- TextTed Stansfield
As the house’s first makeup line for men, Boy de Chanel, lands in stores, Chanel makeup artist Thomas de Kluyver provides an essential guide for using the products
You’d have to be walking around with a paper bag over your head not to know that a gender revolution is taking place. The effects of this are numerous and widespread, but one of them is that men are becoming a lot more relaxed when it comes to their appearance. Or rather, are becoming far less relaxed. They’re spending more and more on grooming products, and adopting a much more liberal approach to things such as makeup. The male grooming industry is now worth an astounding $50bn, while boys are being named the faces of global makeup brands and these brands are releasing cosmetics specifically aimed at men – not just women.
Enter Boy de Chanel: Chanel’s first makeup line for boys, comprising of eight shades of foundation, a matt lip balm and four shades of eyebrow pencil, which launched in South Korea in September and in the UK today. When it first announced the line back in August, the house acknowledged this seismic shift in social attitudes, saying, “By creating Boy de Chanel, its first makeup line for men, Chanel reaffirms the ever-changing codes of an unchanging vision: Beauty is not a matter of gender, it is a matter of style.”
Crucially, this vision is for all men, wherever they fall along the gender and sexuality spectrum. As Thomas de Kluyver, a makeup artist of Chanel and contributing beauty editor at Dazed, says: “I did this shoot the other day and it was funny because we were shooting all these young boys and we asked them ‘Have you ever worn makeup before?’ All of them had. And they were all straight boys. It’s funny how for this generation it’s really not a thing – they all wear concealer and things like that.”
“It’s really nice that men – straight and gay – are feeling comfortable with being who they are,” he continues. “I think wearing makeup as a man goes along with that.”
The challenge for makeup brands, though, is creating cosmetics that are more subtle or even totally undetectable; products which simply make you look like your youngest, most healthy and best-rested self. And that, says de Kluyver, is exactly what Chanel has achieved. “They have really got the texture and consistency of it right; it doesn’t look like you’ve got any makeup on,” he says. “And what’s great about Chanel is they put so much money into their products. Everything is so considered. When you go to the brand you know that you are getting that level of quality.”
But the question is, how do you use these products? Specifically, how do you use them in a way that remains subtle? If you’re new to makeup for men, or simply in need of a few pointers, we’ve asked de Kluyver to share his expertise. Here is his guide to using Boy de Chanel.
Boy de Chanel Le Teint, Foundation
What it is: An undetectable, lightweight foundation containing Hyaluronic Acid for hydration and Broad Spectrum SPF 25 to protect your skin from UV rays. Available in eight shades.
How you use it: “With boys, you want to be wearing it as minimally as possible. I would apply it the same way that you would apply moisturiser. Put your moisturiser on first and then apply over the top, using your hands so that you warm it up. Blend out from your nose and put a little bit on your forehead and blend out from there and then on your chin. Step back from the mirror and check if it’s feeling alright and apply more to anywhere that needs it. What’s nice about this product is that you can really layer it.”
Boy de Chanel Le Baume Lèvres, Lip Balm
What it is: A transparent, non-shiny lip balm containing Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and antioxidant Vitamin E to nourish your lips.
How you use it: “It’s pretty simple. Sometimes I use my fingers to warm it up a little bit. Use your finger on the top and then press into your lips.”
Boy de Chanel Le Stylo Sourcils, Eyebrow Pencil
What it is: An eyebrow pencil with a pencil on one end and a spiral brush on the other. The formula is waterproof and contains emollient oils (which make the application smooth) and natural wax (which keeps brows in place). Available in four shades.
How you use it: “If you are a boy, you don’t want to draw on a whole new eyebrow. It’s more about filling in the gaps... That’s what I do on shoots when I’m doing makeup on boys. You can use it to fill in gaps in your beard or moustache too. The other thing that’s nice is that you can smudge a little bit around your eyes as well, to add a little bit of definition.”
Boy de Chanel launches on November 2, 2018