Let’s face it, this male makeup lark isn’t for everyone

Ideas

Let’s face it, this male makeup lark isn’t for everyone

The trend may not be new, but it’s going mainstream

Tom Ough

The face of male grooming is changing. It’s getting a makeover, complete with foundation, bronzer and anti-shine, all thanks to a man who, as a self-conscious 13-year-old, used to borrow his sister’s concealer to give himself a confidence boost.

Daniel Gray, 34, created a makeup range called War Paint for Men in November 2018 and won £70,000 (R1.35m) in Dragon’s Den funding last year. As of today, his products are now on sale at a permanent stand in John Lewis on Oxford Street, London, after a popup beat its sales target by more than 50%.

As a newcomer to male grooming, I’m apprehensive about my visit to the stand. When it opened four weeks ago, it prompted various questions about men, masculinity and makeup. Are men interested? Do men need it? Are men even men any more? Would I, by visiting, witness the precise moment at which traditional manhood exploded, spattering John Lewis’s menswear section with blood and whisky?..

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