How to Talk About Makeup with Your Male Friends


Time to read 3 min

Makeup has historically been considered a women's domain, with societal norms discouraging men from exploring it as a form of self-expression. This stigma is rooted in the 20th and 21st century traditional gender roles that dictate what is and isn't "appropriate" for men. However, times are changing. More men are embracing makeup as a tool for confidence, creativity, and grooming.

Understanding this context is crucial when talking to your male friends about makeup. By acknowledging the historical stigma and how it has shaped perceptions, we can better understand why some men may hesitate to discuss or explore makeup.

Why Talk About Makeup?

There are several compelling reasons to normalize conversations about makeup among men:

  1. Confidence: Makeup can enhance self-esteem and help men feel more comfortable in their skin by minimizing blemishes or highlighting features.
  2. Creativity and Self-Expression: Makeup allows individuals to express themselves creatively, whether through subtle enhancements or bold, artistic looks.
  3. Personal Grooming and Professional Settings: Makeup is becoming more accepted in professional environments, especially for men in creative industries such as marketing, tech, and more. Additionally, the rise of virtual meetings has heightened the need for individuals to be ‘camera ready’, making makeup a useful tool for enhancing one’s appearance on screen and ensuring a polished and professional look.

Preparing for the Conversation

Talking about makeup with your male friends requires sensitivity and understanding. Here are some tips to approach the topic effectively:

Choose the Right Moment

Find a relaxed, private setting where everyone feels comfortable. Avoid bringing up the topic in large groups or in situations where your friend(s) might feel exposed, judged, or uncomfortable with their surroundings.

Focus on the Positives

Highlight the benefits of makeup, such as enhancing features, boosting confidence, or even just the fun of experimenting with a new look. Explaining how makeup can shift one’s mood may help others to better understand and accept.

Be Inclusive and Avoid Assumptions

Use inclusive language that doesn’t presume reasons for their interest (or lack of interest) in makeup. Make it clear that you’re open to their perspective, whether they’re curious, uninterested, or even skeptical. Remember, growth starts from within and then manifests outward.

Educate and Inform

Be ready to provide information or answer questions your friends might have about makeup. Many men may be curious but lack basic knowledge about what products do, how to use them, or why it’s beneficial.

Respect Boundaries

If they seem uncomfortable or disinterested, don’t push the topic. You can always revisit the conversation later or let them come to you with questions if they become curious on their own. Everyone is on their own time.

Understanding different comfort levels and perspectives is crucial to building a supportive conversation around men's makeup.

Addressing Common Concerns and Myths

Aside from the questions about men wearing makeup, there are many misconceptions around the topic. These myths often stem from outdated gender norms and stereotypes, which can prevent open and accepting conversations about beauty and self-expression. Here are some facts and counterarguments to dispel common myths that may be used in any upcoming conversations:

"Makeup is only for women."
Makeup has historically been used by both genders for various purposes, including cultural rituals and grooming. Today, it's increasingly recognized as a tool for personal expression that is not limited by gender.

"Makeup diminishes masculinity."
Masculinity is a diverse concept that isn't defined by a single trait. Expressing oneself through makeup can be a form of strength and confidence, qualities often associated with masculinity.

"Makeup is a sign of vanity."
Using makeup can be practical; it's a way to enhance features, cover imperfections, and express personal style. It's no different from choosing clothes or hairstyles that make one feel confident.

"Makeup is uncomfortable and impractical for men."
Modern makeup products like Nunorm are designed to be lightweight and comfortable to wear. Men can choose products that suit their needs and lifestyle, just as women do.

Talking about makeup with male friends is essential for challenging traditional gender norms. By fostering open dialogue, we can help normalize the idea that makeup is not just for women but is a versatile tool that anyone can use to enhance their confidence and and boost self-expression. More men are embracing makeup today, but for those who are hesitant or curious, having supportive conversations can make all the difference.

When approaching the topic with your male friends, be sensitive to their comfort levels, focus on the positives, and be ready to dispel common myths and misconceptions. Remember, each person's journey with makeup is unique, and respecting boundaries is crucial.

Makeup has transformative benefits that extend beyond aesthetics. It encourages creativity, and helps individuals present themselves authentically. By normalizing discussions around men's makeup, we can cultivate a more inclusive environment where everyone feels empowered to express themselves freely.

So, start a conversation with your friends, share your own experiences, and encourage them to explore makeup without hesitation. Together, we can challenge stereotypes and create a more accepting space for men in beauty.

If you’re ready to start your own journey or expand your makeup collection, check out NuNorm’s Tinted Hydrator, Quick Cover Stick, and Shine Eraser. Let us know how you’re finding your confidence and creativity in makeup by sharing your stories with us!