This is a far cry from the chest-hair wearing, beer belly owning, men’s men of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Which got me thinking: where will men’s body care go in another decade? If the traditional male image can evolve that rapidly in the 21st century, surely it shouldn’t be out of the question to say that in the year 2028 you will have robotic legs, five eyes and your nipples produce various soda mixtures like the fancy machines in Five Guys.
Sadly Topman would not give me the budget to undergo such extreme body modification in the name of one blog piece, so I looked for an alternative method of self-enhancement. And with the lines between gender becoming more blurred than ever and stereotypes being abolished, I decided I’d wear make up for a week, something that’d I’d contemplated for a while after struggling with reoccurring spots on my forehead from excessive gym sweating, which won’t seem to disappear with the aid of creams, cleansing and shouting at them.
I must stress at this point that in no way am I saying makeup on men is weird. I’m just merely pointing out that it is not as commercial as hair gel for guys, and wanted to get reactions from those around me, to see if it was a logistical nightmare to put it on everyday, and to see if I genuinely liked it.
Right, I know nothing about makeup, apart from a brief period when I was 14 and wore eyeliner when My Chemical Romance released Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. So I got my fiancée to talk me through each of the men’s makeup products I received that I didn’t have a clue about:
Concealer Stick: disguises spots and blemishes, just place a small amount on in the affected area and blend in gently with your finger (my name for it: pokey spot destroyer).
Foundation: a skin coloured product that can alter the skin colour to provide an all-over uniformed look. Whatever that means (my name for it: morgue makeup).
Anti-Shine Powder: what it says on the tin, apply this after foundation to avoid looking like a Ken doll (my name for it: shiny shiny no no)
The difference before and after is quite noticeable, especially with the spots. My forehead looks like it has been reborn. The trouble now is though continuing this by myself rather than have someone apply it for me, and also figuring out where I stop applying makeup as a bald man, an issue that I imagine is quite rare among the hairless community.
Right, a few days in and I still don’t know how to put this stuff on myself, but I’ve got a work leaving do to attend and I need to get my face on. So I enlist the help of the girls in the brand marketing team, who were real eager to put makeup on me in front of the entire office.
I look deathly pale with this powder on in the harsh glow of the fluorescent lights. My face is fresh, but not in the way I’d like. I am corpse fresh, laid on a cold metal bench post-autopsy.
One of the team suggests putting bronzer on me, which makes me slightly darker and not so ghoul-like. This works, and I can now relax with my Guinness at the pub without constant anxiety that people think I have been resurrected.
Putting It On Myself
Women who wear makeup have it tough. I used to wonder why they did it on the tube and not in the comfort of their own home without the danger of the train jolting and a mascara stick piercing their retina. But it’s because it takes so damn long, the first day that I attempt to do it myself I wake up at my normal time and can’t fit it into my regular routine, so I try again the next day and wake up 15 minutes earlier, which is an effort in the bleakness of January.
I look in the mirror, pick up the brush, dab it in the foundation, and then gently start applying to my face like I’m an archaeologist uncovering dinosaur bones in the desert. This is tense, this is like playing Operation. Except if I lose here there’s no piercing buzzing sound, I’ll just look like a d*ck head at work.
But somehow it goes ok. Not great, just ok. I still get some weird patchiness, but nothing too noticeable. If it was in relation to takeaway food hygiene standards the rating would be 3 stars out of 5, meaning that there’s probably some grime and a mouse knocking around somewhere, but it can still knock out a mean kebab regardless.
Since the foundation went well, I decided to experiment with some other stuff by myself….
Putting on eyeliner made me sweat a bit. Nothing with a point should be that close to your eyeball. But in all honesty, I actually quite like how it looks. It sharpens and intensifies your eyes, a good power move to adopt in office politics when someone tries to put a meeting in at lunchtime. And it kinda matches the balding goth look I’m going for.
Not for everyday though, just for special occasions such as birthdays and sacrificing goats in the light of a full moon.
“Oh Jamie, you look brown! Have you been away?”
“Yes in the 12 hours that I last saw you I basted myself in olive oil and had a short trip to Magaluf, thanks for noticing.”
Beware when applying this, as it develops over time. So if it doesn’t show up in the mirror straight away don’t go slathering your face in more, because it will Trump-ify you. But apply it liberally and it looks completely natural.
What I’d Use Again
I never want to use cream foundation again unless it’s for Halloween and I’m going as a ghost or a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise, but there are a few things I would use again…
Tinted moisturiser: in winter this gives your skin a healthy, natural glow. Like you’ve just done 20 minutes on a sun bed, not like you’ve been down a mine.
Concealer stick: for anyone prone to spots, this is great. It’s compact and completely unnoticeable when you have it on.