Just try and imagine Johnny Depp or Keith Richards without their signature eyeliner. Or David Bowie without his Ziggy Stardust face paint. Still, the men-wearing-makeup conversation has remained under the radar for decades — until now. With CoverGirl selecting its first male spokesmodel, the Brant Brothers championing their own MAC line, and YouTubers like Patrick Starrr and Manny MUA changing the way we talk about gender and beauty, the idea of men in cosmetics is finally becoming mainstream. The latest company to get in on the action is indie mag Cakeboy, founded by Brooklynite and former R29er Sean Santiago. In a new beauty feature created with You Do You and posted to the magazine’s website yesterday, three male models were each given beauty looks that work for day or night (and not to mention, any gender identity). It’s a concept that strips away gender stereotypes, allowing for equal creativity and self-expression by way of lip color and eyeshadow.
“There's such a conversation about makeup in the broader cultural discourse, and the idea that it is or isn't for certain people, I think, is becoming increasingly problematic,” Santiago says. “The idea that it's a 'need' for women, that it comes with so many expectations — that's why we're asking for people to kind of de-program their brains and accept that there's nothing wrong with men and makeup, that a man in makeup doesn't look a certain way or mean a certain thing. At the end of the day, it's really just about having fun with your look.” Between monochromatic makeup and glitter-packed lids, the looks are so fun — and seriously on-trend. Plus, there’s more to come: According to Santiago, it's a concept you'll see a lot in the magazine. Cakeboy ran a piece about the politics of long hair in its first print issue. Elsewhere on the site, rapper Jay Boogie details his beauty routine. If you ask us, the publication is bringing a POV that is long overdue — and primed to make a major impact on how we think of and define beauty. Santiago, for one, admits that the story has even sparked change at home: “I've started wearing more eye makeup since the shoot,” he says.