By Elsbeth van Paridon April 13, 2018
There may be few real-time data available on the use of male cosmetics in China, yet street and streaming visuals alike suggest that China's modern man is spending more on his looks. Sixth Tone reports.
David Bowie: As conscious about what he applied to his face as he was about his poetry in motion from rebellious lines to stage costumery, Bowie’s makeup bag contained a perversion of exquisite paragons acquired partout. Beijing opera performer Liu Xinran: Cut-glass cheekbones, glacial skin and a razor-sharp narrow chin give him the coveted guazilian or “melon-seed face” Chinese women would wage wars over. Where makeup meets masculinity.
Beauty mark this! Temper Magazine’s Trending segment casts a net upon all that is throwing tantrums within the world of China Fashion across a variety of global sources. This very necessary segment makes for a collection of largely non-Temper Magazine-original content dipping its toe into the deep indigo-dyed pool that is the ocean of Middle Kingdom fashionable astonishment. This time around…
Using a soft, fluffy eyeshadow brush, we at Temper put on some Sixth Tone highlighter as authors Wang Lianzhang and Chen Na scrape off the concealer and reveal both the beauty spots and blemishes impelling the surge of male cosmetics use in China. It’s the foundation for a new marriage between makeup and modern masculinity. Ladies, we’re all ears!
A fragment courtesy of the Baozi&Hana Makeup YouTube Channel:
Back to Beijing where Wang Yuepeng is still angry about the first time he tried to buy a Dior lipstick.
“Are you going to use it?” Wang recalls the female salesperson asking dubiously, after staring at him for a few seconds. Wang was already addicted to makeup — he’d begun experimenting with it in high school when he spent 15 yuan (USD2) on a concealer at the grocery store in a bid to cover his acne.
“What’s wrong with me using it?” Wang retorted angrily. Nearly a decade later, his face still scrunches into a frown as he recalls their interaction.
Screenshot from a video posted by Bilibili uploader Wang Yuepeng on March 23, 2018. Courtesy of Sixth Tone
Much has changed since Wang’s teenage years in central China’s Henan province. The 25-year-old with dyed olive-green hair is now a professional makeup artist and one of the few well-known male makeup vloggers in China. He boasts nearly 2 million followers online, where he posts video tutorials on everything from applying double eyelid stickers and eyeshadow to making cosmetics last longer. While most of his followers are women, he believes that one day, wearing makeup will be as common among men in China as it is in South Korea and Japan. “I already feel like everyone wants makeup,” Wang tells Sixth Tone from his seat at an internet-famous yogurt shop in Beijing, having just attended a cosmetics event.
Beijing Opera: One more time for the “cheap” seats in he back! Copyright@The Atlantic, 2013.
Experts put the growing popularity of men’s beauty products in China down to a number of factors, including a global trend toward men caring more about their appearance and the influence of the delicate, feminine K-pop aesthetic on young Chinese celebrities. Such stars have earned the moniker xiaoxianrou, or “little fresh meat,” for their flawless skin and boyish mannerisms — and they are even changing what constitutes a desirable man, says Song Geng, a University of Hong Kong professor whose research focuses on Chinese masculinity.
For the unblemished Wang/ Chen report, blend in with Sixth Tone right here!
Edited by Julia Hollingsworth for Sixth Tone
Additional introduction by Elsbeth van Paridon for Temper Magazine
About Sixth Tone: There are five tones in Mandarin Chinese. When it comes to coverage of China, Sixth Tone believes there is room for other voices that go beyond buzzwords and headlines to tell the uncommon stories of common people. Through fresh takes on trending topics, in-depth features, and illuminating contributions, Sixth Tone covers issues from the perspectives of those most intimately involved to highlight the nuances and complexities of today’s China.
Featured image: Screenshot from a video posted by Bilibili uploader Dong Zichu on March 24, 2018. Courtesy of Sixth Tone
Follow the Baozi and Hana Makeup Channel:
Facebook BH Makeup Channel
Baozi & Hana
Temper Magazine does not own any of the above English content. All featured English content was re-published under the “fair use” approach and belongs to Wang Lianzhang and Chen Na for Sixth Tone, 2018. All rights reserved.