Does Islam Allow Men to Wear Makeup?
In recent years we've seen more and more mainstream cosmetics and makeup brands create "inclusivity" campaigns that display men wearing makeup. Big brands such as Huda Beauty, Mac Cosmetics, Fenty, and even Covergirl have shown men dolled up in bright lipstick and eyeshadow all in the name of diversity.
However, Islam creates a very clear boundary between men and women when it comes to things such as clothing, and even makeup (these categories fall under the term of adornment).
Men Can Not Dress or Appear as Women
Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of this ruling is that the terms of masculinity and femininity have been clearly drawn out by scholars and hadith. According to hadeeth:
“Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) cursed the men who resemble and imitate women; and the women who resemble and imitate men.” (Al-Bukhāri, no. 5885)
It's important to note that according to scholars, this ruling also includes clothing, physical mannerisms (such as the way women walk and carry themselves vs the way men do), adornments for the purposes of beauty and hygiene, and even in some cases types of verbal communication (ie in some cultures women express joy with loud verbal shouts, different than the way men do).
Grooming vs Adornment Does Islam Allow Men to Wear Makeup?
It's important to note that there is still a difference between grooming and adornment. Regardless of one's gender, Islam does require both men and women to maintain an acceptable level of cleanliness and presentability. For men, this includes things like keeping one's beard neat and trimmed, using deodorant, and even masculine smelling perfumes.
It's also important to note that there is a distinction between cosmetics used for functional purposes of cleanliness and health, vs those that are used for beautification and adornment. Although it's not permissible for a man to apply lipstick, he is allowed to use lip balm or chapstick to treat dry chapped lips. Another example would be if he's using a cream or ointment to treat acne.
Function vs Flash
There are a few grey areas where some scholars have debated the use of makeup for men. For example, if an actor needs makeup for the purposes of lighting effects (not having shiny spots on his face while on camera), this type of application of makeup serves as a function for his job.
Another example that is often debated is whether or not makeup can be used to cover scars. Many scholars have concluded that if the scars or facial marks cause mental health issues (such as severe depression or fear of going in public), then the use of makeup becomes functional vs that used for adornment.
Islam Teaches Love Does Islam Allow Men to Wear Makeup?
The most important thing to remember when it comes to the topic of men and makeup, is that Islam does not teach hatred against persons. As an example, Muslims believe that it is immoral to drink alcohol, yet it cannot be claimed that they preach hatred (or violence) against those who drink. Disapproving of a particular act or lifestyle does not translate into hating or sanctioning acts of violence against an individual who practices those acts.
Furthermore, Islamic law explicitly condemns any acts of vigilante justice. Islam requires us to treat everyone as human beings and give each person the respect and dignity they deserve, regardless of their lifestyles and choices.
Muslims are in fact required to demonstrate to all people the kindness, compassion, and good manners of our faith, regardless of their personal practices, and if the opportunity arises, to present with kindness and wisdom our beliefs and values to others.