HuffPost UK is running a month-long focus around masculinity in the 21st Century, and the pressures men face around identity. To address some of the issues at hand, Building Modern Men presents a snapshot of life for men, from bringing up young boys to the importance of mentors, the challenges between speaking out and 'manning up' as well as a look at male violence, body image, LGBT identity, lad culture, sports, male friendship and mental illness.
I'm a man, and I wear makeup.
Why you ask, because it makes me feel good, complete, confident and ready to take on the world!
I started experimenting with makeup around the age of 19 when I began having terrible acne breakouts.
It seriously knocked my confidence, so I turned to cosmetics and I have never looked back. Honestly, makeup has changed my life.
Although I no longer suffer with active acne, I continue to wear makeup because during my spotty days I was able to see the power of makeup and how it can literally transform the way you look and feel.
I spent hundreds of pounds a month secretly trying - and often failing - to find the perfect products to help conceal my skin, in a market aimed at Women - I didn't realise how hard it would be to find the gold.
I grew incredibly frustrated when searching for tips and advice online, as I could only find make-up tutorials aimed at women or drag queens therefore after spending years perfecting my own completely natural look, I started my own YouTube channel, 'The Beauty Boy' to share my findings with others and to help banish the taboo.
Male, female, gay, straight -- anyone can wear makeup! Yes, I said straight men can wear makeup -- actually they already do (you probably just don't know about it).
Like all other 'Beauty' YouTube channels, I review the latest foundations, concealers, bronzers etc but I review products from a female and male perspective. Gender equality, hallelujah!
I receive emails daily from straight men who are thinking about buying their first foundation or concealer after years of feeling unhappy within themselves, as well as messages from young adults as young as 13 desperately trying to fit in and find their place in this incredibly big and sometimes daunting world.
These Men each have their own and very personal reasons for wanting to wear makeup, from wanting to look great on their wedding day to impressing a hot date!
They come to me as they are often too scared to approach a beauty counter, through fear of being laughed at - I aim to change this.
To me makeup is genderless, just a very powerful tool that can generate confidence. However, there is still a huge stigma attached to Men self enhancing.
I'm not saying every man should wear makeup, just those who want or need it to help them feel comfortable within their own skin.
This is not about Men wanting to be Feminine, it's just about creating the best possible version of ourselves.
Like it or not, Men are wearing makeup but they are doing it secretly - For example, I wrote a feature for Cosmopolitan Magazine whereby I asked my followers to show off their 'natural' makeup looks using all the tips and tricks they have learnt through watching my channel.
One of the guys featured Phillip, was a straight male - he had always battled with oily skin, acne, redness and scarring. Phillip had always wanted to try and cover it up with makeup but society told him that he should just 'man up' but after years of putting up with his problematic skin he started to notice more and more Men were using cosmetics, so decided to give in and began covering his flaws.
"I definitely have more confidence wearing makeup, I used to keep it a secret but now I've started to open up. I was so dubious about telling people but much to my surprise, my male mates told me that they secretly wear a little makeup too.
So, whats the problem? Ultimately it's marketing and awareness, do you ever see a man in a makeup advertisement? No.
Are beauty counter staff trained in how to apply makeup to a bearded Man? Unfortunately not.
Bravery will revolutionise the market as we know it, my channel quickly proved the beauty industry are missing out on a huge chunk of beauty fantastics with 72% of my viewers being male.
The grooming industry is worth more than £1billion, with projected growth of nearly 50% over the next five years.
In South Korea, cosmetics companies are ALREADY targeting men - the market and money is there for the taking, it's just a case of waiting to see which 'Cosmetics Brand' will get there first!
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