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24 Sep 2017

Toronto

By Gracie Carroll

Meet The Beauty Influencers Breaking Down Gender Norms In Makeup

By Ama Scriver

edit seven gender fluid

The last few years, we have seen a breakthrough in the beauty community. More and more brands are striking up more conversations about how to strike a balance with gender neutrality in their makeup. It has been a beautiful thing to watch, as brands become more acutely aware of their masc-centered, trans-identified and gender non-conforming consumers.

When National Inner Beauty Day took place earlier this month, we were inspired to chat with some non-binary and male beauty makeup artists and influencers about what makeup means to them, hate they may receive online and how others like them can find their inner beauty.

Felix, AKA The Shelix

Shelix Breaking Down Gender Norms E7

Pronouns: He/She

Edit Seven: What made you want to get into makeup/beauty?

Shelix: When I was younger, I lived with a very beautiful drag queen – that made me take the jump. But I’ve always played with makeup. Ever since I was very young.

E7: Who or where did you learn everything you know about makeup and beauty?

Shelix: Books! The fundamentals. Bobbi Brown. Kevin Aucoin. The School of YouTube

E7: Can makeup act as social and political representations of your gender or identity?

Shelix: The best part of makeup is it can be anything you want it to be. It can be political, it can be pretty, it can be for someone else, it can be just for fun. Whatever you want it to do with makeup; be a warrior, be an artist, be a boy, a girl, it’s totally up to the user. The freedom that makeup imparts is the freedom that all artists have.

E7: How has makeup helped you embrace your inner and outer beauty?

Shelix: Hey, when you look good, you feel good. Blast those stunning cheekbones with that highlighter. The world needs your brightness!

E7: What is the one go-to product that you would recommend for everyone?

Shelix: Moisturizer! Serum! Makeup looks good on great skin.

 

Matt Fancy, AKA Helena Poison

Matt Fancy Breaking Down Gender Norms E7

Pronouns: He/Him

Edit Seven: What made you want to get into makeup/beauty?

Matt Fancy: I first started playing with makeup as a form of self-expression as a teenager. I’ve always been an artist (drawing/painting) so this was a way to draw on my face. As I became an adult and a makeup artist, it became a way to advertise. I found drag through having makeup ideas that were too much for other women so I started putting them on myself!

E7: Where did you learn everything you know about makeup and beauty?

MF: I went to school for makeup at CMU college in Toronto. I also self-taught myself a lot of makeup through practice and YouTube, especially drag makeup. I’ve always thought about it as painting so art class helped as well.

E7: Can makeup act as social and political representations of your gender or identity?

MF: I think it was the power to do both. I think for a lot of folks it can definitely help them feel comfortable or affirm their gender identity. But it can also be used to question and break that binary as well. I don’t think you need to be any gender identity to feel good decorating yourself.

E7: How has makeup helped you embrace your inner and outer beauty?

MF: I’d like to say it really doesn’t? I’d like to think I feel cute with or without. But let’s be real, I feel some kind of way with a smokey eye and sharp eyebrow.

E7: What is the one go-to product that you would recommend for everyone?

MF: Good skin care, and a good skin base! You need a great foundation when building your masterpiece!

 

DOUG

Doug Breaking Down Gender Norms E7

Pronouns: They/Them

Edit Seven: What made you want to get into makeup/beauty?

Doug: I got into makeup as I started exploring my own gender identity and expression through drag. I first became interested in how makeup could transform my face so I could look more feminine or less masculine, whatever that could mean. Nowadays, however, I mostly do my makeup to complement my mood, my outfit, or the event I’m going to.

E7: Who or where did you learn everything you know about makeup and beauty?

Doug: I learned all of my makeup knowledge through online videos and tutorials. In particular, YouTubers like Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley have been fundamental to my makeup journey as they post frequently and their content is reliable and highly informative. In addition, I also learned a lot from my circle of queer and trans friends, as most of us enjoy playing with makeup as a form of self-expression.

E7: Have you dealt with any haters in real life or on social media?

Doug: I’ve been on the receiving end of some street harassment when I choose to wear super colourful and sparkly looks, as people sometimes yell things from cars, but I mostly pay no attention because I know I look great.

E7: Can makeup act as social and political representations of your gender or identity?

