“Stop fidgeting or it’ll smudge,” my boyfriend Raphael commands. Ahead of brunch, he’s doing my makeup for the first time. Sleep evaded me last night, and because I was not born with it, our friends at Maybelline have come to the rescue.
Cosmetics have long helped women find confidence, and they’re now doing the same for more and more men and male-presenting people, especially in the LGBTQ+ community. Men wearing makeup is nothing new, of course, but the movement first became more mainstream in 2014 and 2015, with brands like Clinique and Tom Ford dropping concealers and foundations for men and influencers like James Charles and Manny Gutierrez landing lucrative beauty deals with Covergirl and Maybelline, respectively. Cut to today and the men-in-makeup pack has gone viral with a rainbow-powder-cloud explosion of shyer, perhaps more relatable, queer beauty vloggers.
One of them is Memphis-based Delsin DePuy, who started his TikTok channel in 2019 after watching the likes of Patrick Starr and thinking, Oh, I can do this too. Since then, he has amassed 106K followers. He believes sharing makeup tips and tricks gives queer guys — and the breast cancer survivors he works with at a nonprofit support group — the courage to experiment with makeup and feel beautiful.
Still, some of Delsin’s own self-confidence has flaked like eyeshadow on a dry lid. “I actually used to be more confident with wearing makeup when I was in high school,” he tells POPSUGAR. “I mean, I would pretty much get into drag before school — lashes and everything. Nowadays I find the attention a bit overwhelming.”
Personally, I get it. This morning, when Raphael started selling me on the idea of a micro-makeover, I was iffy. I didn’t want people gawking. But he was all, “Pretty please, with cherry