Makeup For Men: The Manual from War Paint

March 25th, 2021

March 25th, 2021

We review Makeup For Men – The Manual From War PaintWar Paint, the UK’s leading male makeup brand has launched this new makeup manual purely for men, with publisher Haynes.

Danny Gray Headshot

The brand was founded by Danny Gray, the author of the book, as a result of his body dysmorphia and subsequent experiences shopping for makeup.

War Paint is fuelled by a desire to help men feel good and provide them with the confidence to be themselves.  They believe 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.

As Danny says in the introduction, after his sister had shown him how to use her concealer to cover his spots:

I couldn’t believe the power of product and what it could do.  As somebody who suffers with body dysmorphia, that concealer gave me a glimmer of hope – it was a turning point.

Makeup For Men The Manual From War Paint

Hardback and A5 sized, the book is branded like a standard Haynes vehicle manual.  It focuses on simple makeup techniques, with easy-to-follow steps for great results.

It is packed with practical tips, tricks and information.  It marks another important step on War Paint’s journey toward normalising makeup for men, for those who wish to wear it.

The book aims to help men feel comfortable trying makeup, so the inclusion of simple makeup techniques as well as how to care for male skin is a perfectly pitched, with clear images used each step of the way.  From looking super-fresh on five hours’ sleep, to concealing a breakout for a big night out, this manual gives the lowdown on what makeup can do.

War Paint Manual Page Spread

The book is divided into chapters on the history of men’s makeup, the male makeup revolution, an application guide looking at tools and a series of How Tos.  These include prepping the skin, evening out the skin tone, finishing the skin and cleansing.  The book also includes QR codes for step-by-step videos.

As you would expect from the Haynes Manual approach it is very practical and fuss free.  There are lots of beautifully shot images of (very serious looking) models demonstrating each step.  It treats male makeup as an area of its own, and not female impersonation or a gateway into drag.

War Paint Manual Chapter Spread

Of course men’s makeup isn’t new – men have been wearing makeup since at least Egyptian times (4000BC).  However a brand that is mainstream and available on a counter that’s dedicated solely to men is.  The book aims to promote that and show what products are for and how to use them.  After all, why should concealing blemishes or those tell tale under-eye dark circles be purely for women?

It’s only really since the mid 1800s that male makeup – other than for actors on stage – has been perceived as taboo.  Queen Victoria really didn’t approve of anyone, male or female, wearing it and so the usage died out.  In the UK make up on men only really started making a comeback in the 1970s with the rise of glam rock, with David Bowie and Marc Bolan blazing a trail, followed in the 1980s by Prince and Adam Ant.  In the 2000s we had ‘guyliner’ which was seen mainly as the preserve of rock bands.

In the last few years though make up for men has moved away from larger-than-life stage make up to the natural, day-to-day looks that War Paint are promoting.  As with men’s moisturiser – which has gone from being a joke to an accepted part of a daily regime – the book aims to remove the stigma of male makeup and move it fully into the mainstream of acceptance.

War Paint for Men Counter

But, you may say, isn’t the typical customer a gym-obsessed 22 year-old who goes out on the pull every night?  Seemingly not.  Danny says: When I first trialled War Paint on a retail counter in 2019 I had customers ranging from 14 year-old boys to 75 year-old men.  There is no demographic for men’s make up, it’s exactly the same as the market for women.

If you are an MUA interested in men’s makeup or a man looking to use make up to enhance your look or conceal imperfections then this is an ideal guide for you.  Even if you aren’t that interested in makeup, it’s a great guide for men on how to properly look after their skin.  Whoever you are, we definitely recommend that you give it an open-minded read.

Danny Gray with War Paint Manual


Makeup For Men – The Manual From War Paint retails for £13 and is available from and select retailers now.


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By Sarah Dann

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