Growing up in Belfast in Northern Ireland within the 80s and 90s I skilled lots of homophobia. Wearing make-up would by no means have been an choice for me, and although I all the time thought I used to be a inventive particular person, I wasn’t capable of go to college or research artwork as a result of I do not come from a rich household. Even if I had been capable of, make-up would by no means have been an choice for me again then.My twin brother and I left Belfast at 24 and finally moved to London in 2010; we have all the time been actually shut. The older we acquired, the extra we felt there needed to be extra to life than simply working for any individual else. One day, we got here up with an concept for beginning a enterprise with cereal. We had been actually enthusiastic about it as a result of we would by no means been in enterprise earlier than.We began the Cereal Killer Cafe in London in 2014 and we had a good time for 5 and a half years. It was simply two working class hipsters from Belfast who had opened up a cereal cafe in east London, however all people went nuts. Some folks completely despised us. There was a TV interview in 2014 the place our costs had been challenged. Lots of people agreed with us and lots of people agreed with the angle of the TV interview. In September that yr there was a riot in London and the store was attacked. That’s when it acquired a bit an excessive amount of for me as a result of we had been receiving dying threats, however total we had enjoyable.Then, in 2020, COVID-19 got here alongside. We had been already working our a**** off and we relied lots on the vacationer commerce. It acquired to the stage the place we needed to shut our retailers completely due to the overheads. My brother determined to maintain the enterprise on as a web site—he is nonetheless promoting cereal on-line—however there was no means it might have supported each of us. We mainly misplaced nearly the whole lot.
For a lot of the summer season of 2020 I did not have a clue what I used to be going to do. I left Cereal Killer Cafe in June and having been a enterprise proprietor I had a number of little abilities in several areas, however there was nothing the place I felt: “I’m superb at this, I can get a job doing it.” And, as a result of I used to be broke I had no alternative to start out a brand new enterprise.I bear in mind considering: I’ve hit all-time low right here.The solely advantage of hitting all-time low is you can begin constructing your life up from scratch once more and even invent a brand new one. That’s form of what I did.I’d already been doing elaborate make-up and costumes each Halloween for years. I’d even begin planning my Halloween costume as early as Easter. One yr, I made a decision to decorate up as Zoidberg from Futurama so I watched YouTube movies and taught myself learn how to do prosthetics. On a day after day foundation, I’d usually put a make-up look on after which take it again ten steps earlier than I left the home. Not as a result of I’d have confronted hate, however I’d all the time have any individual point out it. Even simply saying, “Oh my god! Are you sporting eyeliner?”
Gary “Silver Rox” Keery started sharing his make-up appears to be like on TikTok in 2020 after starting skilled make-up coaching.
Gary “Silver Rox” Keery
But in the course of the first U.Ok. lockdown in 2020, I used to be alone. It was simply myself and my model, Toofer. During that point, no person’s opinion mattered aside from my very own. So I began creating extra elaborate make-up appears to be like and I felt superb every time I checked out myself within the mirror. It made me assume: “Why am I not doing it extra usually? Because I’m apprehensive about what that particular person within the retailer goes to assume? I’m by no means going to see that particular person once more.”I went onto YouTube to seek out extra masculine make-up for males, however all I might discover was “no make up make up” which is attempting to cowl, conceal or bronze, or tremendous female make-up on a person such as you see on James Charles or Jeffree Starr, who I’ve nothing towards. I believe what they do is nice.It wasn’t that I wished to make my face extra masculine, however I wished to take the femininity out of it. Something I’ve questioned is whether or not make-up itself is female? Or whether or not it is that we’ve got all agreed that it’s. If I take a pigment and put it round my eyes it is seen as female, but when I take a pigment and put it simply above my eye it is extra of a tattoo. Essentially each are simply placing pigment on our pores and skin. Men have been sporting make-up way back to the Ancient Egyptians, it is solely over latest centuries that it has grow to be much less acceptable.
I personally like a grungy picture, so I really like rockstar model make-up. It took me ages to determine learn how to do a graphic eyeliner, and as quickly as I did, it was like: “because of this I’m doing this!” But a few of my favorite appears to be like have truly been characters. I created The Grinch, SpongeBob SquarePants and Homer Simpson, however I made them look actually grungy.
Gary “Silver Rox” Keery as The Grinch. A fancy dress he created himself for Halloween.
Gary “Silver Rox” Keery
I began knowledgeable make-up qualification in December 2020, and since my model is males’s make-up that is not female, I’m nonetheless attempting to determine myself out. A number of the make-up on-line in the mean time is all about perfection and I do not assume that is what make-up is about, I believe it is about expressing your creativity. I by no means put on basis as a result of I’m not into flawless pores and skin, I’m into including a little bit of color and expressing your self on the skin. I joke that it is nearly wanting cool as f***.Although I used to be doing make-up appears to be like on myself at house, I would not have posted something on social media earlier than. In September 2020 I began posting make up content material and I started to develop a following. Since December 2020 I’ve had about 500,000 followers on TikTok and 60 p.c of my followers are literally from the U.S. I’m shocked that I do not get trolls. I can learn my messages and never see any destructive feedback.It’s simply so unusual how a lot issues have modified in my lifetime. I might stroll down the road holding palms with a person and it would not trouble folks or I might go to the shop with my full make-up on with confidence I would not have had 10 or 20 years in the past. The world now’s a hell of much more accepting.When we take a look at the place we had been to the place we at the moment are, we have performed properly, however the battle is certainly not over. Pride Month is simply a part of the story and the LGBTQIIA+ neighborhood nonetheless wants extra acceptance. Trans persons are being handled like homosexual folks had been 20 or 30 years in the past. I’m qualifying from make-up college in a couple of weeks, and my hope is that I can encourage youthful people who find themselves masculine and nonetheless wish to put on make-up.Over the subsequent decade, I believe it is going to grow to be extra socially acceptable for guys to put on make-up that’s extra vibrant; even straight guys. So, I wish to see the place this journey goes to take me. In 5 or ten years time, who is aware of the place I’m going to be?Gary “Silver Rox” Keery is a make-up artist dwelling and dealing in London. You can observe him on TikTok @waddaboutya and on Instagram @silver__rox. Or, discover out extra at silverrox.co.uk.All views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal.As advised to Jenny Haward.