Doug: Indeed! For me, makeup was super important to reshape and redefine what my personal expression and identity could be and to deemphasize the masculinity that comes inherent with being seen as a man, especially when you have a beard and are on the thick side. Painting my face allows me to subtract the man from my expression and remake myself according to who I want to be in my own terms.

E7: How has makeup helped you embrace your inner and outer beauty?

Doug: Makeup has helped me embraced parts or things about my face that I didn’t necessarily enjoy before, such as what little eyelid space I have or how shiny my skin can get at times. Nowadays I have learned techniques that help me bring out my own natural features and have learned to embrace my oily skin as an indication of just how radiant my looks can be.

E7: What is the one go-to product that you would recommend for everyone?

Doug: I would recommend the CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops as they can either add a nice subtle glow to your skin or blind everyone with a super-radiant highlight, and they come in a large array of shades. Also, the Fenty highlighters are amazing and suit a variety of skin tones. I would only recommend brands that are cruelty-free and also offer their products in wide shade ranges so everyone can partake in the fun.

 

Joel Louzado

Joel Breaking Down Gender Norms E7

Pronouns: He/Him

Edit Seven: What made you want to get into makeup/beauty?

Joel Louzado: I started makeup as something corrective, I felt like I wanted to perfect my skin. My first purchase was a concealer and face powder from the drugstore—I didn’t get into eyeshadow or lipstick or any visible makeup until almost a year after.

E7: Where did you learn everything you know about makeup and beauty?

JL: YouTube was a huge help. I watched tutorial after tutorial, just fascinated with the skill and attention to detail. And then a lot of it was just trial and error. I would put on makeup at night, and then take pictures of my makeup to see how it looked.

E7: Have you dealt with any haters in real life or on social media?

JL: Honestly, I’ve been lucky that most of the reaction has been positive praise. The most that I usually get is just a sometimes-uncomfortable amount of staring. That said, I have had the occasional gay slur thrown my way, oddly enough only in person, as far as I can remember.

E7: Can makeup act as social and political representations of your gender or identity?

JL: For sure. Every time I wear lipstick I feel like I’m making a political statement. There’s a feeling of liberation that comes from doing the opposite of what everyone wants you to be. I just wish that more men (straight too!) could feel as empowered as I do. Right now, makeup feels exclusive to gay men, but straight men should be comfortable wearing even just a little concealer and maybe some mascara. It does wonders.

E7: How has makeup helped you embrace your inner and outer beauty?

JL: I never considered myself ‘beautiful’ until I started wearing makeup. I had a lot of self-esteem issues, and I thought makeup would fix that. But actually, when I wore concealer for the first time, I noticed that I actually liked the way that I looked without makeup more than I did with makeup. I think that was just due to discomfort in makeup, but even now, I feel like I love my face ten times more than I ever did in high school.

 

Olive Grey

Olive Grey Breaking Down Gender Norms E7

Pronouns: They/Them

Edit Seven: What made you want to get into makeup/beauty?

Olive Grey: I initially got into beauty through a desire to express myself creatively. I was in high school in a small town and many trans people I looked up to online were drag queens. I was always inspired by the transformative abilities of makeup, and how it could be used in ways that went against the grain of conventional beauty and a cisnormative society.

E7: Have you dealt with any haters in real life or on social media?

OG: I have, although I do have the privilege of being assigned female at birth, which means I am often read by people as a woman, which means that I receive significantly less hate than a trans and/or nonbinary makeup-wearer who is assigned male at birth.

E7: Can makeup act as social and political representations of your gender or identity?

OG: Makeup can absolutely act as a representation of identity. Beauty has had ties to cultural identity for centuries. I would not say that makeup is intrinsically linked to gender identity, although it can be used to perform a gender identity.

E7: How has makeup helped you embrace your inner and outer beauty?

OG: Makeup gives me confidence and makes me feel beautiful because it gives me the power to have control over my physical appearance. I can manipulate it to make me look more traditionally masculine, more traditionally feminine, less approachable, more approachable.

E7: What is the one go-to product that you would recommend for everyone?

OG: My personal universal go-to product is a tinted brow gel. It’s fast, easy to use, and helps to add definition to the face as well as instantly makes you look more put-together. Some of my favorites are the NYX Tinted Brow Mascara as well as the Benefit Gimme Brow.

xo

@EDITSEVEN

(Story by Contributing Editor, Ama Scriver)

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