owning girl’s jeans, it’s the fact that I wear makeup every day. Not trowels of drag-queen makeup, mind, but probably just the same amount as your average girl, maybe a little bit less. Now, I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but wearing makeup doesn’t actually change my sexual preferences. I don’t put mascara on and think ‘I LOVE MEN GIVE ME MEN’. But for whatever reason, people immediately assume that my cosmetic preferences directly pertain to my sexual ones.

Me with loads of makeup on before the xoJane UK launch party

If anyone gets really worked up over my sexuality, you can almost guarantee that it will be another man. A lot of guys can’t seem to get over the fact that a straight male might want to wear makeup. If I do tell people I’m straight, they usually ask me ‘why do you wear makeup then?’. The same reason I make any choice based on my appearance: because I want to. Duh. It doesn’t really need overanalysing with some unwanted sexuality-defining magnifying glass. People are forever going around trying to smush things into neat little boxes. Stop it, stop it now. Thank you.

I also painted my nails (albeit terribly). It’s so fun! Boys are missing out.

You might think that my makeup looks absolutely hideous, or that I would look better without it on, and that’s fine. *Sniff*. But my point isn’t that men look more attractive with makeup on, my point is that anyone should be able to wear exactly what they want to without someone telling them it wasn’t made for their gender.

Maybe I’m wrong, and all this foundation is wreaking havoc with my brain cells. Maybe boys should wear blue and girls should wear pink, and I’m just extremely weird. But didn’t your mother ever tell you that weird can sometimes be good? Mine did, and then I raided her makeup drawer.

My recommendations:

Primer: I like being pale, so I use M.A.C’s SPF 50 primer, which is also a brilliant base for foundation.

Foundation: I’ve sourced the most natural-looking foundation ever, which is Dior’s DiorSkin Nude. I use it in ivory. It has a medium coverage, a dewy finish, and moisturises your skin throughout the day.

Lips: For natural-looking lip colour without gloss or matte effects, use Benefit’s Benetint. It can be used as a subtle blusher on the cheeks as well.

Mascara: I use Lancôme’s Hypnôse mascara, which isn’t too thick or spidery, but is an absolute nightmare to get off at night. It’s completely waterproof though and lasts forever.

Before and after applying Hypnôse mascara.