24/05/2018 12:50 SAST | Updated 24/05/2018 12:50 SAST

The Rise Of Male Beauty Brand Ambassadors

Black Opal has followed in the footsteps of big beauty brands such as L'Oreal and Maybelline.

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Cosmetics line Black Opal's move to make entertainer extraordinaire Somizi Mhlongo the first African man to be the face of a cosmetics line follows a growing trend of makeup brands relying on men to promote cosmetics.

The makeup line's head of marketing and PR, Busi Xaba, said they chose Mhlongo because they wanted to demonstrate that makeup can be worn by anyone, whether you are a guy or girl — "as long as you have fire".

That's something Jake-Jamie, who is behind the Makeup Is Genderless campaign, strongly believes: "Our sex should be completely irrelevant. I honestly believe makeup can change certain individuals' lives. It enables you to put your best face forward, and this means that people suffering from acne, scarring, rosacea, pigmentation, birthmarks, vitiligo and many other conditions can use makeup just to feel 'normal'," wrote the Instagram personality, who goes by the handle The Beauty Boy.

International brands that have featured male brand ambassadors

In January 2017, L'Oreal named the first male spokesmodel in the U.S., Darnell Bernard, who appeared in a L'Oreal commercial alongside a slew of other diverse models.

Maybelline also named its first male brand ambassador, beauty influencer and vlogger Manny Gutierrez, in 2017.

Beauty vlogger Patrick Starr has collaborated twice with M.A.C cosmetics. His mantra is "makeup is a one-size-fits-all."

CoverGirl announced its first male brand ambassador, beauty vlogger and influencer James Charles, in 2016.

A post shared by James Charles (@jamescharles) on

The consensus among male beauty bloggers is that if more and more brands use men to represent their cosmetic lines, it will go a long way towards removing stereotypes around men who wear makeup.

"I think the biggest factor is when people see makeup companies promote men, because brands are a big part of what the beauty industry is — so gender inclusivity promoted by brands exposes more people to the idea that anyone can wear makeup," LA makeup artist Ryan Pitter told Byrdie.