Sean Santiago, founder and creative director of queer-focused indie mag Cakeboy, is so over the myth that makeup is just for women. "I watch so many beauty tutorials where the language revolves around how a woman can choose to present herself or tips that will help her achieve XYZ, but it's like, the same goes for men!" he tells Cosmopolitan.com. That's why Santiago teamed up with makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez and photographer Kristiina Wilson of the inclusive-fashion platform You Do You to produce the new Cakeboy featurePro Makeup Tips That'll Leave Him Wanting More.
It's a beautifully shot and actually useful guide that uses text, photography, and video to demonstrate that makeup knows no gender.
In the photo above, the models show off a "moody, vampy" vibe - "think about everything that comes along with a nice glass of red wine," Gutierrez says. The looks feature a subtle yet glowing aura centered on blush and tinted lip balm, and a more daring face that's making me reconsider the sparkly blue eye shadow I abandoned circa eighth grade.
"It's so important to represent men in the makeup and beauty space for so many reasons," Santiago says. "Our story is all about celebrating beauty - not 'grooming,' not hemming and hawing about how to hide your insidious urge to conceal things, but about unapologetic beauty." These men aren't apologizing for their interest in makeup: They are owning it.
Santiago is not the only one ready to buck dated opinions of who should and shouldn't experiment with beauty. The internet exploded with support when CoverGirl announced its first "CoverBoy," the ethereal James Charles, earlier this fall; beauty bloggers are getting in on the genderless fun too, with initiatives such as social media star Jake-Jamie Ward's #MakeupIsGenderless campaign to invite people of all gender identities into the makeup conversation.
"While we've got nothing against people who feel passionate about fitness, we also want men to know that it's OK to skip the gym and try a smoky eye instead," Santiago says. "It's about destabilizing the butch supremacy and making space for new ways of inhabiting manliness, however that looks for you." For some, the future of manliness is looking sparkly in the best way.
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