Veganism is on the rise. This is happening for a whole load of reasons including growing knowledge about health concerns, climate change, and of course, animal wellbeing.
But did you know that veganism isn’t only about diet? It’s a lifestyle. Most vegans will avoid products like makeup and household items as well as clothes that have animal by-products in them.
This change in people’s lifestyles is also taking the makeup and skincare industry by storm. According to The Vegan Society, vegan grooming products tripled between 2013-2018.
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH VEGAN-FRIENDLY COSMETICS?
We’re not here to preach that you need to eat a vegan diet or live the perfect eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle. We’re only human and people can do what they feel comfortable with.
But in our opinion, there’s not really any need to use products that aren’t vegan or cruelty-free when the options that are available are really bloody excellent. There's no need to use animal hair makeup brushes when the synthetic vegan makeup brushes are even nicer.
Even the most effective ingredients which we once only derived from animals now have vegan alternatives which do the job the same, or better. So why not choose the vegan option?
WHAT MAKES MAKEUP VEGAN?
But what makes a product vegan or not vegan? To be a vegan product, it needs to be made up of completely plant-based ingredients. This means nothing has come from an animal or any animal by-products.
Did you know that’s not the same as being cruelty-free? Vegan and cruelty-free have different meanings. Being cruelty-free means that the product and its ingredients have never been tested on animals.
Some brands may claim to be cruelty-free but use animal-based ingredients. Equally, some brands may be vegan but still test on animals. There are a surprising number of makeup and skincare brands in the world that still test their products on animals. In China, it’s the law to test products on animals before they can be sold to the public. To get around this issue, some companies will pay others to test the products on animals on their behalf so that the brand can still personally claim to be cruelty-free. Sneaky.
This means that they may be cruelty-free in the UK, but the brand, or company that owns the brand, may not be. If you’re trying to live a cruelty-free lifestyle, it’s your choice as to whether you still buy these brands.
HOW TO IDENTIFY VEGAN AND CRUELTY-FREE MAKEUP BRANDS
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you need to meticulously Google every ingredient on your packaging. Most brands make it simple by having the words ‘vegan and cruelty-free’ printed on their products, or you can look for reputable logos such as PETA or the Vegan Society.
To be able to use these logos, brands have to go through a rigorous process to prove their products align with them. It’s good to note that Leaping Bunny, Cruelty-Free International, and Choose Cruelty-Free only certify brands that don’t test on animals, but they don’t necessarily have to be vegan.
Some common non-vegan ingredients you can look out for are:
Lanolin: This is derived from sheep's wool which is often found in balms, sticks and glosses.
Oleic acid (also known as oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate or tallow): Made from animal fat, it’s used as a softening agent in some makeup and moisturisers.
Beeswax (also known as cera alba): Used to keep the oil and water in products from separating. Alternatives exist from plant and soya waxes.
Just to add to the confusion, some ingredients like Squalane and Glycerine can be derived from plants or animals, but as the ingredient has the same name either way, it’s impossible to tell from the packaging. The best thing to do if you’re not sure is to look further into the brand and see what their position is on cruelty-free and vegan products.
WHAT IS THE BEST VEGAN MAKEUP ON THE MARKET?
When selecting the brand and products you want to use, it's about what suits your skin best and which brand you align yourself with.
WHERE TO GET A VEGAN MAKEUP SET
Well, as it so happens, all War Paint makeup products are both vegan and cruelty free. Huzzah.
Living with acne can be really frustrating. We can totally sympathise with that feeling. Acne can be painful physically and it can take a mental toll too.
In this article you'll learn some practical tips to help manage acne. But just a heads up, acne takes time to heal and there are no overnight quick fixes. Don’t believe anything that tells you otherwise.
Managing acne is all about finding a routine that works for you, not just following all the latest trends.
You might be glad to hear that acne is way more common than you might think. It’s estimated that 9.4% of people worldwide live with acne. That’s nearly 1 billion people all over the world.
1. Prevention - How to stop a pimple
Acne is caused when our pores trap dead skin cells and oil in them. From here, blemish causing bacteria can thrive, which leads to a pesky pimple. With a regular skincare routine that is focussed on preventing this from happening, you can help to eliminate acne.
Look for products that are specifically made for people with blemish-prone skin. They’ll contain spot-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid and azelaic acid. Generally, you want ingredients that will help to exfoliate the skin and keep pores clear from blockages.
Also, keep an eye out for soothing and anti-bacterial ingredients such as niacinamide, tea tree oil, and witch hazel. These will help to reduce inflammation and redness.
