Men in make up

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Last week we wondered whether men can wear skirts and judging by the comments the majority view is: Yes, why not, and please do.

Then along comes Ollie Locke, from the guilty pleasure joy that is the new British TV show ‘Made in Chelsea’. Along comes Ollie with his bronzer…

Ollie (above) wears make up every day and thinks all men should. He’s straight by the way. As he exhorts from the opening moments of this video clip: ‘It doesn’t make you any less manly…’

Actually, I think it does. I think it makes him look like a big girl. A rather mixed up lady boy.

Oddly, a girl it particularly makes him look like is Gabriella Ellis (lounging casually below), who features in the same show, which is in the ‘scripted documentary’ format, of real people in contrived situations. It’s made by the same company which came up with the first UK version of that genre, cult hit ‘The Only Way Is Essex’.

To get back to Ollie’s face slap, I’m confused by my reaction to it, because I do stand by my belief that men should be allowed to wear all kinds of garments – just as women wear trousers, tuxedos etc.

But while I loved David Bowie and Boy George as much as the next 80s kid – and totally get the Keith Richards/Jack Sparrow bad boy eye liner, I just don’t fancy a man in day make up.

I think it’s the idea of sharing a bathroom with one. My husband uses moisturiser, but imagine having to fight with your bloke for the hair straightener? Or even mirror time. Reckon that would be in short supply for anyone else in Ollie’s gaff.

One thing I am with Ollie on though – the time-saving marvel that is dry shampoo.

So what do you think about straight men wearing make up?

PS: This is really Saturday’s post, but it came along today and one thing I learned over years on newspapers is – never sit on a good story.

So this is instead of Saturday’s in case another choice item comes along.

And another thing – I do have to keep saying this – I have a new book out. Lots of columns. Marvellously good fun and all that.


  1. Yucky examples! I have a chum here who wears tinted moisturizer and does his eyebrows. He looks fantastic and can carry it off well. he doesn’t do liner or mascara, but only on special nights out.
    We just got back from Bath and I only saw makeup on the street performers. Charming!
    I may truly be getting old as I don’t find very long hair on men cute. It rather repulses me.
    And me! A hippy/flower child in my time!
    By the way, I went to all the bookstores in Bath seeking audio books of your books and there was NONE Sad-making, Maggie. I had hoped to return loaded with your books that are not available on Sob. Sob. Sob.

  2. Hmmm, it doesn’t bother me, although I’m not sure I’d want to go out with a bloke who was into make-up – I like my men ultra masculine!

    I had a boss back in the 80’s (he was the restaurant owner), he used to wear eye liner every day, he was straight and thought he was the dog’s bollocks! He carried it off though!

  3. This post is a bit on theme with the men in skirts one.

    It seems that people are wanting men to do something typically feminine, “as long as they are still masculine” – which seems a bit of an each way bet to be sure..

    But where would you like to stop?

    Would you like men in skirts “as long as they are still masculine”?
    Men in makeup “as long as they are still masculine”?
    Men in bras, suspender belts and frilly lingerie “as long as they are still masculine”?
    Men waxed, plucked, and sweetly scented “as long as they are still masculine”?
    Men with boob implants and long blonde hair extensions “as long as they are still masculine”??

    I think there is a thrill in being on the twilight of the genders, which just being a normal boring guy or normal boring gal doesn’t have – but isn’t there a point where you couldn’t tell your men friends from your girl friends where somewhere, somehow a line had been crossed?

    Or how far do you really want the line to go?

  4. I’m not sure. It depends on the context – nightclubbing I guess it’s ok but I can’t see a tradie feeling free to glam up with mascara in the morning. And I can’t imagine a bloke cleansing before bed either!

    Toby I hope you find an audio book. I’ll ask at the bookshop here in Oz.

