It is fashion that distinguishes what’s hot and what’s not and it is fashion that establishes the way we perceive ourselves and others.
As fashion changes, things that may once have been unacceptable or the province of only one sub-culture can become mainstream.
That’s the case for men and the use of makeup. Where once it would have been frowned upon, now there are guys who wear makeup, look great in it and even make their living from it.
12. Manny Guitierrez
Manny Guitierrez has embraced the trend of men wearing makeup wholeheartedly, and it shows in his work. Not only does he believe that men can be more creative by embracing their feminine and masculine sides and blending the two together, he also makes a very good living teaching men how do that on YouTube.
11. Bretman Rock
At the tender age of 17, Bretman Rock is smashing through the boundaries of who wears makeup in society, and he’s not alone. Six million people follow Bretman on Instagram, and over a million more chase his every word on YouTube. Lipstick has never won the hearts of so many before.
10. Jeffree Star
Jefreee is a professional makeup artist, and has his own line of makeup in the form of Star makeup. His company produces lipstick and eye shadow for guys, and he says, “I discovered makeup at the age of 13 and have been obsessed with it ever since. I used to copy looks from fashion ads in my mother’s Cosmopolitan magazines and steal her eye shadows.”
9. Marvyn Macnificent
Germany’s finest and most provocative male makeup model is Marvyn Macnificent, and he’s a huge fan of taking palettes and paints to the next level. There’s no question that no matter what the social situation is, Marvyn’s worked out a way to make the makeup work for him.
8. James Charles
James is the industry’s first full-time model, and he works for Covergirl. He has a YouTube channel which is dedicated to showing chaps how to get the most from glitter and razzle-dazzle. The baseball cap is always present too, no matter how much lip gloss is applied. It’s a style brand, apparently.
7. Angel Merino
There’s a whole George Michael crossed with Boy George thing going on for Angel Merino, who is another top-level makeup artist. He’s on a mission to prove that a man’s cheekbones and lashes can be as comely as any lady’s. He lives and works in Southern California.
6. Victor Ramos
Victor began by dabbling with a little bit of eyeliner, and then, “As time progressed, I got better and brows turned into concealing, concealing turned into contouring and highlighting, and that turned into everything you see today,” Now he makes his living as a lifestyle blogger showing guys how to combine blusher and five o’clock shadow.
5. Jean Francois
Jean Francois is a Canadian with French roots. He’s one of the boldest male vloggers in the beauty space, and he’s all about creating distinct style statements through the use of makeup. There are no half-measures here. He wants to show the world that a man can take on makeup like a man.
4. Stahr Milan
Milan’s mission is broader than teaching men how to do makeup, though that’s a definite part of his vlogging and blogging life. He also wants guys to learn how to accept their inner selves, and to be able to love themselves for it. He’s a bit of an agony aunt.
3. Ben Le Douarin
We head to France to find Ben Le Douarin, who is famous for his makeup work and his rather bold beard. He wants to help guys develop a sort of facial portrait over the face and to be able to enhance their personality through the vivid use of color schemes.
2. Patrick Starr
“Makeup is one size fits all,” according to Patrick Starr. He thinks the beauty industry is ripe for a bunch of boys to move in and develop their careers, looks and happiness within it. More than 2 million people follow him on YouTube, so he must have something going on.
1. Gabriel Zamora
Gabriel Zamora’s trademark is his bright, blue hair. It makes him stand out among even the characters of the male beauty scene. His androgynous good looks are completely the right way to go for makeup techniques that really do suit him. Both guys and girls follow Gabriel and his trade secrets.
These guys have shown that it’s possible to take something that has been traditionally feminine and make it masculine without compromising their own identities.
In age where gender politics so often seem created to divide rather than unite the two genders, it’s good to see guys getting out there and breaking down some of the artificial barriers within the world of fashion.
It’s also worth noting that this is a profitable pastime for these guys, too. They’re getting paid to dress up and look really cool, something most of us wish we could get paid for.