It’s 2019, and the idea of men wearing makeup is no longer taboo. With countless male makeup artists and beauty influencers at the forefront of the industry—plus the amount of men’s makeup lines being pumped out from luxury brands like Chanel, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few—it’s clear men no longer have to hide the fact that they enjoy concealers and prominent brows too.
“I see more and more men of all ages embracing the use of concealer and light foundation to balance and perfect their complexions,” says celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn. “The lines have begun to blur and I believe will keep moving in that direction. There is less of a stigma now with men and beauty than there ever has been. Men are concerned with their skincare, with body care and shaving, and we are opening that door into the makeup category.“
Although this concept may seem new to so many, men have been playing around with makeup for years—you just haven’t been paying attention. Below, we take a look at history’s best male beauty moments.
The man, the myth, the makeup aficionado. Other than his chart-topping hits, Bowie was able to transform from humble British rocker to the human spectacle that was Ziggy Stardust on-stage thanks to his eclectic makeup. His porcelain-white skin and signature crimson hair broke the mold for men to experiment with makeup, making him a true style icon for all to enjoy.
While Bowie flirted with theatrical looks, Prince kept his #MOTD to a toned-down smokey liner. The “Purple Rain” crooner solidified the fact that men, in fact, can look sexy with a spellbinding touch of black kohl eyeliner.
Glitzy eye shadows, vibrant rainbow hair, and red pouts were just a few of Boy George’s staples. He perfected contour, bold brows, and cut-creases before most of us were even born, making his influence on beauty a prominent one.
Cobain made a lot of things cool. Flannels, ironic graphic tees, even guyliner. The Nirvana frontman was occasionally caught rocking messy, smudged black liner, adding to his penchant for androgyny.
Manson tends to show the unnerving path one can take with beauty:: It’s dark and grueling. A look he still wears to this day, Manson made eerie plays on cosmetics a staple to modern-goth and scene-kid culture.
Throughout this year’s awards circuit, Malek has been a topic of discussion for two things: His spot-on portrayal of musical (and style) icon Freddie Mercury,and his flawless skin. But, unlike his male cohorts who have yet to reveal their secrets to perfect skin (we’re looking at you, Paul Rudd), Malek’s go-to MUA Melissa Machado spilled the beans to Allure. The key to Malek’s perfect complexion? Kosas Cosmetics Tinted Face Oil.
Miller is a modern icon for his plays on fashion and his tendency to explore unconventional aspects to male beauty. Whether it’s his dazzling glitter eyeliner or a trendy bare face with crimson lips, Miller knows how to shred the toxic gender conformity tied to makeup into small, irrelevant fragments.