For the matter of inclusivity, makeup has always been targeted to one specific gender. However, in the recent years with Human Rights movements thus, making their voices heard, everyone, I mean e v e r y o n e  starts to enjoy makeup!

Makeup is inclusive for people of all colour, race, religion and gender and makeup is no longer catered to only for female. There is a rise in male makeup enthusiasts/artists as well as people are becoming more and more accepting to the idea of men wearing makeup.

Safe to say that maybe the older generation is a bit skeptical about male “makeup artist/enthusiast” because it is out of the norm, and makeup is generally known to be a ‘girl thing’ and I guess with that point of view, people have different opinions on how they view makeup in this era. The best thing we could do is to respect people’s opinion although when we don’t necessarily agree with them.

In the matter of makeup artists my country, only females are commonly known to wear makeup, however, males are beginning to express their interest in makeup as well. Having said that, makeup culture here has expanded because of Instagram that serves as a platform used by makeup enthusiasts, makeup sellers and makeup artists to reach the masses of the crowd.

 Makeup Enthusiasts: 

A tittle that does not necessary positioned by an expert. A newbie like me might hold. By sharing their interest in makeup and displaying their masterpiece, it is also important to highlight the growing number of followers ever since they started doing makeup as their profession. These local makeup artists or enthusiasts are very much well known for their work, hence again, shows the growth of makeup culture in Brunei.

 Makeup Sellers: 

Becoming a personal shopper helps expose the availability of makeup to people like us. People who are not really exposed, or rather, lack of availability to the well-known makeup brands like Nars, Mac, Dior and the list goes on.

“The beauty of Instagram is that I get to express my art here. In Brunei, it’s a little bit too odd for a guy to go out in public with glitter all over their face. People are just too concerned with how much fun you’re having with your life that they easily forget to cherish theirs. If it’s so inappropriate and disrespectful for me to express myself in public, then at least let me do it here. Deal with it, we are the kids of this generation.” – MZ.

With that being said, it is evident how the makeup culture in Brunei, my home country, has been growing since the power of social media took over by frenzy. A platform used to promote makeup and introducing new makeup products with the new growing cosmetic brands, such as Kylie Lipkits, Limecrime and Colourpop – to name a few. Thus, people are more persuaded (I guess I would say) in buying these high-end makeup products.

People would go through lengths and spend a high amount of money to purchase these makeups, also looking at this as an opportunity to create an income by making makeup as their professions and be seen and used as a tool for self-expression and enhancing creativity. Thus with this, identity formation through creativity and individualism.

Makeup can also be seen as an empowerment not only for women, but as well as for men.

Men are starting to wear makeup too and not afraid to show it. We wear it to cover blemishes and to highlight our facial features just like why women wear it. It makes us feel put together – Anonymous

Even ‘masculine’ and straight men wear makeup. They want to look good and make up does that. Most men wear makeup for weddings and photo-shoots. Thus, the stereotypes of women being ‘demure’ and ‘shy’ make women feel doubtful to go out of the house with a full-face makeup, however, recently they are more bold with their makeup choice because these stereotypes are slowly disappearing and people have come to terms that women are more expressive and bold now.

One sexist thing about makeup is that people thought women wear makeup to impress men, but that is wrong. Makeup makes you feel put-together, it makes you feel confident and it also boosts your self-esteem and that is empowerment. After all, the word make up itself means the matter of putting something together.  

“It’s 2018 and more and more Bruneian women wear makeup casually and comfortably. Makeup (especially bolder looks) used to be reserved for very special occasions like your wedding day, and being a woman in Brunei you are expected to be reserved, shy and modest and a woman wearing makeup was sexualized. I feel like women -and MEN- should wear it if they fkin want to.. makeup is gender neutral and it belongs to everyone. You just have to be yourself and wear it because YOU want to. You can be shy, modest, outspoken, loud and still have bomb eyeliner and highlighted brows” – NM

Does makeup empowers you?