Makeup is Gender Neutral

I got an email from Hubspot that asked me to complete the Visual Intern Creative Challenge for a graphic design internship that I applied for. So I was working hard for the past week to complete 3 pieces of artwork as well as a video and a creative brief. Assignment Here

Project Title: Makeup is Gender-Neutral

Background Summary: Makeup was first introduced in Africa where they used toxic chemicals to cover up scars and wrinkles, prevent sunburn, and heal their skin. Over time, people especially women in Japan, China, and Europe started to use makeup to make themselves look more “ pale” because palm skin represents a high social class. By the 19th century, many Hollywood actresses take advantage of the cosmetics to make them look prettier and more appealing. Nowadays, makeup brands such as Covergirl, Maybelline, Revlon, etc are women-centric.

Project Overview: Even though the primary consumer for cosmetics is women, but the market for men is growing rapidly in South Korea. There are guys who put on makeup because there is a “self-satisfaction” that comes from looking good in the mirror and appealing to the opposite sex. Although what considers “handsome” for guys in South Korea today might incur homophobic slurs elsewhere. For example, Chinese people perceive guys who wear makeup as gays, and in the Chinese culture, being gay is a shame. This shouldn’t be the social norm. Guys who want to do makeup shouldn’t feel afraid or looked down upon because makeup is genderless. But in the United States, it’s not typical for guys to wear makeup and people have this negative perception of them.  I want to change the perception of makeup. For this project, I want to do a billboard ad and a magazine cover ad to promote that makeup is gender neutral.

Objective: My goal for this is to change the perception that guys can wear makeup too and makeup is not just for women.

Audience: Guys in general especially in the LGBT community

Tone: Encourage, Acceptance



Print Billboard Ad


GQ Magazine Cover


The Mural

Design Concepts

  1. Print Billboard Ad: I used a picture of a Korean singer because most Korean guy celebrities wear makeup. I exaggerated his eyebrow and lips to show that guys can wear make-up and there’s no shame. I put the slogan: Makeup is Gender Neutral: Wear it Bold to encourage the acceptance of guys wearing makeup.
  2. GQ Magazine Cover: I chose GQ magazine because it’s a popular men’s magazine that features men’s style and trends. So this will be a good place to introduce the Korean culture to the Western world.
  3. The Mural: I used the silhouette of a woman’s and a man’s head because I want to generalize the topic of makeup is genderless. I put the exaggerated feature of eyebrow and lips in some silhouettes because I want the red lips to pop. At the same time, I want to show that not all men or women wear makeup.

Video Link is HERE