  5. So there is a line, like cleansing or glam makeup or a context.

    It just seems on one hand, Maggie, you do not like drag, but on the other hand are wanting to creep step-by-step ever closer to that point. Which is not bad, necessarily, but is it something that you don’t know that you have crossed the line until you have gone too far?

    If I went to work around wearing a blouse, Laura Ashley skirt, pearls, tights and ballet flats, complete with blonde bob, earrings and makeup – could I defend myself by saying “well yes, but I’m still masculine” ?

    Because I’m betting that people would say “Actually..Nah, you’re not!”

    So when/where is the line drawn before it actually becomes drag?

    • I’m mixed up about it all – which is why I am loving discussing it on here. . I don’t dislike drag – done well, i love it – but it sometimes confuses me.

      I want everyone to feel free to do what ever their want and express theselves anyway they want. It’s all about personal freedom. But I am genuinely confused by how I feel about the sexual politics of it. For my own sexual preferences I would prefer a natural looking man than a super smooth one like this guy, but I’d love to have cocktails with him -I think he’s hilarious.

  6. Johnny Depp in eyeliner *swoon*. He doesn’t look half as good without it (neither do I for that matter).
    As a teenager in the 80’s I was totally in love with the men in makeup look. Boy George, Duran Duran, Adam Ant – the line between sexy rock god and drag queen got a bit blurry there for a while. Funny, but I never thought of Boy George as a drag queen. It was just his look. Blokes wear earrings without looking feminine eg bikies/truckies. Can’t imagine them wearing bronzer but men have their own skin care products now so maybe it’s just a short leap across the divide to concealer kind of makeup like foundation. Mascara is a stretch in my book but it seems most guys I know are blessed with long dark eyelashes. *Gasp, lightbulb goes off over head* – maybe they’ve been wearing mascara FOR YEARS???!

  7. No, I don’t like it.
    Even though my husband is clueless regarding fashion and wouldn’t notice if I walked around with a bag over my head I’ve always decided that I’m glad we don’t compete for the mirror.
    I think I’m old. Or grumpy. Or a grumpy old lady.
    (David Bowie was my 80’s crush though…)

  8. its not the concept of men in makeup that i don’t like, it’s more what product and how its applied.
    i went through the tanning phase. i wore bobby brown matte bronzer everyday. i used maybelline 3 in one to combat the redness on my nose and if i went out clubbing i’d even use mac strobe cream to get “ashley olsen” cheekbones.
    i was meticulous about it not being obvious. i didn’t hide it, i swapped beauty tips with my friends and workmates and when i did tell someone, i loved when they were like “REALLY?? it looks so NATURAL!!”.
    It wasn’t about sexuality, and i didn’t want to appear more effeminate, it was more insecurity about my appearance. i wanted it to look like i was naturally tanned and clear skinned, which isn’t dissimilar to the reason alot of women wear makeup.
    i no longer wear it. i have an old compact with the leftover ring caked around the edge and swipe some over my face from time to time, but theres never enough on the brush to make a difference so i think its psychological.
    having said that if i was a girl i know i’d be all about makeup, but i’m a man, and i don’t want to look like a man in makeup. the only way i’d do obvious makeup was if it was as a woman i.e. drag.
    these days the men i find attractive are NOT manicured painted or waxed.
    The last couple of times ive been to clubs i couldn’t believe the amount of young gays in obvious makeup. clearly guys, just with glossy faces. skinnny eyebrows, mascara, foundation, bronzer and shiny lips. i don’t know if they were trying to look more feminine, or that this is really what they thought was attractive or fashionable.

  9. Interesting to apply this issue to the list of men on your post “men i love”. For me, it depends on the man. For example, I like both Robbie Williams and George Clooney. Robbie with eyeliner, can do. George, no way. I feel it is less to do with masculinity and more to do with persona.

  10. Gotta be a strong, cool man to make it work – Richards and Depp can totally get away with it not sure about the other bloke – do love the white feather though!

    Faye – FashionHound


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