There’s also a lot of research that suggests our gut is linked to our skin health. Avoiding too much sugar, dairy, and other foods with a high glycaemic index could help your skin. Replace those with a balanced diet with lots of vitamins and minerals. Some also find that taking prebiotics and probiotics can also help balance the microbiome of the gut and have a great benefit to your skin. When it comes to trying dietary remedies, try different things out for a month or so, and make a note of the effect it has on you.
2. The hard truth - Why won’t acne heal
The best way to pop a pimple is to never pop your pimples.
Be honest... Do you pick your skin when you have a spot? This could be one of the reasons why your acne isn’t healing.
If you see a spot appearing, don’t pick it. However tempting it may be... It’s always best to leave spots alone and let them go away in their own time and with the right skincare. It may be frustrating, but picking at pimples could lead to spreading the bacteria around and causing more of them.
You could also damage or scar your skin by picking at spots. Scars are much harder to get rid of than blemishes. You can get laser treatments or chemical peels to help even out the texture of your skin.
If you need a stronger solution for curing acne, visit your GP or dermatologist. They may be able to recommend medicine and a specific skincare regime to help.
In the meantime, you may choose to cover blemishes and scars with makeup. We’d recommend using Primer to help your makeup to last longer and smooth out a bit of uneven texture. Then, use Foundation or Tinted Moisturiser to help reduce the appearance of redness. Finish it off with Concealer. Using a concealer with a cream base will give great coverage.
3. Acceptance - What to say to someone with spots
Everyone has problems with their skin at times. But when you’re going through it yourself it can feel like you’re the only one. There’s a great movement on social media all about skin positivity. Follow some accounts you can resonate with and it will help you to see what you’re going through is completely normal.
A great way to help someone with acne is to just be there for them as a mate. Listen to them when they fancy a rant about it. And don’t give unwarranted advice and suggestions unless they ask.
4. Ongoing care – men's acne products
We’ve already talked about looking after your skin with skincare, but here are a few extra tips for managing acne:
- Moisturise: if you’re using products that exfoliate your skin, it’s important to keep your skin moisturised. It’s not going to make your skin oilier if you’re using the right products – we promise.
- Clean your phone: when was the last time you sanitised your phone? If you’re scrolling your phone all day and touching your face it’s a perfect recipe for bacteria to thrive. If you’re already prone to acne, we suggest giving this tip a go.
- Clean your sheets: Keep your pillowcase fresh to prevent bacteria from hanging out where it shouldn’t be.
- Don’t try random at-home remedies: Toothpaste doesn’t help spots. Baking soda doesn’t help spots. Enough said.
- Cover what’s not taken care of: If it will help you to feel less conscious of it, try a bit of concealer over the top of a spot. It might give you the boost of confidence you’re looking for.
Looking after our appearance isn’t always top of the priority list. Especially when work, socialising, kids and life get in the way. But every so often it’s good to take stock and see where improvements can be made. A few simple changes can make a lot of difference to how you come across, and how you feel about yourself.
Here are a few simple things you can do to spruce up your look.
Get a haircut
When we haven’t had a haircut in a while it’s all too easy to think your hair looks fine how it is. Getting a fresh trim is something quick and simple that will help you to look more refined and groomed immediately. Even if you’re sporting long hair, getting it trimmed or shaped will help you to feel like a million dollars. Plus, you’ll be supporting local business. Win-win.
Groom your facial hair
When we’re busy our facial hair can go awry, and before you know it it’s looking a bit caveman-esque. If you look after your facial hair at home rather than getting it tamed at the barbers, you can take steps to make sure your beard and brows are looking on point.
Prepare your skin
If you look after your skin, you will notice a difference. You’ll help to prevent signs of skin ageing, and any makeup products you apply afterwards will go on much smoother, and last longer. Skincare doesn’t need to be complicated. There are two main products you can use at a starting point:
- Use a gentle cleanser morning and night. A cleanser designed for your skin type will be best (e.g. blemish-prone, oily, dry, normal).
- Moisturise with SPF in the morning. Protecting our skin from the sun is the best way to look 40 when you’re 50. Even if it’s cloudy outside or you’re not leaving the house - if you can read without a lamp on, you need to wear SPF as the sun’s rays will find you.
Add the finishing touches
You can add makeup into your routine to help you look fresher, more awake and cover any blemishes or scars. We’d suggest using the products in the order listed below, but you don’t have to follow all the steps if you prefer to keep your grooming regime a bit more simple.
- Prepare your skin with primer. Apply a small amount all over your face to help the makeup applied afterwards to be smoother and last longer.
- Conceal blemishes and dark circles. Using a concealer or liquid concealer pen, you can help cover any uneven marks on the skin. Tap the product onto the skin using your finger or a sponge.
