You may not know this, but guys have been wearing eyeliner for decades. Whether it’s musicians, actors, or goths, the humble eyeliner has embraced a variety of people’s eyes over the years and is even used in some cultures as a part of their tradition. Surprisingly, it is also considered as a sign of masculinity for men in some cultures, where it is fondly called “Surma” or “Kajal”.
So, should guys wear eyeliner? Men have been wearing eyeliners (or guyliner) for many years due to either tradition or fashion. It is considered to enhance one’s look and is also used as a form of self-expression. Many who do wear it believe that it makes them feel more masculine.
If you look throughout history, men have been wearing eyeliner since the time of the pharaohs. This particular makeup has cemented itself as a unisex accessory which can enhance anyone’s facial features, especially the eyes. Read below to learn more about why guys should wear eyeliner.
Eyeliner and the Greats
If you think of eyeliner, the first people that would probably pop up in your head would be the rockstars of the 70s and 80s. While it’s true that most of the musicians back then rocked dark eyeliner to accompany their music and overall look, the trend was also very famous for many high-profile celebrities.
From Charlie Chaplin to Jonny Depp, to Russel Brand to Pharrell, each has completely owned the eyeliner look and has helped in setting an example for the masses. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the wide acceptance of guyliner was due to these influential people.
One can also assume that the reason why most connoisseurs and artistic people proudly showcase their eyeliner laden eyes is that they consider it as a form of self-expression. Wearing eyeliner can make you stand out in the crowd and considering how most men don’t use it, you will find it easier to bring notice to your eyes.
Although you will find a lot of celebrities who wear eyeliner, you will seldom find them advocating it or being vocal about the trend unless asked directly. The reason for this is because most people who wear eyeliner don’t want it to steal too much attention from them or become a regular topic of discussion. Eyeliner on men has always intended to be subtle and meaningful. One can also say that applying just the right amount of eyeliner or too much is the way to differentiate between the men and the boys.
People in their adult life will be seen sporting the eyeliner look in a very subtle way while the younger lot would use it profusely to make themselves stand out. A lot of goth musicians have had a huge influence on teenagers and young adults who follow their music.
Charlie Chaplin, for example, used eyeliner to accentuate his eyes during performances. This is because he usually appeared in silent and monochrome films back when the movie industry was in its infancy. The only way to truly communicate emotions with the audience was with facial expressions or music.
But of course, people tend to imitate their heroes which is why many try to adopt the look for themselves as well. If you think about it, the most important reason why men apply eyeliner is to put emphasis on their facial expressions and the guys who do wear it tend to be related to theatrics and art.
Why YOU Should Wear Eyeliner
If you want to try the look for yourself, we recommend that you start with a manageable amount and then work your way up to the desired “depth”. While more eyeliner will make your eyes stand out, it may also cause it to smear all over your face if you aren’t careful and not used to wearing it.
Speaking of smearing, did you know that most people actually aim for the smeared look on purpose? Again, this is an acquired taste and will probably only look good on a few but hey, it’s worth trying, right? We should warn you though, the smeared look is not considered to be socially acceptable in different groups of people. Sure, you can try it on when you are meeting like-aged friends but we would advise you to not think of it as a normal practice for more formal events.
Eyeliner on guys with a striking eye color looks great too. If you are blessed with unique eye color, there is no better way of bringing attention towards them than with eyeliner. It can help you highlight your eyes in a way that complements your eye color and facial features. Try out this long-lasting WUNDER2 Super-Stay Eyeliner (Amazon).
Many also embrace the trend to add “layers” to their character. As stated, the right amount of eyeliner can elevate a man’s overall look, while too much of it can make a guy look immature. Be certain in why you want to apply eyeliner because most of the time, people end up applying more than they need and wind up defeating the purpose of applying eyeliner in the first place.
Whichever you choose, just remember to not go overboard with it since it’s very easy to over-apply it. If you are really serious about trying out the eyeliner look and are comfortable with your sexuality, we recommend that you have a female friend help you apply it for you. Most females are well versed with their makeup products and can guide you better on how to find and apply the right eyeliner for you.
Eyeliner and its Cultural Significance for Men
You will find many cultures around the world, especially in Asia, where men apply eyeliner as part of their culture. They refer to it as Surma and claim that it not only helps them preserve its cultural significance in the modern world but also that it aids them in their vision.
If you take a look at the Pharaohs, you will notice that the elite class was very fond of wearing eyeliner in order to make themselves stand out from the commoners. They used to apply it in a way so as to make “wings” or a streak that stretched from the eyes to each temple. This was a common practice for the rich and powerful.
Similarly, many cultures celebrate and advocate the use of Surma in their everyday lives. In India, for example, people would apply Surma on their newborn babies so as to help them “improve their eyesight” and to also protect them from the “evil eye”. Many men in these cultures proudly apply Surma and may never be seen without it.
The use of eyeliner also has a lot of religious significance as some iconic figures in different religions used to wear eyeliner, either as a symbol of purity or to enhance their look and vision. The Pashtun men, for example, will rarely be seen without eyeliner because they deeply believe in its physical and metaphysical benefits.
Even if you don’t belong to any such culture and still admire the practice, you too can wear eyeliner in support of any culture or cause. That is how Rolling Stones guitarist and media personality, Keith Richards, ended up wearing eyeliner. He used to visit and frequently vacation in North Africa in the 1960s and picked up the practice from the semi-nomadic tribes there.
Eyeliners also come in different shades of dark colors. The classic version that you will find most men wearing is black. You can also try one in brown if you feel like going for a softer and bolder look. Try out this 4VOO Enhancing Dark Brown Eyeliner (Click to view pricing on Amazon)
Also, most females in the cultures we talked about above actually find men who wear eyeliner attractive. This is not just because it’s common to have men wear eyeliner in public, but because it really enhances their appearance and makes them appear well groomed.
This is why you will find men who wear eyeliners to also sport full-grown beards. The blackness of the facial hair and the eyeliner really lift up the facial features in men and make them appear more masculine, and hence, much more attractive than the regular variety of men.
We hope this article helped you clear any doubts regarding men wearing eyeliner and how its cultural significance and widespread acceptance has made it an important makeup essential for men all around the world. It’s an androgynous makeup accessory that has been worn by influential and chic men for many years. If you want to stand out in the crowd and express yourself more freely by what you wear, then we highly suggest that you try out an eyeliner!