Repeat after me: there are no rules for wearing makeup. As Daniel Kaluuya wearing Fenty Beauty on the red carpet or “beauty boy” Patrick Starr and his MAC contract can tell you, men can wear makeup. Yes, men. Can you believe it?!?
A new UK-Based beauty brand called War Paint seems to think it’s a novel idea—so novel, in fact, that they’ve created a line of makeup clearly, curiously labeled “FOR MEN.” The products include concealer, foundation (in just three shades), bronzer, and face powder. What, exactly, makes these products just for men? For one, they have all-black packaging with all-white, capital lettering, so men don’t have to deign to buy makeup in a pink package like some kind of girl. The ingredients are also apparently “tailor[ed] to the male skin” which is “naturally tougher” than women’s.
“We couldn’t find a makeup brand formulated specifically for men’s skin; so we created one,” the brand tweeted on May 8 alongside a video featuring a tough-looking, tattooed bro wearing a skull ring applying concealer. All of their videos so far seem to evoke 2000s-era Axe Body Spray, clearly targeting hetero men who obviously cannot be caught dead shopping for themselves in Sephora.
“At the age of 12 to 14 I started using my sister’s makeup, stealing a bit here and there, a bit of concealer, so since then I’ve used make up even more,” Founder Daniel Gray says in a launch video, “But I never really found a brand that I found related to me or I felt comfortable in buying.”
Twitter has been having a field day with War Paint, coming up with humorous takes and valid critiques about the brand name and the toxic masculinity oozing from its campaigns:
The brand did respond to the backlash in one tweet response, writing: “If you look at our reviews you will see men from 16 to 75 using our products and loving them. If females can have products just for women, why can’t men? Our aim is to allow makeup to be gender neutral and to do that we must have male specific brands also.”