I faced a virility crisis. I could go back to the makeup room, have the CNN makeup artist remove the mass from my face, and come to my meeting later than I already was. But bothering to take off makeup seemed as vain as wearing it. So i left The first thing the guy I met said was that I looked young. I don't remember the second thing he said, but it wasn't, "Do you wear makeup?" I never put on make-up on TV after a show.

I didn't know what the different types of makeup were called, how to apply them, or what they were trying to achieve. I remember a makeup artist saying something about gloss, but I wasn't sure if gloss was good or bad. Another mentioned my nasolabial folds and I mistakenly thought it would come to me. I just knew that it made no sense that I didn't wear makeup every day.

If you had told me as a teenager in the 1980s while watching Aerosmith, Prince, and Twisted Sister videos that straight men would either wear makeup or shave their pubic hair in the next century, I would never have missed an investment opportunity in Gillette. In this era of fitted shirts and jellied mohawks, I can't understand why men don't care what our faces look like. If makeup could be used to make our penis look bigger, we would all have urinary tract infections.

Of course, men's makeup isn't new. Mick Jagger dabbed a lot because he was rebellious, David Bowie went out of his way to be gender specific, metal bands wore it to scare their fans' parents, and Pete Wentz, Jared Leto and Adam Lambert wore eyeliner because they were lovely eyes. "Up until the French Revolution, things like wigs, blushes, powders and face stains were unisex," says Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, a fashion historian who wrote Fashion Victims: Dress at the court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. “They were signs of wealth and good taste rather than gender. Ancient Egyptian men were not afraid of a smoky eye. “If Alexander the Great was wearing makeup, why couldn't we?

If makeup could be used to make our penis look bigger, we would all have urinary tract infections.

It turns out that more and more men are actually wearing makeup. After testing the product in ten stores last year, CVS announced in June that a quarter of its stores will carry concealer from Stryx, a line for men. A Morning Consult survey late last year found that around a third of American men under 45 would consider trying makeup. Chanel sells an eyebrow pencil and foundation under its Boy de Chanel line. For $ 109, Rihanna's makeup brand Fenty sells a kit for men that includes foundation, a skin pencil, blotting paper, and blotting powder.

The new boom in men's makeup sales is the result of a culture that is increasingly placing masculine vanity at a premium. A few decades ago it was considered flat or effective to focus on clothes or haircuts. Now men are almost as objectified as women, and how attractive we look has a huge impact on our professional and personal success. For example, I only got this job because I'm incredibly good-looking.

Male makeup is already acceptable in political circles in South Korea, Japan, and the Republic. John Boehner certainly buys his bronzer from Costco, while Donald Trump apparently prefers more upscale brands. In an interview last year, his housekeepers revealed that the president is interested in Bronx Colors Boosting Hydrating Concealer in orange, which has been imported in bulk by a company in the UK. Despite Trump's enthusiastic support, men's makeup still makes up less than 1 percent of the American cosmetics market.

To ease the transition, Stryx turned to Prime Studios, the marketing company that developed Axes Luffa "shower tools". According to Devir Kahan, Stryx's 25-year-old co-founder, Stryx 'makeup is sturdy. "Men's skin is different from women's skin," says Kahan. "It's thicker, more oily. Much tougher. So our stuff is tougher too. It can stand sweat." This is makeup that you can shit with in the locker room and not worry about getting canceled.

The market for men's make-up has grown because even most of the machos among us are constantly posting our photos online. While Stryx sales declined in the first two weeks of the lockdown, sales have since been 50 percent higher than before. "We see a lot of people walking in because they are staring at Zoom at their faces all day," says Kahan. However, sales have also increased due to Gen Z's gender fluidity.

Even so, men's makeup companies go to great lengths to prevent this from happening. Shapes, a makeup brand that really wants you to know it's for men, has deer antlers in its logo. It's a 13 point dollar – the kind of photo you take that you keep forever. The way you want your skin to look flawless. British men's makeup company War Paint ran an ad that was so stereotypically masculine – tattoos on tattoos, skull ring – that they took them off after being accused of toxic masculinity. Stryx designed their concealer to look like a pencil and called it a "tool". Mënaji, who has been making make-up for men since the beginning of metrosexuals, calls their concealer "Tarn".

