Men in Makeup: A Celebration

The 35th Annual Mardi Gras just finished and what a celebration. Kate and I have always been big fans of the festival. At aged 14 we were in the parade showing our support as fruit fairies. Now it’s all done and dusted, it got me thinking about men in makeup.

David Bowie as the Goblin King in The Labyrinth, 1986

David Bowie as the Goblin King in The Labyrinth, 1986

Here at My Fair Lipstick we believe that makeup should be for anyone who wants to wear it. Except toddlers because that’s creepy.

There are men who will want to wear cosmetics, regardless of their sexuality. If we all spoke more openly about it, it might not have been such a scandal when former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was discovered wearing foundation. Ay yai yai.

Remember to blend Mr Brown. It's about the contouring.

Remember to blend Mr Brown. It’s about the contouring.

Men should be able to go nuts with bronzer and lippy whenever and wherever they want – not just on fancy dress occasions. And so to celebrate men in makeup we take a look at some of our favourite guys who enjoy painting their faces.

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, circa 1972


Musicians and makeup go together like rum and coke – that is, bloody perfectly. One of the first men to pave the way was David Bowie. There are hundreds of David Bowie makeup tutorials and I might have to dedicate an entire post to worshipping and replicating his look. I’m having to hold back from making this whole blog post a collage of Bowie pictures.

Boy George was a zietgeist for the 80s

Boy George in the 80s

Makeup was big in the 60s and early 70s. Bowie and Jagger inspired Robert Smith (lippy, eyeliner, teased hair) and Boy George who went on to inspire modern-day musos such as Brandon Flowers from The Killers.

Eyeliner can be an essential for a rock’n’roll persona. Kurt Cobain wore it in the 90s. Today we have Jack White, Antony Hegarty, Dave Navarro, Robbie Williams and our own Luke Steele from Empire of the Sun dipping into the kohl. Even Keith Richards is still pulling out the eyeliner – check him out on the cover of Rolling Stone with Johnny Depp proving makeup on men is timeless.

Elvis Presley


But if we look back back to the beginning of rock’n’roll we find Elvis. The man knew how to rock a guitar and a flawless complexion.

Russell Brand

Russell Brand


Russel Brand is known for his black eyeliner and teased hair. But let’s not forget about Tim Michin, Eddie Izzard and Noel Fielding.

Jared Leto

Jared Leto


Robert Downey Jnr, Johnny Depp, Adam Lambert, Jared Leto, Tom Cruise (cream and blush), Daniel Radcliff (white powder and blush), Mickey Rourke and Hugh Jackman have all been known to get into the cosmetic kit both on and off the set. And we can’t forget when Bradley Cooper botched – or should that be blotched – his fake tan.

Dennis Rodman having fun with cosmetics

Dennis Rodman having fun with cosmetics


Shane Warne, Beckham (pink nail polish and BB cream), Dennis Rodman know that being in the top of their league doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with cosmetics.

Beckham sports some lovely pink nails

Beckham sporting lovely pink nails


These guys aren’t my favourite but I thought it could be fun to take a look at them being stupid heads – mature I know. There’s creepy Silvio Berlusconi wiping off his foundation and an orange Mitt Romney.

Also, I want to give a special shout-out to Dave Navarro. The guitarist always makes sure his makeup is cruelty free.

But to end this celebration we should raise a toast to Bowie with one of my favourite clips from The Labyrinth. I find his pants particularly exciting 😉

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