4 Men Who Love Makeup Open Up About Gender Stereotypes

Updated 02/20/19

Finally, genderless beauty is on the rise. After what seems like forever, the beauty industry woke up and realized the exclusion of men is unjust. Although the beauty industry has been largely dominated by women, everyone has the right to embrace makeup, including males who love makeup. There's still so much work to be done, but 2017 was a good year for gender inclusivity. Boundary-breaking brands like L'Oréal, Covergirl, Milk Makeup, Make Up For Ever, E.l.f. Cosmetics, and more pushed men to the forefront in major ad campaigns that support equality.

And in 2018, we're claiming more inclusivity in this space, so we decided to reach out to men who have mastered the cat eye to get their honest thoughts on the industry's acceptance of genderless beauty and what we can do better. Prepare to be inspired.

Victor Ramos

@vicmram

Meet Victor Ramos, beauty influencer, lifestyle vlogger, and recent participant in Make Up For Ever's Blend In Stand Out campaign.

Instagram followers: 27,000

How'd you fall in love with beauty?

It all started three years ago when I was a senior in high school. I fell in love with Kim Kardashian's eyebrows and went on a mission to get them, and it progressed from there. I remember being so intimidated the first time I entered a Sephora to buy an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz.

Do you think the industry has progressed when it comes to gender inclusivity in beauty?

I do believe that society has taken appropriate steps toward gender inclusivity. I find that as a person of color, I have more trouble finding products that work for my skin tone rather than feeling excluded because of my gender. In terms of gender inclusivity, I believe we are heading in the right direction, but there are so many other things the beauty industry and society as a whole must work on in terms of universal inclusivity.

The makeup industry is still largely dominated by women. What do you think it takes to shift this dynamic?

The makeup industry is still largely dominated by women. What do you think it takes to shift this dynamic?

Which products are you loving at the moment?

Which products are you loving at the moment?

@vicmram

What's propelled you in your career?

My business mindset has allowed me to achieve a lot of amazing things early on in my career. Being creative and possessing the skills to network and properly market myself have been my biggest assets.

What would you tell other men aspiring to break into the beauty industry?

Be yourself, and never compare your journey to anyone else. The only person you're competing with is yourself.

Ryan Potter

@ryanbpotter

Ryan Potter is an L.A.-based makeup enthusiast and beauty YouTuber who has been featured in major campaigns with E.l.f. Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics, and more.

Instagram followers: 294,000

How'd you fall in love with beauty?

How'd you fall in love with beauty?

 I first got into makeup when I was 16. My friend asked to do my makeup one day. She did, and we were joking around, and then I slowly started to like it more and more. I thought, This is kind of cool. From there, I started doing my eyebrows, and then I started using a powder foundation, and then it gradually expanded to eyeliner and eye shadow. I kept on practicing and started doing Instagram, and yeah. Here we are.

Do you think the industry has progressed when it comes to gender inclusivity in beauty?

There's been a progression with men wearing makeup. Compared to a couple years ago, it's more accepted now than ever before. But I feel like there's still quite a bit of work that needs to be done. I don't think there's enough acceptance with men when you compare it to, like, women wearing makeup. We've seen some makeup companies, like Anastasia Beverly Hills and Covergirl, start incorporating men wearing makeup and promoting more male makeup artists. But like I said, I don't think men are at the same level of acceptance as women yet in the industry. I feel like we're getting there, but it's going to take more time.

The makeup industry is still largely dominated by women. What do you think it takes to shift this dynamic?

Which products are you loving at the moment?

I love blush. I honestly can't live without it. Highlighter, too, but if I had to choose one, I'd say blush. It makes you look more awake and less like a zombie—it just brings more life to your face. I like a lot of drugstore blushes, they're really good. I love Wet n Wild Apri-Cot in the Middle ($3). I'm also obsessed with Anastasia Beverly Hills' new Blush Kit in Radiant ($30).

@ryanbpotter

What's propelled you in your career?

I've gotten lucky to have the support of some of my favorite makeup brands. I got the chance to work with E.l.f. Cosmetics for a Coachella campaign, and I've worked with Benefit Cosmetics. As far as gaining a following, I feel like a lot of people became interested in me because I didn't just do super-glamorous or SFX makeup. I do looks that are a bit more creative, mixing in glamorous elements that have attracted a larger group of people. This gave me a leg up on what other people were doing on Instagram and YouTube. I try to incorporate looks that are going to appeal to everyone.

What would you tell other men aspiring to break into the beauty industry?

The biggest thing is to stay true to your values, your morals, and stay focused on yourself. I feel like the mistake I've made sometimes is comparing myself to others. There are so many guys popping up on the beauty scene, but that shouldn't be intimidating or deter you from starting. Everyone has their own special thing. You have to stay true to your uniqueness because that's what people are going to be drawn to. They can tell that you're different and you have a unique point of view. That will make you stand out from everyone else.

Gary Thompson

@theplasticboy

You've probably seen beauty vlogger Gary Thompson's face in L'Oréal's inspiring True Match campaign.

Instagram followers: 62,000

How'd you fall in love with beauty?

My best friend is a makeup artist, and she introduced me to tinted moisturizer. I loved the way it made me look plastic and so perfected. I just knew I needed more makeup. As a man, I've always loved looking polished and groomed. So I remember going into MAC when I was 16 and buying loads of products. I hid them under my bed and only applied them after my mom left the house. It's so funny when I think about it because now I wear full-coverage foundation, and she still can't tell.

