War Paint: Makeup for Men is a new brand of cosmetics marketed explicitly to men. With a name like ‘war paint’ and their black packaging, it’s clear they are targeting a very specific demographic: macho men. Since queer men don’t seem to care about the gender of makeup (see: Drag Race), this brand is definitely aiming their product at straight guys who may otherwise see makeup as ‘gay.’
Their website talks about how male skin is ‘different’ than female skin.
‘Many people believe all skin is the same, however, men and women’s skin are very much different,’ they write. ‘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.’
They credit testosterone for these differences.
‘Last I checked (approximately 10 seconds ago), makeup doesn’t inherently belong to one gender and therefore doesn’t need a gender-specific earmark; what’s out there already, regardless of how heavily it’s marketed toward women, is available to and made for everyone,’ writes Marci Robin for Glamour.
‘War Paint justifies the dudely designation by saying men’s skin is different from women’s — it’s “thicker and oilier,” to be specific — and therefore needs its formulas containing vitamin E, tea tree oil, and BHA (salicylic acid). Because there’s definitely no complexion makeup that already contains those ingredients (*cough* The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation *cough* Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer *cough* countless others *cough*).’
Many on Twitter are roasting the brand for their ridiculous premise, which reinforces toxic masculinity.
We’ve all seen the “warpaint: makeup and skin care for MANLY MEN with DIFFERENT MAN SKIN” ad, but if you know ANYTHING about skincare, join me in the collective eye roll at how little homework these jackoffs did pic.twitter.com/blMuMBJnwz
— pariah carey (@UnburntWitch) May 8, 2019
Cover your manly-man black eyes from punch ups down at the local with war paint.
Not concealer, but war paint.
— ️✨Jay✨❄️ (@jayrotoole) May 11, 2019
lmao y’all toxic masculinity THAT BAD you can’t wear some regular ass makeup (made for anyone bc men & women don’t have different skin lmfao) & had to make your own & call it war paint to make it sound “manlier”?? I hate y’all https://t.co/QD0DKozkSk
— ariannatanielle. (@ariannatanielle) May 9, 2019
I…I just…makeup is for skin…you don’t need to call it ‘war paint’ in order for ‘men’ to use it? Like do you have skin ok you can use Loreal.
Also…war paint, really? https://t.co/0R4i9Vk6Yo pic.twitter.com/ZHPpqj8Oov
— CaitlinAlanaBurke (@caitlin_a_burke) May 9, 2019
“War paint” lmao , imagine being this weak , makeup is for everyone and men skin is the same as women skin jesus.
they really used a “manly” men for this shit i can’t https://t.co/Lnp1utOrFZ
— (@Kumii_Boo) May 9, 2019
So someone decided to make a makeup company ‘for men’ bc of course the countless makeup brands that already exist would be embarrassingly feminine for men to use??
and it’s called War Paint (for men duhhhhh) lmaoo pic.twitter.com/mlTUqKJsyX
— Elle (@SadGurl2K16) May 10, 2019
A brand called War Paint is using toxic masculinity to sell makeup to men –
No one asked for this. Any makeup brand, especially one with only about 500 followers on Twitter, would likely be thrilled to rack up 2.5 million views in a day on an ad for its product. But War … pic.twitter.com/zAOWRk1cJS
— elementarty (@elementartyy) May 10, 2019
Men will do everything and anything to protect their “masculinity”. That “war paint” is make up. All makeup is for everyone & anyone. That’s like having deodorants, lotions, body wash, even razors separated by sex which is also dumb. The shit is makeup. pic.twitter.com/VpzlXutGDv
— A Girl Is Arya & She Saved THEE Day (@Savage_ness_) May 9, 2019
War Paint’s response
The company actually responded to this criticism on Twitter with an explanation that leaves a lot to be desired.
I agree, if you look at our reviews you will see men from 16 to 75 using our products and loving them. If females can have products just for women, why can’t men? Our aim is to allow makeup to be gender neutral and to do that we must have male specific brands also
— War Paint (@warpaintmufm) May 8, 2019
‘If females can have products just for women, why can’t men? Our aim is to allow makeup to be gender neutral and to do that we must have male specific brands also,’ the company wrote.
Some took issue with the use of the term ‘females,’ and others were baffled by how a company can be both incredibly gendered but claim to be ‘gender neutral’ at the same time.
“Our aim is to allow makeup to be gender neutral and to do that we must have male specific brands also”
Sorry, can you say that again more slowly? I think I missed something.
— Q. Pheevr (@qpheevr) May 8, 2019
they went there pic.twitter.com/fjPQnfSFOV
— Hannah Johnspoon️ (@NaahidJohnspoon) May 8, 2019
Please, show me what makeup brands say “fEmAlEs OnLy” on the back thooo..
— he need some milk. (@FreakyDeaky89) May 9, 2019
But… makeup isn’t just for women anymore…there have been multiple male models for makeup for a few years now. Makeup is just makeup.
— (@carolinaswttea) May 9, 2019