Eyeliner For Men?! Pencil These Guys In.

(Matt Sayles - AP)
By Rachel Beckman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 10, 2007

When Josh Lomon brought his fashion A-game to the Kelly Clarkson concert at DAR Constitution Hall this fall, he wore skinny jeans and a dramatic necktie and topped off the ensemble with a black fedora. But his friend Mary Betancourt was taken with the thick, black rings of eyeliner around his eyes, smudged just so.

"You look so . . . affected," she said.

Guyliner. The new catchphrase for boys behaving girly, joining last year's manbags (handbags), mandals (sandals), mannies (nannies) and himbos (bimbos). It's the lexical equivalent of making pink hammers for women.

Of course, the fellas have been dipping into our makeup bags for years. (Yes, we noticed, and we have one tip: It's called blending.) But eyeliner? That can take years to master, even with coaching from teen magazines and a few shots of Jaeger.

Plus: Why? You can deal with a man who gets a manicure. You can deal with a man who handicaps "Project Runway." But eyeliner? Let's explore.

The guru of guyliner is Mr. Ashlee Simpson, a.k.a. Pete Wentz, the bassist for Fall Out Boy, who created a video for People.com on how to apply the stuff properly.

"Smear it because when you're a guy, you don't really want your makeup to look perfect," he says. "Which usually isn't a problem."

Another tip: Sleep on it. "Day-old makeup is way better."

Of course, Wentz is not the first or only guyliner aficionado. David Bowie and Alice Cooper were your frontiersmen of the '70s, and then Robert Smith, of the Cure, and Prince, rocked it in the '80s. Johnny Depp's kohl-lined eyes helped make Jack Sparrow the swishy swashbuckler we love. Pop-punk bands My Chemical Romance, Panic! at the Disco and the Killers wear guyliner to emphasize their angst. Their darkness. You don't know my pain.

Dustin Schaad, a 22-year-old assistant buyer for a men's clothing store, doesn't leave his Silver Spring home without applying guyliner. He started wearing makeup in high school because "a little concealer goes a long way when you hit puberty," he says.

It almost always starts with the concealer. The skin-colored glop is the gateway drug of men's cosmetics. But don't call it makeup.

"You mean our enhancing and correcting line?" interrupts Marek Hewryk when asked about his men's makeup line, 4VOO (pronounced "for-vou").

CONTINUED     1           >

© 2007 The Washington Post Company