MIB: Men In Beauty | Clozette


When you hear the words ‘beauty’ or ‘makeup’, you’d immediately associate it with a world that’s dominated by women. Because that’s all most of us have ever known, right? History will tell you otherwise.


Dating back to the ancient times, men have used makeup for a variety of purposes based on their culture. Earliest recordings date back to 3000 B.C. in China and Japan, where tinctures of gum arabic, gelatin and egg were used to stain fingernails to signify their status in society. In ancient Egypt, pharaohs wore black eyeliner as a symbol of wealth and power and used green malachite shadow to ward off harmful illnesses.



Eighteenth-century France saw the trend of painting beauty marks. Clark Gable in the 1930s became the first example of metrosexual beauty. The '70s and '80s birthed timeless icons in the form of David Bowie and Prince.


At present, we have online beauty gurus such as cosmetics line owner Jeffree Star and Covergirl's first male ambassador James Charles at the frontlines of men using makeup. And the world of K-pop isn’t shy about having their male idols wear makeup for shows and appearances.



But it isn’t just individuals who are paving the way to a more open view towards makeup, brands have been making waves as well. Kevin Aucoin, Tom Ford, and YSL have long since opened doors through their legacy or products. Other brands are starting to follow suit.

The latest one to jump on the train? CHANEL with their line of makeup exclusively for men called Boy de CHANEL. Included in the lineup are four shades of eyebrow pencils, eight shades of tinted foundation and a moisturising lip balm. What makes it special? It's specifically made for men, casting away the idea that only women should care about how they look. It allows men to take ownership of their grooming and appearance without being relegated as vain. The line, first released in South Korea, has Goblin actor Lee Dong Wook as the face of the campaign.


This isn’t the first time male Korean celebrities have fronted beauty ads or made collaborations; their huge influence over Asia and massive fan-base provide these brands with more than enough sales pull for the products they endorse. This move has allowed international brands to take another look at South Korea’s personalities. In fact, there have been rumors circulating that Fenty Beauty is also looking to collaborate with a male K-pop star for a future campaign.



South Korea has a different definition of masculinity. Since appearances are important, makeup is used to cover up unwanted features (e.g. pimples, scars) and enhance the ones they want to showcase. 

With this mindset, more and more people are becoming more invested in skincare and grooming all over the world. But since we are becoming more open towards a gender-neutral perspective towards makeup, is there still a need to create marketing campaigns such as this? It's been proven that representation matters; just take for instance how Asians were given the spotlight in Crazy Rich Asians. Seeing yourself or identifying with someone like you makes all the difference in normalising things that are otherwise thought of as taboo or alien and making you feel like you belong. At the end of the day, we are all — no matter the gender — just looking for ways to express and better ourselves.


(Cover photo from: @leedongwook_official)


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Say goodbye to the hassle of using numerous products to get perfectly contoured brows. Now, all you need is Benefit Cosmetics' new Brow Contour Pro. Unlike your typical brow product, this one is a 4-in-1 brow defining pencil featuring both dark and light shades, an edge definer and arch highlighter. It's the perfect tool for achieving on-fleek brows with depth and dimension. 


Drawing natural-looking, clean brows has never been this easy with Brow Contour Pro's pen-like design. To switch shades, you simply have to click to release another colour. It's available in five variants, from blonde-light to brown-black. All have the same long-lasting yet blendable formula that's a signature characteristic of Benefit Cosmetics' brow products.


Wanna see it in action? Watch the video above to see its shades and texture.


(Cover photo from: @benefitcosmeticssg)



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I've always been the type to not give much thought to my hair. Partly because I've always had straight, shiny hair and when I don't bother, it just frizzes a little bit. But also partly because I feel like doing more than the usual would render more harm than good. So I stick to (my version of) the basics. I shampoo twice a week, condition every day and use dry shampoo and a conditioning mist on days I feel like my hair needs a refresh but a wash isn't scheduled yet. That is until I was challenged to let go of my mostly CO (conditioner-only) routine for a week.




The changes


The first couple of days were weird because I hardly wash my hair two consecutive days in a row. It felt refreshing, though, especially since it's still hot despite us entering the latter part of the year already. While it did feel like my hair was clean, it was starting to dry my scalp out even though I use a “moisturising” shampoo. My hair still felt smooth but nothing like when I condition it. It also felt heavy despite being clean.


I've always had a problem with hair fall, and it escalated when I gave birth six years ago. It's become manageable throughout the years, perhaps also because I've already gotten used to it. But I noticed that my hair was shedding quite a bit more — but not alarmingly so! — when I washed my hair only.



via GIPHY


On the fifth day, I was ready to bow out. My hair, while still straight, looked sponge-like. It had volume, alright. But not in the places where I need it. The ends of my hair were also “flying away.” I continued with the routine for two more days but after that, I was more than excited to go back to my usual.



The verdict


I know it's not as brave as ceasing to use a skincare product, but shaking things up once you've settled into a routine can be a bit unsettling. It's not game-changing or life-altering per se, but after doing the beauty experiment, I'd say it's okay to try new things once in a while but if you've found a routine or a product that works for you, stick to it.
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