Do men have a right to wear makeup?

In August 2017, it was revealed that French president, Emmanuel Macron had spent $30,000 (Sh3 million) on makeup since May 2017 when he assumed office.

Evidently, he hired makeup artists to spruce up his youthful looks and look fresh all the time during press conferences and foreign trips.

In the United States and other western countries, the cosmetics industry cater for the male clientele as well.

Back home in Kenya, it’s safe to say that makeup-wearing on a man is generally frowned upon. Unless, of course, that man is a news anchor. Diane Omondi, a freelance makeup artist, has worked with men over the past but here is the catch:  they were runway models and the nature of their profession require them to do so.

“For male models, makeup is a big yes to make the whole look complete and boost confidence. You can’t go on a runway with your under eyes tired and dark spots, you won’t be confident,” she says.


But what about the average man who doesn’t strut on runaways but is comfortable wearing makeup in such a judgmental world?

“Makeup makes us feel good about ourselves. For the men who embrace it, they just love themselves up to the point they want to be flawless,” she says.

The makeup artist says people should judge less because everyone has the right to feel beautiful and sometimes everyone, including men “just wants to hide dark spots and acne”.


“A man wearing makeup is not a big deal, they just love themselves as we do too.”

However, she advises that men should not go for many layers of makeup. Something she terms as a preserve for women.

“You just need a concealer to cover the spots, colour corrector and powder. Nothing more,” she states adding that the powder gives you a flawless finish and not a caky one. Just three products are essential for a man and you can get them at an affordable price in cosmetics shops across the country.

Diane Omondi is a makeup artist who sees no problem with men applying makeup. PHOTO| BENJAMIN OPIYO

But in a country where men applying makeup is not widely accepted, are there cosmetic brands stocking products for men?

“In Kenya, the brands don’t stock  a lot of male makeup products because there is no market here but they stock products that can be used by both men and women.”

She advises men that intend to invest in makeup products to walk into a cosmetics store and ask for help on which concealer and powder suits their skin tone.


“The skin is never flawless. There are parts of the skin that are lighter than some. You might up have flawless skin but you have creases so that’s where makeup comes in, it gives you uniformity in your skin,” she she adds.

“Skin care for men is acceptable if someone feels applying makeup is going overboard. In fact, having a skin care routine leads to a flawless skin hence no need for makeup,” Diana adds.

If you are a man and you want to care for your skin and put a little powder on your face to look good, go ahead and rock it.