Do you think the industry has progressed when it comes to gender inclusivity in beauty?

I definitely believe there's been true progression, especially when L'Oréal asked me to participate in its True Match campaign—I was so shocked. I cried several times. Makeup is becoming more inclusive, and now people know it's not just for women. I do think more men should be featured in campaigns and advertising. I just wish there was someone like me I could look up to when I was growing up because it would've made my experience so much easier. Growing up without any inclusivity is a huge rock to carry. It's like you're fighting a battle every day.

The makeup industry is still largely dominated by women. What do you think it takes to shift this dynamic?

More brands need to add men on social media campaigns. Makeup should be so gender-fluid in 2018 that you don't even have to question if a product is for men or for women. I just wish brands would give all sexes a choice instead of solely targeting women because they are missing a huge demographic. Men buy as much makeup as women do. This year alone, I've bought 24 foundations, and it's not even Christmas yet.

Which products are you loving at the moment?

I love the new Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation ($40) because it's so full coverage, and it looks like a beautiful filter on the skin. I also love Nars Taj Mahal Blush ($30). It's so hard to find a beautiful golden orange blush to brighten up deeper skin tones, and the brand perfected this one. I also love the Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum ($88). It's fantastic. Whenever I use it, I feel like my skin is plumper and more dynamic with texture.

@theplasticboy

What's propelled you in your career?

My L'Oréal campaign brought my career forward. When I get messages from boys saying that they saw me on TV and that I'm their idol, I just get emotional because I would've never imagined I'd be a role model to other young men. It was so hard for me growing up wearing makeup and loving beauty. So if I can help other young boys, I'm satisfied.

What would you tell other men aspiring to break into the beauty industry?

Be yourself, and never compare yourself to anyone. The beauty industry is a hard place to discover yourself—always just do you, and never feel like you have to cover up yourself to shine. Being a boy in the beauty industry, you have to work 10 times harder to prove yourself. Be free, and always be willing to learn something new in beauty.

Jake-Jamie Ward

@makeupbyjakejamie

Beauty vlogger Jake-Jamie Ward has been championing gender inclusivity as the male face of L'Oréal's Total Cover campaign and the first male ambassador of Soap & Glory.

Instagram followers: 83,000

How'd you fall in love with beauty?

My blog was born through my own personal frustrations with the beauty industry. At the age of 19, I began having terrible acne breakouts, so I turned to cosmetics in hopes of restoring my confidence. As a man, I felt like I had nowhere to turn because the market was so predominately aimed at women. After failed attempts of approaching a beauty counter and struggling to find advice online, I had no choice but to learn through trial and error.

I've spent thousands of pounds over the years (around £400 a month) on beauty products desperately trying to find the perfect products to conceal my skin. While other teens were out partying, I was spending my disposable income on trying to figure out how to apply foundation when you have a beard. After testing what felt like every product on the market and a few years of perfecting my own makeup, I became good at it because I spent a long time practicing.

I thought to myself, Surely there must be other people out there who are going through the same struggles. My experience of spending thousands of pounds in a depressed state because I couldn't find anything that worked, which lasted over four years, made me want to help others from having to go through the same horrible ordeal. I knew it was 100% worth me putting in the time to try to make that much-needed change in the industry.

Do you think the industry has progressed when it comes to gender inclusivity in beauty?

2016 was an incredible year for men in makeup. We saw exciting changes across the industry, and this comes from male influencers like myself and many other amazing male artists, raising awareness, and bringing this issue to the forefront of people's minds.

I have hope that it will become even more mainstream. Awareness is key. I believe we'll look back in five years and say, I can't believe that was ever an issue. Many cosmetic houses have begun to see the error in their ways. They are missing out on a huge chunk of beauty fanatics—55% of my viewership and readers are male. Why would you exclude a whole sex from feeling like a part of the fun, confidence, and creativity that makeup can bring? Not only that, but it also has the ability to be lucrative for brands.

My only concern is that "men in makeup" has been branded a "trend" by some. This isn't a trend. It's a movement, and it's a positive change for the future. We need to keep pushing, talking, and raising awareness to make a long-term change that will stick.

The makeup industry is still largely dominated by women. What do you think it takes to shift this dynamic?

The makeup industry is still largely dominated by women. What do you think it takes to shift this dynamic?

Which products are you loving at the moment?

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup ($42) teamed with Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre ($28) are my two holy grails when it comes to creating the perfect, everyday skin look. Although Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup has been a firm favorite of mine for many years, I recently tried Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation ($40) and Complexion Perfection Primer ($35), and I'm obsessed. It gives full coverage without the cake, which is a game changer.

@makeupbyjakejamie

What's propelled you in your career?

I've learned to always push myself to step outside of my comfort zone and do the things that terrify me. If I listened to the side of my brain that's regularly filled with anxiety and fear, I would have never experienced all of the wonderful opportunities that have come my way.

What would you tell other men aspiring to break into the beauty industry?

If you're experimenting with makeup for the first time, don't be bound by ancient stereotypes that are no longer relevant in today's society. Be brave, be you, be happy, and lead by example.

More of this in 2018 and beyond, please.

This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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