Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gareth Pugh Wants You to Respect Men Who Wear Makeup

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

The presence of men's products in the beauty industry has skyrocketed in the last ten years, a combination of men growing more self-conscious about their looks and companies wanting to open up additional markets to sell to. But British designer Gareth Pugh, who just did his own line of makeup for MAC, thinks men wearing makeup will never become become free of social stigma. Pugh tells the Guardian that he has been wearing makeup since he was 14 and that he started doing it to cover up his first skin breakouts. "I have a pallid complexion," he said. "I look tired, and if I didn't do anything with my hair, I would leave the house looking like Diana Ross. I need moisturiser, foundation, powder, a bit of eyeliner."

But Pugh's reasons for using makeup and hair tools isn't purely out of a desire to look attractive. He also admits that there's a deeper element behind choosing to change your appearance. "I never want to appear to have on loads of make-up. I like the fact that it's an invisible mask, a little bit of armour. You can transform yourself from being what you are into what you want to be."

Gareth, perhaps you should make friends with Marco Berardini from EvolutionMan? The nail polish collab you guys create would be killer.
· What I See in the Mirror: Gareth Pugh [Guardian]
· EvolutionMan's Marco Berardini Talks MAN-icures [Racked]
· Gareth Pugh Used to Be Really Into Pantomime [Racked]