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The Mass Media

Genderless makeup: Essentials and tips

Olivia Reid
A student tests out some new makeup products he has been waiting for. Photo by Olivia Reid / Mass Media Staff

There will always be gendered expectations for who is allowed to wear makeup in society.  Whether that person is cisgender or transgender, straight or queer, or of any orientation, their use of makeup may be heavily criticized in public.  Male-presenting individuals wearing makeup has been a contentious issue in the beauty industry for a long time. Older generations have had the hardest adapting to the freer use of cosmetics by all individuals in recent years. These generations likely don’t realize that society has evolved; the twenty-first century is about accepting others and allowing individuals to be their best self. 

But even with this criticism, cosmetic companies have more widely used a variety of male-presenting models to market their products. This could be considered a positive sign that the industry is warming to the concept of genderless makeup use. As Mikko Puttonen from Vogue said: “Makeup was never intended for only one gender.” (1)

For anyone interested in using makeup to express themselves, regardless of gender identity, here are some tips to make note of before going out and buying what you need.

The first thing one should consider getting is a moisturizer. Moisturizer variations are determined by skin type and its degree of dryness. The term “moisturizer” refers to a variety of products, such as lotions, gels, creams and ointments, which retain water in the skin and promote hydration. Moisturizers vary slightly from one to the other. A gel frequently contains water and feels lighter on the skin than a lotion. A cream is more moisturizing than a lotion or gel, because it is thicker and contains more oil. The most potent treatment for dry skin is an ointment, as it is the thickest of all the options. 

The second thing one should invest in is a concealer, which, as the name suggests, conceals unwanted imperfections. Concealers can hide dark circles, age spots, blemishes and more by obstructing pigments and blending these flaws into the skin. It is comparable to foundation, except concealer is often thicker. It’s best to buy a shade similar to your skin tone, and then blend the product into your face using a beauty sponge, brush or even your fingers. 

A versatile face powder is also a great product to own. Powder can help you tone down your face if it feels too shiny or glossy, and applying powder over concealer can make the look appear more natural. To prevent makeup from moving around after you’ve applied it to your face, it’s a good idea to “set it” by applying a setting powder to what you’ve done so far.

Everyone should invest in a good mascara. A good mascara not only serves to highlight your makeup, but to give it a unique appearance. Perfectly coated lashes provide a striking frame that can highlight your eyes’ beauty and depth. 

The last essential one may need is an eyebrow gel.With the help of eyebrow gel, you can swiftly change the color and shape of your brows into any you choose. Eyebrow gel also aids in tidying up your brows to keep them in place, similar to how hairspray sets and maintains hair.

In order to show that these cosmetics can be worn by any gender, companies have recently started producing genderless makeup collections. While makeup on masculine-presenting individuals still faces criticism, the world is evolving, and no older generation can stop that. 

When it comes to expression, UMass Boston has always been a safe space for students to express themselves; students feel comfortable and therefore make the people around them comfortable. UMass Boston has a Queer Student Center, which aims to support the scholastic and social advancement of UMass Boston’s communities of gender and sexual minorities. The Queer Student Center is a great place for students to go if they’re in search of a safe environment to express themselves.

About the Contributors
Vansh Khokhani, Arts Writer
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor