We're Calling Bulls**t on War Paint, the 'Makeup for Men'

There’s a new campaign video from a men’s beauty brand that’s creating major uproar on social media for promoting aggressive, outdated notions of masculinity.

We couldn’t find a makeup brand formulated specifically for men’s skin; so we created one: https://t.co/X0xaeIOBsV pic.twitter.com/XDRySRWTkq

“We couldn’t find a makeup brand formulated specifically for men’s skin; so we created one,” Warpaint wrote above the 13-second-long clip, featuring a fully-tatted muscular male (with nipple piercings, naturally) going through his full grooming routine with a background track that could be described as modern porno grooves. We’re going to say he’s applying makeup, but to be honest, with quick editing you can barely catch a glimpse at the products—I guess the products don’t matter? But don’t worry, there’s a nice shot of the subject’s gaudy, large skull ring, because all men love skulls, duh.

It’s 2019, not 1959, the consumers have been around the block. You can’t just stick a product that is inherently gender neutral in a matte black can, and insist you’ve optimized it for men! That is a dangerous thing to build your brand identity on when your evidence is weak.

When one twitter user noted that this campaign might appeal to more of “the Axe body spray circa 2000s type” instead of a modern man that’s secure enough with his masculinity to use makeup, the brand responded “Our aim is to allow makeup to be gender neutral and to do that we must have male specific brands also.” This only fueled the fire of outraged Twitter users.

There aren’t products just for ‘females’ lol, there’s just piss-poor sexist marketing only assuming women want to use it

Bad take

1. making a male specific brand is the polar opposite of gender neutral
2. Make up is already gender neutral. clearly what you’re aiming for is to make make-up ~manly~
3. …”females” pic.twitter.com/RlXupWH4Iq

The brand claims the products are specifically tailored to the needs of men’s skin. Cool, cool, but is there even a difference? While a man’s skin is thicker and tends to produce more sebum (sometimes in excess creating oily skin), you can most certainly use the same makeup as a woman does. Stellar ingredients in your skincare routine like glycolic acid help to fight oily skin and break outs, but when it comes to makeup, your skin won’t be damaged by using a concealer that’s used by the female gender to cover imperfections—however, we can’t say you won’t get cooties.

If men’s skin is so special, then why does this foundation have all the same ingredients as @NyxCosmetics Total Control Drop foundation? My dudes, don’t pay a markup and international shipping when you could get the same thing at the pharmacy. 🙄

Dudes that wear makeup and dudes that only buy things that are “FOR MEN” are not the same demographic at all.

Guys, do we really need a tough Hells Angels biker, burly lumberjack, or a gun-toting cowboy to tell us it’s okay to use a skincare or beauty product if we want to? Haven’t we evolved past this? War Paint clearly thinks not.

On the War Paint website, in a video titled “Our Story,” founder Daniel Gray can be seen running around London, jumping on the London metro, and chatting about his brand that he claims is successfully growing. Absolutely zero products are shown, because again, why would the products be important? More skulls, please.

“I genuinely believe there’s a lot of guys out there, like me, looking for a brand just like War Paint,” says Gray in the video. Based off of the Twitterverse reaction, we’re going to have to call bullsh*t.

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