Blushing bearded cheeks. Crimson mustached pouts. Sparkling lids accenting bushy eyebrows. All accessorized with an Adam's apple.
As makeup brands honor gender fluidity in high fashion — and on city streets — they've added guys to their arsenal of featured faces. And it's becoming almost, well, normal.
Pop stars David Bowie, Prince, and Michael Jackson performed wearing eyeliner in the 1980s. But your bearded neighbor wearing lipstick is a bit different, because chances are he's not performing. He's not even necessarily dressing in drag. (He, however, might be transitioning.) But there is a chance he's made up because he feels more comfortable with blush and foundation than men in previous generations.
The reasoning is twofold: Some men have moved well beyond skinny jeans and are wearing women's clothes: (See Alexander Wang's spring 2018 collection.) And guys watch YouTube, where they'll find lots of makeup tutorials directed specifically at them. After all, men have blemishes and under-eye circles, too.
Three years ago, former MAC makeup artist and current YouTuber Jeffree Star launched an eponymous line of makeup featuring his pretty, contoured face. (Although he lost favor with some fans after a slew of racist tweets.) Last year, Cover Girl hired vlogger James Charles to be its first cover boy. (The verdict is out on how much we love Charles, because of his own racist tweets). And in January, Maybelline hired Manny Guttierez as a spokesman for its high-powered lash products. (We're keeping our fingers crossed, because, although Guttierez seems to be a nice guy, he also appears to be chummy with Star.)
This is Johnny Velazquez, a 22-year-old Temple University graduate and cofounder of Pound Cake, a new line of makeup being marketed to women and men. Velazquez is wearing the brand's latest lipstick hue, Red Velvet. The collection is set to launch online Monday; there's a launch party at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Yard, in Midtown Village.
"Our brand is for everyone," said Camille Bell, Velazquez's 23-year-old cofounder. "We are about inclusion. Men buy our product. We want them to feel comfortable."
Red Velvet is one of five red lipsticks Pound Cake is launching. The others are Maraschino, Red Bean, Raspberry, and Apple. Each scarlet shade, Bell said, is formulated so it appears as a "true" red on its wearer, no matter the complexion. Apple has bluer undertones for darker skin tones, and Maraschino is more coppery. But, Bell said, each shade will look like a true red.
You will be able to preorder Pound Cake here starting Monday. Each lipstick is $25.