- Even out skin tone with foundation or tinted moisturiser. You can apply this all over your face using your fingers, a sponge, or a brush. Take care to make it look natural by checking it hasn’t sunk into fine lines around your eyes or nose and checking along your jawline that it blends into your neck seamlessly.
- You can add a subtle warmth to your skin with a bronzer (to make it look like we haven’t spent most of the past year inside). Apply it with a powder brush to areas where the sun would naturally hit your face, usually around the top of the forehead and cheekbones. To keep it looking natural, don’t go too heavy on the bronzer.
- If you get oily or shiny skin, apply a small amount of anti-shine powder to the desired areas (usually the nose, forehead and chin) using a powder brush.
We're excited to announce the opening of the world’s first men’s makeup brand store, located on London's iconic Carnaby Street.
The world-first store, open now, sells the full range of War Paint for Men products, and offers men the chance to learn about makeup options and trial products.
Our founding principle is to offer men more personal care choice, and through looking and feeling better, improve confidence.
Our founder, Danny Gray, is also a passionate supporter of men's mental health, a theme that features strongly in the store. This has led to a collaboration with The Lions Barber Collective, a group of not-for-profit top-flight barbers, trained in mental health support to help prevent male suicide. The War Paint store is their first permanent home and by paying for a haircut, customers will be helping to save lives.
Danny said: “I’m so proud and excited to be opening the world's first men’s makeup brand store in London. For me it was so important that this wasn’t just about opening a shop to sell products, it was about creating somewhere for people to have an experience. I wanted to create a relaxed, inviting place to help men feel comfortable to have a conversation and learn more about makeup, get a haircut or even talk about mental health. Everything we’re trying to do as a brand is about normalising men using products and tools to help them feel more confident and our store is here to do just that.”
The opening represents another milestone in the story of our brand. War Paint for Men has continued to exceed expectations with products now sold into more than 80 countries. And exciting retail accounts including the first men’s makeup counter in a retail store at John Lewis, as well distribution in Harvey Nichols, REISS and MR Porter in the UK, Sephora in Australia, Loft in Japan and Arnotts in Ireland, bringing men’s make up into new territory.
Pivotal sports partnerships have also been established with Norwich City FC, and in Rugby League with Wigan Warriors where Danny and War Paint are not only leading the conversation on men’s makeup but also raising awareness for men's mental health through multiple partnership initiatives.
Technological firsts are also a feature of the store, and will help men discover the products best suited to them individually. One is ‘Ask Danny’, an interactive virtual Q&A. Consumers can ask a screen, displaying Danny sitting in a chair, any question about War Paint or men’s make-up. High-tech programming and pre-recorded responses will allow Danny to answer any consumer question. Another technological feature will be ‘Designed by Me’, an innovative service that creates bespoke Foundation or Tinted Moisturiser made precisely for your skin tone and skin type in-store while you wait.
We are proud to announce our partnership with Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club for 2021 Season.
The partnership aims to put the spotlight on men’s mental health and start important conversations in the Rugby League
Today we are excited to announce our partnership with Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club for the 2021 season. Whilst the association will see War Paint featured on the first-team training and warm-up kits, the true value of the partnership lies off the field, with both parties mutual commitment to progress men’s mental health, challenge stereotypes, start conversations and break down the boundaries that can confine men.
As a brand, our aim is to offer men the choice to look and feel better with a founding principle to improve male confidence and offer more choice in their personal care. Wigan Warriors are located in a region that has one of the UK’s highest male suicide rates, something that both War Paint and the team are committed to fight against. During the season, fans can expect some never before seen initiatives to help people suffering from mental health issues, raise awareness and inspire positive conversations around men’s mental health and wellbeing.
Speaking about the partnership, founder Daniel Gray said, “I was inspired to create War Paint due to my own mental health struggles and I couldn’t be more proud to see that our brand growth can result in working alongside Wigan Warriors to help us address the issue. I can’t wait to unveil some of the groundbreaking initiatives we have planned to help people with mental health issues and raise awareness amongst the Rugby League community”.
Watch the announcement video on YouTube.
About War Paint
War Paint is a brand that is fuelled by a desire to help men feel good and provide them with the confidence to be themselves. Men wearing makeup shouldn’t carry a stigma. Rather, it should offer the potential to empower. War Paint challenges masculine stereotypes and gives men a choice. www.warpaintformen.com
About Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors is a professional rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The club competes in the Betfred Super League and are the most successful club in English Rugby League with a decorated history. Founded in 1872, Wigan were a founder member of the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895 and have gone on to win 22 English Championships (including five Super League Grand Finals), 19 Challenge Cups and four World Club Challenges. They've won more trophies than any other side.
