How to Slay Makeup For Non-Binary People (and Straight Men too)

Makeup is not only for cis women

For many years makeup has been reserved by societal standards for cis-gender women. Other than perhaps getting a pat of powder before going on stage, non-binary people and straight men haven’t always been free to experiment with makeup – and have fun with it. And if you did? You might get labelled as a drag queen (even if you’re not, because bbz a non-binary person wearing makeup does not necessarily = drag), or be mocked or shunned. Not cool!


THANKfully, it’s 2018, and the beauty industry is becoming more and more inclusive. This means that not only are brands are starting to accommodate more diversity among cis-gender women (like wider ranges of skin tones), but they’re also starting to celebrate people who identify outside of society’s constrictive ‘norms’.  From big brands signing peeps like makeup vlogger James Charles to a rise in Instagram influencers slaying the makeup game outside of gender norms.

Here, top tips for slaying your makeup game however you identify

1 Smooth Moves

One of the big differences between skin across sexes can be the texture. That can be for a variety of reasons, not least because facial hair can make skin texture more uneven or rougher. Because makeup typically lasts longer on smoother skin (yep, they’re designed for cis women, of course), if you’ve got a rougher skin texture you need to incorporate a good-quality primer into your routine. This will help to fill in any lumps and bumps to create a surface that’s much easier to work on. See ya later, pores!

2 Correct Colour

Sure, wearing makeup can be a simple as a swipe of lipstick, but if you’re doing your whole face, colour correcting before applying foundation can make the WORLD of difference to achieve more even skin tone. The under-eye area is the one that most people struggle with, so using a colour-correcting palette or a concealer that matches your skin tone is a good idea. Also bbz, if you struggle with dark pores from facial hair, this one’s for you.

If you have lighter skin and want to conceal redness use a green-hued concealer. And to hide under-eye circles? Pick a peachy pink shade.

For those who have a darker skin tone, both pigmentation and dark circles can be hidden using dark orange and red concealer shades. This trick can also help with concealing dark pores from facial hair.

Don’t forget to blend.

3 Go for Glow

One of the biggest giveaways that you’ve loaded up on foundation (which can be tempting if you’re trying to hide facial hair or enlarged pores)? When the product creases to form visible lines. This is often because you’ve used a powder or formula with a matte finish. If you’re new to makeup, a liquid foundation will help give a dewy finish and be easier to blend. The result is often more luminous and fresh, too. You might be tempted to use a more full coverage foundation, which will help to conceal blemishes but won’t make skin look any smoother. That’s what the primer is for 😉.

4 Create Your Contour

Contouring – using makeup to create light and shadow – can completely change the shape of your face. Not sure how to do it? This tutorial has all the answers.

5 Tame Those Brows

Want to shape your brows? Since your brows frame your face, use a gel or pomade to tame hairs into place, and a brow pencil to fill them in afterwards. Dip a brush into the gel and brush your brows into your desired shape. Side note: you can also use brow pencil or a brow palette to fill in a patchy beard, if you have one. Voilà!

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