But over time, Mënaji has seen less need for a tough guy. "When I show a guy in his fifties a concealer stick, the first thing he'll ask is, 'What is this? "Says Pamela Viglielmo, President of Mënaji." Then he says "No thanks". But when I show a man in his twenties a concealer stick, not only does he know what it is, he reaches for it to see if it's his shadow. ”In the past, shapes made sure to come in discreet, masculine packages in which the words "make-up" or "cosmetics" are not mentioned.

"Men were squeamish in the beginning," says founder Andrew Grella of customers who emailed him concerned about the packaging. "Nobody shits these days."

Laszlo stone

With so many options available, I've ordered some makeup to improve my game even though my game never leaves my house. The first thing I felt about "unpacking" my warehouse (which is the influencer term for opening packages) was disappointment. I longed for different types of makeup for different occasions: day, night, casual, cocktail, professional, sexy, sassy. Instead, all I got was ways to cover up the blemishes on my face. It turns out that male makeup is mostly about hiding. It's functional and not fun.

As simple as it was, I didn't know how to use it. So I checked out a couple of videos. First I dabbed the moisturizer off molds. Then I apply a CC cream, which stands for "color correction" – not a funny phrase, but a term you use as an excuse not to show your bad movie to the press. When I finished my face looked the same as before.

Then things became real. I twisted a dropper from a skull-shaped primer bottle and dabbed a stain on my forehead, nose and chin. I massaged it in as recommended in the box and tried to distribute it evenly over my neck. To my surprise, I looked a little better. My Homer Simpson frowns looked less obvious. Then I took the concealer under my eyes. It was divided into three colors, none of which were remotely human. So I watched another video that said I should use green if the bags under my eyes were red. If my bags were blue or purple, it was yellow for me. To erase yellow I dabbed some purple. It's complicated.

At some point during this complicated process it occurred to me that I had never really studied my face for 49 years. But now that I was really looking at myself and my mistakes, they were all I could think of. Suddenly my face looked like a planet with craters, valleys, volcanoes, coronas and ore veins. Maybe I could argue about it? I smeared yellow under my eyes to hide the thick blue vein I'd never seen before and green around my nose to hide the red depressions of Clinton. I took out a concealer stick and dabbed a scratch on my neck that I can't remember and a red thing that wasn't a pimple, but it wasn't a pimple either. I was older than I thought. Now I couldn't get all of these thoughts about my face out of my head. One application of concealer and I immediately understood feminism.

Before I was confident enough to show my new face in public, I got a zoom makeup tutorial from Tom Sandoval, an actor at Vanderpump Rules and an investor in Stryx. Sandoval, who is straight, gets beaten up by friends for makeup all the time. “I have a friend with dark circles. But when he asks me about the product, it's like trying to buy some crazy drugs from me, ”he says.

Sandoval had me apply a tinted moisturizer that is very similar to a foundation. Then I rubbed concealer under my eyes, over my eyes, and right on my eyelids. It made me use a lighter color than my skin. “You want to brighten your eyes. You want to draw attention to them, ”he said.

The next day I put on make-up as instructed by Sandoval. I thought the entire process would take 30 minutes, but it took less than five. I could do that! I was scared of coming out of the bathroom but luckily my wife wasn't there so I could sneak into my office invisible. I took a deep breath, logged into a Zoom meeting about a TV show I developed, and hit the "View Video" button. But nobody said a word about how I looked. So I asked if they had noticed anything new about me. A woman asked if I had anything on my lips that I didn't. Another asked if I clicked on the "Make Up My Look" feature on Zoom, which I hadn't known about. When I told them I was wearing makeup, they were unimpressed. I couldn't help but feel a little hurt.

Encouraged after the meeting, I went to see my wife and 11-year-old son and asked what they thought of it. They both said I look great. And then they were excited to try the different colors on my face. Soon there were streaks of light cognac, medium mahogany, and dark eclipse. It was fun. I felt celebrated.

I will keep using the concealer. And when I'm in front of the camera, the powder. It was a relief to realize that nobody really cares what I have on my face. The terrible thing is that I am doing it now.

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