Whether we love it or hate, we’ve all been forced to use way more video calling platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams almost daily. If you ever catch yourself thinking, “do I really look like that?” there are a few simple things you can do to help improve your appearance over Zoom.
Find your light
Lighting is crucial to look your best on a video call. If it’s possible in the space you have, face a window with natural light coming through it. A window is going to highlight your face evenly. If you need to take a Zoom call when it’s dark, you can mimic a window by placing a lamp behind your computer so that your face remains evenly illuminated.
If you have your back to the window, your camera will find it difficult to calibrate the difference between the bright light and the details in your face, resulting in a dull and grainy picture. If you’re side-on to the window, the light will move across your face in a way that makes everyone look 20 years older.
Sort out the camera angle
Most phones and webcams have a wide-angle lens - meaning the closer you get to it, the more distorted you’ll look. To get the most flattering angle of your face, step back from the camera slightly and try to have it at eye level, pointing directly at you.
If the camera is below your face, the people on the other end will get a great shot of your nostrils. And if it’s above, it can give off Big Brother vibes.
Check what you’re wearing
Muted or pastel colours could wash you out, and sadly black can appear more as a blob than anything else. Wearing plain clothes that aren’t too patterned or busy will show up best on camera.
Fuel your flawless skin
Bright light and bad cameras can, unfortunately, highlight imperfections on our skin. If you want to cover any dark circles, blemishes or scars, using concealer is a great way to do this. Put a small amount on the desired area and lightly tap it onto the skin using your finger or a sponge.
When your skin colour looks even, you’ll look younger, healthier and more awake. Apply a small amount of tinted moisturiser all over your face to help even your skin tone and give your skin a subtle warmth.
If you find your skin looks oily or shiny on camera, try using transparent anti-shine powder to reduce the glare. Don’t forget to keep up with your skincare routine. Self-care for your skin can help you feel and look Zoom ready.
Check your video settings
Zoom has a handy feature to help you touch up your appearance. To change your settings, start a new meeting and click on the small arrow next to the camera icon. From here, click ‘video settings’. A new window will open up where you have the option to touch up your appearance and blur imperfections.
You want to wear makeup, but you don’t want people to know you’re wearing makeup?
There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your face looks natural. Follow these tips and people may say “you look different, have you had a haircut?” rather than “you look… different…”.
- Prepare your skin: If you’re applying makeup over dry or flaky skin it’s going to end up looking patchy and clinging to the dry bits. Cleanse your face, pat it dry with a towel, and apply a pea-sized amount of your favourite moisturiser, or tinted moisturiser, all over before applying any makeup.
- Choose the right tools: Use your (clean!) fingers for a more concentrated application, fingers are great for covering blemishes, scars or dark under eyes. A slightly damp sponge or a foundation brush will give a more even and blended finish. For powders, opt for a powder brush which won’t lay the product on too heavily. Keep blending the product onto your skin until it looks smooth and even.
- Colour match: Choosing the concealer and foundation shade closest to your natural skin tone will help to keep it looking natural. Use our shade finder to help you find the right colour. If you want to warm the tone of your skin, always opt for adding bronzer rather than choosing a darker foundation shade.
- Less is more: Avoid being heavy-handed, it’s much easier to add more product than take it away. Start with a little bit and build up coverage if you think you need more.
- Check for classic tell-tale signs: Before you rush off, take a quick look at any areas where your makeup application might be obvious. Smooth any makeup under the eyes that has sunk into fine lines, check around the corners of your nose, around your hairline and along the jawline for any obvious colour mismatching.
If you’re ready to try the tools of the trade, the award-winning War Paint Ultimate Set is your secret weapon. It contains all of the products and application methods mentioned in this article, plus makeup remover to keep your skin squeaky clean. Oh it's also 20% off RRP, and ships inland for free.
Makeup for men is on the rise, there’s no denying it. With male celebrities and influencers flooding our Instagram feed with smoothed out skin and artistic eyeliner, it’s becoming much less of a taboo for the regular guy to try something for themselves.
Male grooming products have come a long way in recent years. We challenge you to ask your mates what they’re using on a daily or weekly basis. The likelihood is your friends are no longer stealing their girlfriends’ moisturiser like they were a few years ago, they probably have their own (as well as a host of other grooming products they’d rather not go without). Self-care for men is on a huge upward trend which isn’t going anywhere. Men take care of themselves and are proud to do so.
When did men start wearing makeup?
