Why men's makeup cost the same as women's



As a person who does a lot of male grooming, I have developed a keen eye for bringing out the best features in men in a short amount of time. I really enjoy looking at a males face and bringing out their character. Some days the director wants a broody/ sexy look, other days a youthful glow. Other times you can be thrown a complete curveball and be asked to do a bright blue smokey eye (that's completely true, and funnily enough it was for a rock band). All those looks come with multiple layers of makeup.


If you were to do no makeup in most lighting cases, especially studio lights, you would see all the red undertones in the models skin. If you were to go in and apply some foundation to stop this redness and not add any shadow, well they would look like a 2D pancake. You would be wiping out any depth to their face. So to contradict that you need to contour, not just the face but also the eyes. This then adds eye shadow to the process. While it may be a subtle tone of brown that is slightly darker than their face, it is still product utilised. As you may be starting to see what seems like a simple makeup is all an illusion.


Over the ten years I have been doing makeup, recurring questions always come up with male grooming. People always ask:


Why does it cost so much?

Don't you use less makeup on men than women?

Shouldn't men's makeup be quicker to do?

Men's hair is generally short, doesn't that mean less time and product?


To answer those questions, here is the break down of product used for women verse men as a general rule.



Most of the products used on women are also used on men. There will be changes in colour. For example, women would have black mascara, men generally a clear one. Product is still used either way. The same goes for hair products. Depending on the model (female or male), you may need hairspray, gel, moose, time to blow dry in a full look or curl the hair. At times men's hair can take longer to do than women's.


As for time, this depends on the artist. I usually take less time doing male makeup just for the simple fact that most of the time, the director wants the look to be rougher, edgier. That being the case, you don't need to spend as much time blending product which saves time. Note: time saved not product.



Male groom may look simple, but don't be fooled, it uses the same amount of product and time depending on the brief. Investing in talent to get those results is definitely worth the money.


Lila Marie


Male Grooming by Lila Marvell

Photographers Laura Marii and Yasmin Suteja

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