Pin It
39965040_286574895489822_7763566726582632448_n
Courtesy @warpaintformen

Male only make-up brand War Paint causes major backlash on Twitter


TextAlex Peters

The brand has been criticised for its aggressively masculine marketing

Do men need make-up made specially for them? This question has been making the rounds on Twitter after make-up brand War Paint recently came under fire for its rigidly gendered marketing. Founded by Daniel Gray and geared specifically towards men, War Paint specialises in foundation, concealer and bronzer, while its website hosts tutorials for men on how to apply the products and a blog covering topics ranging from correcting shiny skin to men’s mental health.

While the brand has been around since last year, its most recent video campaign has caused quite the backlash. The video in question follows a heavily tattooed and toned man as he showers, puts on his skull ring and applies make-up. Not only can the make-up itself not actually be seen – the model holds jars and rubs his face but we never get a glimpse of the product – but many people have been speaking out about what they feel is unnecessarily aggressive masculine branding and promotion.

Further still, the campaign has called into question whether men actually need their own make-up.

While War Paint has yet to directly address the criticism, they have responded to a commenter to defend the need for male-specific formulated make-up, tweeting a statement that can also be found on their website.

“Many people believe all skin is the same, however, men and women's skin are very much different,” writes the brand before they go on to point to men’s larger pores, thicker skin and regular shaving as reasons for needing differently formulated make-up to women. “All of War Paint’s products are individually designed for men’s skin,” they continue, with ingredients including vitamin E to protect against UV rays damage which they say men are more prone to and tea tree oil to fight acne.

This is not the first time that make-up has been made for and marketed towards men, however. Last year Chanel’s Boy de Chanel make-up range was met with widely positive reactions, as was Tom Ford’s male beauty range. The difference, it seems, lies in the packaging and marketing spin – both War Paint’s name and campaign imagery tap into a hyper-masculinity that is currently being challenged for its toxicity.

Though the brand must surely be commended for its attempt to debunk the archaic notion that make-up is a strictly feminine pursuit, in a world where gender is increasingly being accepted as fluid, it doesn't do enough to challenge notions of traditional and toxic masculinity. 

Read Next
Fenty Rihanna
Fenty Beauty is being sued for ‘intentional discrimination’ Beauty news
Anthon Raimund: 100 years of beauty
100 years of beauty: a guide by Anthon Raimund Beauty School
Emilia Ortiz
Emilia Ortiz’s guide to finding your spiritual mentor Beauty Feature
Period plastic
Campaigners demand government provide students plastic-free period products Beauty news
Kai-Isaiah Jamal
Kai-Isaiah Jamal: What the gym means to me as a trans man Think piece
Zoë Ligon
Dildo Duchess Zoë Ligon on sexual wellness, skid marks and clit smegma Beauty Feature
Dazed Beauty Telfar AW19
MUA Susie Sobol talks Diane Kendal, Met Gala and the dangers of Instagram Spotlight
Nail Files
@krocaine selects the best satisfyingly smooth ombre nails The Nail Files
Shalva Nikvashvili
Instagram artist Shalva Nikvashvili creates masks out of bread and meat Beauty Feature
Juggalos
Guess what: Juggalo make-up blocks facial recognition technology Beauty news
Eugene Souleiman x Marcus Schäfer 11
Eugene Souleiman’s eerie portraits offer an alternative vision of beauty Photo story
Rihanna
Rihanna’s Harper’s Bazaar China cover is accused of cultural appropriation Beauty news
Beyonce Lion King
Beyoncé wears pin curl braids at Lion King premiere and we’re here for it Beauty news
Miley Cyrus Angelina Duplisea
Miley Cyrus’s ‘Mother’s Daughter’ video is under fire for promoting obesity Beauty news
Lady Gaga Hause Laboratorie
Lady Gaga’s beauty brand Haus Laboratories is coming Beauty news
John Waters Beauty 2
Mr. Know-It-All: John Waters on beauty Beauty Feature