The Rise in Male Beauty Products
September 24, 2017
The Roman philosopher Platus once said “a woman without paint is like food without salt”. Notice the reference to ‘woman’ – when actually as far back as Ancient Britain men too were using cosmetics.
Cosmetics were used in the ancient world as far back as 10,000 BC. In 1900s Edwardian times, pressure increased for women to appear as young as possible, which led to the popularity and increase of beauty salons. However, because women of the time didn’t want to admit they needed assistance to look young – most entered through the back door!
Thank goodness pampering and preening is completely socially acceptable these days – and no longer just for women.
In recent times we have seen the rise of male grooming, male treatments and male beauty. But despite us thinking that this is a relatively modern concept, the history of male cosmetics is a long one.
Ancient Brit warriors painted their faces blue (long before the Smurfs) and became known as ‘the painted ones’, and the Romans themselves used to paint their heads to disguise premature baldness (though we aren’t entirely sure how convincing this must have appeared!)
The pivotal point in male cosmetics however came with cinematic influence. Clark Gable, Elvis Presley and John Travolta were rarely seen without a comb and grease to fix their hair and advertisers soon cottoned on – male-specific branding was born.
In 2017 we have men who openly wear make-up, men who sell make-up and men who write about make-up in print and on the web.
In the past, make-up has often been so feminised that most ‘everyday’ guys didn’t want to talk about using concealer to cover up a zit – even if Johnny Depp was doing it and David Beckham was painting his nails.
However, thanks to the rise of modern-day bloggers such as Chris Calvert (Desert Island Skin) and skincare guru Aqil Javid (AJ’s Corner) – the balance is tipping and men all over are embracing the trend for being openly honest about their want for male beauty products.
And when you consider that Alexander the Great was ridiculed throughout ancient literature for wearing make-up - yet was undefeated in battle and ruled the largest empire of the ancient world - you kind of put things into perspective. Everyone has the right to look and feel beautiful – hers AND sirs.