I’ve always had a soft spot for boys in make-up. Whether it’s a subversive smudge of black eyeliner or full-on warrior-like warpaint, there’s something seriously sexy about those confident enough to pull it off, whilst simultaneously proving themselves a proper fanny magnet. (Ahem!)
Here’s my totally subjective, Bowie*-ignoring edit of five handsome chaps in slap…
When other girls were going gaga over Barlow, Williams, Owen, et al, I had Fat Bob. Proud that my teenage hormones had musical taste back then, I still stand by my first proper man-in-make-up crush. Not an obvious candidate for a smoky eye, perhaps, but his became a look copied by attention-seeking sixth-formers everywhere. He also totally ignores the heavy eyes or lips rule, but Bob’s a beauty rule-breaker, yeah?
Oh those cheekbones! AA knew he was swashbucklingly beautiful, especially circa 1980 when he premiered his trademark horizontal white stripe underneath heavily lined, smouldering eyes. That he came up through the London punk scene gives him extra edgy sex appeal – even with frosted pink lipgloss. The Stand and Deliver video is a total swoon fest from start to finish. (Beware exploding ovaries)
The tragic Richey Manic countered his vulnerable – and heavily made up – pretty-boy doe eyes with the very visible effects of self-mutilation. He famously needed 17 stitches to his left arm after a backstage encounter with Steve Lamacq – proving his band’s integrity by cutting himself up with a razor blade. Now lording it up with Lucan, Edwards was (is?) a bonafide glam-punk-rock’n’roll sex god. 4 REAL.
Unlike many of his glam-rock peers, Bolan understood the understated when it came to make-up, never looking like he’d be more interested in the Clinique counter than his girlfriend. A well-placed smattering of glitter here and there was all it took for this Dandy to look decidedly hot. One of only two short men I’d make an exception for (the other, of course, being Prince), I’ll always keep a little Marc in my heart.
Somewhere between Thriller and Bad… back a bit, forward a bit, now STOP! If I could bottle MJ at his most beautiful it would be around the time he first started dipping into La Toya’s make-up bag and reaching for the tweezers. Jacko’s look was all about the peepers back then: manicured brows and fully kohled-up Bambi eyes. He knew exactly what he was doing, the filthy so and so. Here he is in ’87 being devastating.
*never fancied him