Making up is masculine: The increasing cultural connections between masculinity and make-up | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2050-070X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0718



This article explores the ways in which make-up is increasingly presented as a masculine product and a means to refine appearance with the aim of accessing and expressing conventional forms of masculine power. It is concerned with how the conflation of all the different practices of grooming, cosmetics and make-up in all kinds of writing on men makes it difficult to fully understand how they are really engaging with such possibilities. It therefore argues that those studying fashion and appearance need to improve the language on offer to unpick practices of grooming and cosmetic use in order for the implications of such practices to be fully appreciated. In doing so, it discusses the images and texts that market make-up to men, which contain complex messages about how men should feel about their bodies, how make-up has potential to assert their masculinity and what this masculinity should look like.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): body image; Cultural Studies; gender; grooming; make-up; masculinity
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