John Lewis is now selling make-up for men - would you give it a try?

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 12:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 12:51 pm

John Lewis is launching its first makeup line exclusively for men, alongside a range of men’s personal styling services.

The retailer announced the move after a successful trial of ‘War Paint for Men’ at its Oxford Street store, where men’s personal styling sales increased by more than 150 per cent in the last year.

Charlotte West, John Lewis & Partners Beauty Buyer, said, “Self-care isn’t just for women - we know that men want to look and feel great too which is why we continue to invest in services in products to help them achieve this.

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“We are delighted to have War Paint permanently on board at John Lewis & Partners following its extraordinarily successful trial.

“We know that men have used make-up for some time now so it made sense to position War Paint as a permanent fixture alongside other male grooming brands and services.”

Experts say the men's personal care market is booming, with sales in the sector increasing by nearly £100m in the last decade.

What is ‘War Paint’?

War Paint for Men is a range of make-up products aimed at men. The company, which was showcased on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, offers customers foundation, concealer, bronzer, powder and applicator.

Its website states that its aim is “to break the stigma that makeup is solely for women. We’re about making men feel comfortable to shout about wearing makeup.”

War Paint’s founder, Daniel Gray, created the company after struggling with BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) and becoming obsessed - and depressed - with his appearance.

Writing on War Paint’s website, Gray said, “I’m in no way saying that make-up is a cure for bullies, or a miracle serum for low self-esteem.

“But using makeup has really helped me manage my BDD and by creating WAR PAINT, I hope it opens up doors for men everywhere.”

Commenting on the John Lewis launch, Gray said, “This is a massive step in the right direction, not just for War Paint but for the industry and men’s makeup in general.

“We are finally starting to see men's makeup become the norm and break the stigma that has been around for years.”

Criticism

After Gray’s appearance on Dragon’s Den, War Paint was criticised on social media for being an example of “toxic masculinity”.

It's not water, it's LIQUID DEATHIt's not makeup, it's WAR PAINTIt's not an earplug, it's a SKULL SCREWIt's not a donut, it's a BRONUTbut it's definitely fragile masculinity https://t.co/MQfw2cSEOi

— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) May 9, 2019

Not only that but the fact they’ve named their product ‘war paint’ screams of heteronormative toxic masculinity. They’re cancelled.

— Emma Holmes (@emmaholmes_) May 9, 2019

Other critics said they did not think men should wear make-up.

Wow, better take him swimming on the first date so you know what you're really getting!

— Cassiandra (@catscomicsetc) May 8, 2019

This is why women have trust issues 😅

— 💧ZB Simpson (@ZBSimpson) May 9, 2019

War Paint is partnered with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to encourage men to talk about the emotional burdens they face in life. The company donates 50p from every sale of its concealer - its most popular product - to the charity.