People are saying this 'makeup for men' advert shows everything wrong with toxic masculinity

People are saying this 'makeup for men' advert shows everything wrong with toxic masculinity

People are saying a new “makeup for men” advert shows how fragile toxic masculinity is.

War Paint is a UK cosmetics brand that markets itself as “Make Up Design By Men, For Men”, which is odd because last time we checked makeup could be used by anyone…

Yesterday, they shared a short video to advertise their product, filled with all the classic signs of overexaggerated masculinity (tattoos! war! skull rings!) and proudly boasting that they had created “a makeup brand formulated specifically for men's skin”.

You can watch the clip below:

There’s a lot going on here.

Like firstly, would a guy who feels self-conscious about wearing makeup feel less self-conscious if they knew it was man makeup?

The market of "men who like makeup but are also afraid of looking feminine" seems pretty small.

But most importantly, what is “makeup for men” anyway?

As a man who already wears makeup sometimes, NPR host Sam Sanders was not impressed.

It feels like there might be something wrong with men if this is how you have to market products to them…

Earlier this week, people also picked up on a brand of canned water (WATER!) which was marketing itself as a masculine “thirst killer”…

Seriously, what is wrong with men?

War Paint was subjected to relentless mockery on Twitter over the video.

And even the artist whose music was featured chimed in to criticise the brand.


To be fair to War Paint, on their website they explain what they mean by “formulated specifically for men's skin”:

Men's skin is naturally tougher, the skin on a man's face is 25% thicker than a woman's, men’s skin also has bigger pores and a lot more of them which produces more sebum than a woman. The difference in men’s skin to woman’s skin is caused by hormones, specifically testosterone….

Seeing as men have a whole shedload of testosterone, their skin is both thicker and oilier than women’s.

But that’s a problem that could surely be fixed by just going to a makeup shop and asking for some advice.

At least War Paint say on their website that they're vegan and cruelty-free, which is nice of them.

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