Star system style is trending. Chanel launched a massive, branded rocket at their Fall/Winter 2017 show earlier this year and paraded a lineup of shiny quilted space blankets, alloyed piping and metallic boots down the runway. And they were not the only fashion house to go metal for the season. So, cosmic couture has been invading the catwalk for a while. No surprise then that strikingly spacey metallics are making their way into everybody's makeup bags, too. And we do mean everybody.
In line with the year's trend of polished and plated accessories, makeup brands have been trotting out lip lustre in mineral heavy hues – and all in subtle and not so subtle shades of gray. MAC had their Trend Lipstick in Time To Shine in an icy light shimmery gray, Kat Von D gave us Studded Kiss Lipstick in Nayeon in a sparkly dark gray, Manic Panic provided pouts with Hell's Belles Lethal Lipstick in frosty gunmetal gray, and CoverGirl's take was a Star Wars Limited Edition Colorlicious Lipstick In Silver. Yes, it was silvery gray.
Our own beauty expert, Kyne Santos (on top of trends as ever), elevated his killer Faux Freckles tutorial to cosmic levels of awesomeness with a space shimmer from NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream in Extraterrestrial last February.
But the very latest in the hooray for gray lipstick lineup is Lipstick Queen's Girls Will Be Boys offering that deliberately aims to "blur the lines" of gender and remind everyone that the universe is indeed unisex. Billed as a Bruised Mauve, the metallic maquillage actually changes colour, in space age fashion, to become more of a textured tone on your lips than the bolder gray colours we've seen. The company claims they want to amp up the vamp of your lips and "give the illusion you've been using them all night."
They're also quite clear that this stands no matter how your lips identify or who they'd be likely to kiss: "Crafted to capture the allure of androgynous sex appeal, this gender bending lipstick unifies and unites us all under the experience of a killer pout," reads the brand's product page.
To be sure, it's certainly not the first makeup that's been touted as unisex. As a worthy aside: that unisex qualifier has been called out by some as problematic. Branding something unisex invokes a traditional binary that keeps makeup in the province of female beauty (especially when it's called Girls Will Be Boys). Still, MAC's collab with the Brant Brothers two years ago aimed to make makeup more man friendly. And any doubters should note, we are getting closer to that universe. Makeup worn by traditionally cis men is becoming something of a regularity.
David Yi is the founder and editor of Very Good Light, an online publication that is actively redefining male beauty standards and some of the more tired virtues of masculinity. Yi, who hopes to market makeup to the males of Generation Z (babies born in the mid-nineties), sees makeup becoming as run-of-the-mill as growing a beard or sporting a moustache is for men. Gen Z, he says, has far fewer binary hangups and holds to a more universal code of self-expression: "If you're human you're human and you can express yourself how you want." He asserts that the modern man's version of "manning up" isn't about censoring your feelings but owning your vulnerability. More specifically, "to be unabashed about your own personal identity," Yi maintains is "the most masculine thing that anyone can ever do." And that, of course, includes celebrating your beauty whenever (and however) you're so inclined.
Applying a little space to your face, if you're feeling cosmic, certainly qualifies. And is perfectly au courant, whoever on Earth you are. Cue Bowie's Starman – or Starhuman if you prefer.