Men in makeup isn’t a new concept. In fact, men have been wearing makeup throughout history. In Egyptian times men wore elaborate eyeliner designs to reflect their masculinity, wealth and status. Green eyeshadow was also believed to ward off illness.
In Elizabethan times, men wore makeup to show their social status through the trend of a painted pale face and red lips (we’re glad that’s not a thing anymore). However Queen Elizabeth I said that makeup was an abomination, only worn by ladies of the night. This is likely to be where the feminisation of makeup in more recent history stems from.
Fast forward to the 70’s and 80’s when gender-bending celebrities like Boy George, Prince and Davie Bowie took to the mainstream with ‘guyliner’ and rouged lips. Not to mention metal bands who wore makeup to scare the parents of fans. They challenged everything about gender, sex and society which led to the ‘metrosexual’ man of the 2000s.
Do men wear makeup all over the world?
In Eastern countries, makeup for men isn’t a new thing either. The Korean beauty industry was reportedly worth over $10.3 billion in 2019, and 10% of that is attributed to men. This has grown massively thanks to K-pop stars openly wearing makeup and playing with gender norms.
This trend has spread to Japan where a ‘genderless Kei’ subculture called has emerged. For genderless Kei, playing with fashion and makeup isn’t about being masculine or feminine, it’s about enjoying what you want to enjoy and being authentically you. Who doesn’t want that?
Over the past 5 years or so, men in makeup have become much more accepted in Western culture too. Large brands such as Chanel, Tom Ford and Maybelline have all brought out product ranges specifically for men, and Milk and Covergirl have used men in their ad campaigns.
Scroll through your Instagram and it will paint a similar picture. In the US, major influencers like James Charles and Jeffree Star proudly show their artistic skills. In the UK there are major players like Gary Thompson, Rowan Young and Lewys Ball, who has become the first male ambassador for Rimmel.
Think about it, everyone on TV has to wear makeup for the cameras. And there are plenty of male celebrities are proudly wearing the stuff on the red carpet and in creative shoots such as Jared Leto, Harry Styles, Zak Effron, Ansel Egort, football legend David Beckham and Johnny Depp (just to name a few).
Where to start when wearing men’s makeup
You don’t have to be a TV star to try makeup for yourself, it’s much less complicated than you might think. When Joel Stein, a columnist for TIME, tried makeup for the first time off-camera he said “I thought the whole process would take 30 minutes, but it took less than five. I could do this!”. According to Statista, 35% of men take between 16-30 minutes to get ready in the morning, and 29% of men take between 30 minutes and an hour.
In the past, makeup has had a very feminine association, but why would putting on concealer make you less of a man? Does choosing nice clothes to wear, styling your hair, or working on your appearance by going to the gym? This archaic view has to change. It’s not about feminine vs masculine any more, it’s about doing what you want to feel good about yourself.
Founder of War Paint, Danny Gray, uses makeup to feel good about his appearance. “When I was 15 years old and I started getting spots as most people do, I went to my sister and used her concealer, and it changed my life forever. I couldn't believe the power of products and what they can do.”
At War Paint, we say if something makes you feel good about yourself and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, then just go for it. If you can walk down the street (post covid) feeling like you look fresher than usual, with your spots covered, you might feel just that little bit more confident. Sounds pretty good.
If you’re considering trying makeup for the first time and you’re not sure where to start, our tutorials pages. If there’s someone whose makeup skills you admire, why not ask them for tips too!
According to research by the University of Rochester, women find men wearing the colour red more sexually attractive than other colours.
The colour’s charm ultimately lies in its ability to make men appear more powerful. Researchers found that women view men in red as higher in status, more likely to make money and more likely to climb the social ladder. And it's this high-status judgment that leads to the attraction.
This could be linked far back to our most basic and primal instincts. In the wild, animals perceive red as a symbol of fertility and sexuality. For us humans, the colour red has become associated with danger, power and romance.
Interestingly, it was found that wearing the colour red made women more attracted to men, but the colour of clothes a man wears did not make a difference to men perceiving the attractiveness of other men.
If you don’t like the colour red, or you don’t think it looks good on you, there’s no need to fear. Don’t feel pressured to go out and buy lots of red clothes for the sake of it. Wear what makes you feel good!
Research has revealed that there are plenty of physical factors that can influence a woman’s attraction to a man including how symmetrical their face is, how tall they are, how deep their voice is, and even how much facial hair they have (a light beard was found to be most attractive, for anyone wondering).
There are also many non-physical characteristics that make men more attractive to women including kindness, intelligence, status, emotional stability and politeness. Kindness never goes out of style.
Multiple studies indicate that women are also more attracted to men who can make them laugh. Interestingly, men generally aren't more attracted to women who can make them laugh.