When I dreamed up the concept of this shoot, inspired partially by all the men-wearing-makeup think pieces
and that genius Tom Ford Lips & Boys collection
, I was repeatedly met with one question by women all over R29 HQ: "Why?"
My answer: Why the hell not
? I am a man who has worn makeup every single day since I can remember, and I know how much joy it gives me. I also know, though, that a lot of women don't see makeup as a joy — rather, they see it as an obligation or a chore. That's probably because society has told us that women need to wear makeup, and that's a damn shame. Nobody needs to wear anything they don't want to. (Except maybe underwear. Please wear underwear.)
I've had boyfriends who have come to me in times of dire need, begging for makeup, even though they began our relationship insisting it wasn't necessary. I have brothers who have needed concealer before big events. There's a lot of delight in introducing someone to makeup for the first time, and showing them what they can do with their face — something they see in the mirror every day and think they know so well. That delight, or, rather, awe, is contagious, almost palpable.
So, when thinking about how to best showcase some of the season's most exciting new lip shades, I was envisioning plenty of things: kisses on cocktail napkins, close-ups of pouts, animated GIFs of mouths moving, talking, kissing, eating, etc. But, then I thought, Why not let boys show us the lipsticks? Women constantly appear in beauty editorials — why would it be weird to let boys do the same?
Men wearing lipstick is not a novelty for me: In my world, as a beauty editor and a gay man, it's a regular occurrence. But, I appreciate the men here taking time out from their jobs to sit down, pick out lipsticks that spoke to them, and try something new for the day. The lipsticks ended up enhancing their looks; making them cooler.
Ahead, 15 stunning new shades we think you should consider for spring — plus, a little more about the men who tried them on.
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Photographed by M Studio; Makeup by Adam Maclay; Styled by Savannah White