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Monday, April 01, 2013

How much do men know about makeup?

So how did this (slightly random) post come about? Well, a few weeks ago I was on youtube watching some of the 'my boyfriend does my makeup' tagged videos, and thought to myself 'if I was a boy, would I know what to do?' Is it true that guys with girlfriends or sisters know more? Or is it just a given that most men are about as interested in makeup as I am in football? How much do men REALLY know about makeup?

I decided to investigate a little more, and came up with a few makeup-related questions varying in difficulty which I asked a few male friends, my brother and my dad. So of course, this little experiment does not claim to reveal how much ALL men know about makeup; I have just asked a cross-section of some of the men I know to see how they responded. The answers I received were funny, honest, entertaining and interesting. I am actually quite surprised and impressed by how much some of the males in my life know about makeup. The funny thing was each guy who answered the questions told me they weren't sure whether they WANTED to do well or not. All I can say is that writing this post is personally one of the most interesting things I've done for my blog so far, and that some of the experience was absolute comedy gold. The rest of the post will show which questions I asked and what kind of responses I received. 

(NOTE: I am not writing this to offend anyone or insult men in any way, I just thought it was something a little funny and interesting to write about). 

1. What do you use a primer for? 
This question unsurprisingly resulted in a whole range of DIY references, with my Dad being the first to claim a primer is 'something you put on the walls before you paint them' (or something along those lines...I am certainly no DIY goddess...). My brother brilliantly started his answer by pronouncing primer 'pree-mer', and then went on to tell me it was something used in painting. To give them their due though, after a bit of prompting, most of the people I asked did understand a primer was something you slap on your face before other makeup. One of my friends even told me that 'you put it on before foundation to make your face smoother', whilst another said 'it is something that goes before dream matte mousse' (brilliant). 

2. What is Space NK?
I actually now understand what a hard question this is for anybody, including some females; I didn't even know about Space NK up until about a year ago. None of the boys knew that Space NK was a store, and produced answers such as: 'a moisturiser' and 'an expensive type of makeup'. 

3. List as many makeup brands (high-end or drug-store) that you can think of.
For some reason EVERYONE came up with Maybelline (damn those catchy adverts), and a couple Rimmel (one of my friends even specified it is 'Rimmel London'...impressive). My friend Scott did best with this, coming up with 8 brands. Admittedly, one of those was 'Boots' and another was made-up, but still...

4. Which of the following products could you use on your eyebrows: pencil, wax, eyeshadow, bronzer, lip liner. 
Nearly everyone said that you could use pencil and wax on brows, although my brother did come dangerously close to saying lip liner as he thought it was 'a trick question'. My friend Josh agreed, saying because it was similar to eyeliner it could be ok. I quickly reminded them that lip liner is usually not an eyebrow appropriate colour and they stuck with their original answers. 

5. What is a 'smokey eye'? 
To be fair most of the guys gave an answer which in some way matched what a smokey eye can be described as. Answers included, 'when someone wears a lot of makeup around their eyes so it looks smokey', 'when you have black eyeshadow under your eyes', 'when you 'attach' eyeshadow to the tops of your eyelids and crease' and most impressively from Josh: 'when you put on dark, metallic, sparkly eyeshadow colours and fade them from light to dark on the eyelid'. 

6. Which brand makes 'the naked palette'?
None of the boys got this one, quite understandably. Scott said Rimmel. Most of the others didn't even attempt a guess and said they didn't know.  James and Josh took a wild stab in the dark and just said 'naked'. But no one said Urban Decay. 

7. What is a lip stain? 
Answers for this one were pretty vague (and even included a VERY rude guess), but mostly involved something to do with a lip product that stayed on slightly longer than 'normal' lipstick. The funniest answer surely had to come from my friend Danny who claimed that a lip stain is 'Where you do something with lipstick that makes it look like you've stained your lips, like a coffee stain or something similar?!' Comedy gold. 

8. What does concealer do? 
Gold stars all around for this question. Everyone knew that it was used to 'conceal things', but there was a varying range of specificity. My brother knocked this one out of the park and gave a BRILLIANT answer: 'Concealer hides blemishes and negative areas you might not want to show including blemishes, spots, lines and bags'...SOMEONE's been reading my blog!!

9. Where would you typically buy Bioderma?
Another difficult one, and I admittedly didn't really expect anyone to know it was a French brand. One of my friends said it could be bought in 'all participating department stores' (has he been reading the Bioderma UK press release??) like John Lewis. Danny asked if Bioderma was something to do with yoghurts. Oh. dear. 

10. Name two ladies perfumes. 
Answers included Estee Lauder Intuition, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Thierry Mugler Alien and Chanel No.5. Most of them got confused between brands and the name of the perfume, with one of my friends even saying, 'chanel no5 and 212...not sure who makes them though'....?!!!! I found guys with girlfriends generally did better with this one for understandable reasons. 

11. How do you apply false eyelashes? 
My friend's Dad who was nearby shouted 'You don't' to this one, perhaps backing up the view that men actually don't really like anything false (eyelashes/nails/hair/tan)...WHO KNOWS. Someone else worryingly answered 'with superglue', but the rest rightly guessed that it involved using glue and 'pressing them on' or 'applying with tweezers' as my Dad suggested.  

12. Which order would you usually put these products on when applying makeup: mascara, eyeshadow, concealer, blusher, foundation, primer, bronzer, lipstick, highlighter. 
Obviously this is a question with no right answer as everyone slaps on their makeup differently, but I wanted to see if guys actually watch us when applying our makeup and know a general order, which actually most of them did. The best answer was probably this one (which is pretty much spot on the order which I apply my makeup in):
Primer, foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, mascara, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick. 

So there it is: how much do men know about makeup?...probably about as much as we would expect, although I was fairly surprised with how many right answers there were. The star pupil had to be Josh, who told me he thinks men know more about makeup if they really 'pay attention to girls when they are talking and looking at them'. awwww. I hope you enjoyed this little random post, as I definitely really enjoyed researching and writing it :)



  1. This thought always crosses my mind especially when the question of getting ready comes up! x


  2. I love this blog, I don't think boys realise how long it takes for girls to put on make up.


  3. nice products! your blog is very lovely and interesting. im glad if you visit my blog,too <3 keep in touch!


  4. Such a great post, I wonder how much my boyfriend would know! haha x

  5. Funny and interesting post!



  6. A really interesting post! Haha, I didn't think they would know even that much:) x


  7. This is great and definitely made me laugh. My boyfriend always refers to my primer as the base I use before applying my wallpaper ha. Guys literally have no idea about makeup but it definitely sounds like your brother has been reading your blog ;-)


  8. This post made me laugh out loud! Very interesting.

    I'll admit though, my dad and brothers know their make up very well, they don't wear it but growing up in a house where my me, my mum and sisters would use eyeliner and lipstick everyday and talking about make up & skin care, they've become quite knowledgable!



  9. Hey, great post!I just came across your blog and I love it. It would be amazing if you could visit my blog too. We could also follow each other if you would like to :)


  10. really love this post, very informative;)
    xx Kate

    The Style Department

  11. This was such a fun idea for a blog post! :-) x


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