Lucy Thorpe – 04/04/2022
Makeup For Men | History & Present Day
Makeup for men is nothing new. It’s been around for thousands of years and has been worn in almost every culture. In more recent history, makeup for men has been less mainstream, but this is changing. Social media and a whole host of gender-neutral and male-focused beauty brands are helping men all over the world to feel more comfortable enhancing their beauty with makeup.
The History Of Makeup
To understand makeup for men, let’s take a look at its history and where it all started to move right through to the modern-day and how makeup for men has evolved.
In Ancient Egypt, makeup for men was around from as early as 4000 BC. You can see how that is reflected in the art of that time, showing men with kohl-lined eyes along with lip and cheek stains. Men in Ancient Egypt also used makeup for religious purposes, to evoke gods and ward off illness, and to signify their wealth and status.
Men in Ancient Rome applied red pigment to their cheeks, used powder to lighten their skin and painted their nails. They also painted their heads to camouflage bald spots, which isn’t a million miles away from the hair powders and sprays used today.
In Elizabethan England, makeup for men was extremely fashionable. Imagine skin powdered to be ghost-white (sometimes using lead-based makeup that caused serious health problems and even death) and pink lips.
The same went for 18th Century France, with King Louis XVI driving a trend for over the top wigs, makeup, and hair products. Painting on a beauty mark was also popular for men at this time.
Makeup for men took a little break for a while, as the Industrial Revolution and Victorian Austerity kicked in, with men being more concerned about working long hours and putting food on the table than beauty trends.
1930s Hollywood kickstarted the male beauty industry again, with men in movies wearing makeup and styling their hair for the silver screen – Clark Gable’s polished, debonair look springs to mind.
The 1970s and 80s saw Glam Rock, the rise of the Dandy and a more androgynous, fluid look for men. Think Boy George, David Bowie, Prince and Adam Ant. There also started to be more male makeup artists working in the industry at this time.
In the early 2000s, the indie, pop-punk and emo music trends brought forward a focus on eyeliner and nail polish for men, with some men experimenting even further with the trend. The idea of a metrosexual man started to re-emerge, with some brands bringing out versions of their cosmetics for men.
With the rise in social media, the 2010s saw more self-expression in men’s makeup, especially with popular online influencers like Bretman Rock, Manny MUA, Jeffree Star and James Charles. James actually ended up being the first male face of Covergirl.
Today, more and more men are experimenting with makeup and enhancing their natural beauty. It’s a completely different look from the overstyled statement looks of the past, and is more around simplicity, concealing imperfections and making the most of your natural attributes.
Humānery has been established to lead the rise of male beauty with an array of expertly curated independent men’s grooming and beauty brands.
Top Makeup Products For Men
Shakeup Let’s Face It™ BB Tinted Moisturiser | SPF 25 and 4 Colour Shades
Product Type: BB Tinted Moisturiser
What It Does: Colour-correcting technology + hydrating & nourishing ingredients (SPF).
Why Humānery Love It: It’s hydrating, nourishing, and protective with excellent coverage and shade matching.
Benny Hancock Beard Definer | Cover Grays + Even Coverage
Product Type: Mascara For Beard
What It Does: Covering grey hairs, evening out beard colour.
Why Humānery Love it: It’s easy to apply, wash off, and enhance your beard with highly-pigmented colour.
Shakeup Set & Done™ | Multi-Use Facial Spray for Oil Reduction + Hydration
Product Type: Pores & blackheads treatment primer
What It Does: Set, prime, and prep all in one step.
Why Humānery Love It: It’s multi-purpose, long-lasting, and reduces the appearance of pores whilst hydrating the skin.
Benny Hancock Moisturising Foundation Face Perfecter | Buildable Cover with SPF15 + 5 Shade Options
Product Type: Foundation
What It Does: Evening out skin tone while locking in moisture.
Why Humānery Love It: It comes in five shades with perfect, buildable coverage as well as being breathable. It’s also a Beauty Awards winner.
Emolyne The Complete Makeup Kit (Lipstick, Lip Definer, Gel Lacquer) - Muted Nude Shades for Men
Product Type: Makeup Set | Lipliner, Lipstick & Nail Varnish
What It Does: Add further lip definition, enhancing lip tone while locking in hydration.
Why Humānery Love It: This comes in a range of neutral shades with a natural, professional, and moisturising lip finish.
Shakeup Eye Eye Captain™ Under Eye Concealer for Men | Reduces Dark Circles + Colour Match Technology
Product Type: Concealer
What It Does: Perfectly camouflages dark circles and spots.
Why Humānery Love It: This reduces dark circles with an even, hydrating finish. It also uses colour match technology that’s suitable for all skin types.
Benny Hancock Brow Definer | For Added Fullness + Definition
Product Type: Brow Gel
What It Does: Fills gaps and tames hair, enhancing and defining your face.
Why Humānery Love It: The formulation enhances and defines while filling and smoothing the brows - plus it’s easy to wash off at the end of the day.
Shakeup Lip Life to the Full™ | Volumising Lip Gel for Hydration + Softening
Product Type: Lip Balm
What It Does: Plumps & softens lips while providing long-lasting hydration.
Why Humānery Love It: This lightweight lip product firms, hydrates, softens, and protects your lips.
Benny Hancock Pressed-Cream Bronzer | Natural Finish + Blendable
Product Type: Bronzer
What It Does: Provides a healthy glow, minimising fine lines & wrinkles.
Why Humānery Love It: This has a natural, lightweight finish, and is buildable with even coverage – perfect for adding glow to your skin.
Benny Hancock Buffing Brush | Precision Blending Without Irritation
Product Type: Makeup brush
Great For: Sensitive skin.
Why Humānery Love It: This brush gives you maximum control of product application with maximum control with its unique, skin-friendly design.