The beauty industry has taken great strides towards inclusivity, and some makeup companies have had or presently have cis women, cis men, and transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and gender-fluid individuals as their spokespeople. The list includes such brands as CoverGirl, ABH, MAC, and the latter even goes by the slogan ‘All Ages, All Races, All Genders.’ It may take some time for those less progressive ones to get used to the fact that every person in the gender and sexuality spectrum should be encouraged to play with makeup and express their personality and individuality through it. After all, numerous beauty gurus are queer or gender non-conforming, and they are paving the way for everyone to do with makeup what makeup is supposed to be done with – play. So, let’s see all the ways you can be on point and trend and assert your personality with a splash of color.

The tool of empowerment

More than a splash of color, makeup can be incredibly empowering. For the queer community, especially those who were born as men, makeup represents a way for them to express their feminine side. As Grey, a genderfluid artist and musician and Jacob Tobia, a writer and gender non-conforming activist say, makeup has completely changed their lives. Grey said that for him, makeup allowed him to navigate the world when he was at his most vulnerable state and that when he needed to, makeup also enabled him to be whoever he felt like being at a given moment. Tobia on the other hand stated that for him, makeup was a way to reconnect with his femininity ‘in a world that has often shamed it.’ He said that when he wears lipstick, for instance, is the moment when he feels the most ‘empowered, self-actualized, and defiant’. So, if a bold lip makes you empowered, wear the bold lip and don’t care what anyone thinks of it. If you feel like doing the most extravagant eye look topped off with a great crazy mascara that makes it all pop – go for that too. Maybe you even love the convenience of at-home lash extensions; embrace whatever makes you feel fabulous. Blinding highlighter – why the H not? What matters is that you feel good, that you feel confident in your skin.

A political statement

Sure, makeup can be simply used to tell the world who you are, to express your confidence and feel the surge of empowerment. However, it can also be used as a more serious tool – a tool of defiance. Back in 2016, after the mass shooting in Orlando, a great number of people took to showing their support to the LGBT community. Men, women, and all other individuals on the gender spectrum took to Instagram and some other platforms, proudly showing off their rainbow-colored artistry, to show that love is stronger than everything. Yes, there will be many times when we will need to step to the streets in protest, but sometimes, even splashes of rainbow colors help. Heck, we can march with makeup on – who is going to stop us?

A tool of inclusion

Finally, the number of queer individuals wearing makeup, and more and more of them feeling brave enough to wear it (have you seen the Netflix show Sex Education and the fierce teenager Eric), is paving the way for the rest of the community to feel fearless and express themselves as well. Beauty gurus, regular people, everyone for whom makeup wasn’t made for in the past is helping, one bold lip at a time. In addition to all of it, the fact that makeup isn’t just for women anymore brings us one more step towards inclusion. We may still have a long way to go until we all feel excepted regardless of our gender, lack of gender, sexuality, race, nationality, but let’s face it, makeup has turned out to be one of our most faithful allies.