The beauty of the modern world lies in the absence of fear to try new things, to experiment, and reject stereotypes. Today, the mixture of male and female professions does not seem to be something grotesque: while women are advocating feminism and fighting for their rights, men choose jobs that are not too typical for their gender.
Manicure, eyebrow modeling, cosmetology, hairdressing, lashmaking – all these elements of modern beauty industry are equally open to people of all genders, despite the fact that normally girls had beauty-related jobs in the past. STALEKS talked to the men who were not afraid to go by the call of the heart and chose to become ambassadors of beauty.
5 characters tell 5 different stories on the choice of career, professional experience, advantages of "male look" in questions of beauty, and a problem of gender inequality.
Lashmaker in Art Studio by Annushka Moroz, Sumy, Ukraine
"The first male master of eyelash extension in Ukraine", say Evgeny's friends proudly when they talk about him. For five years Evgeny and his wife, Annushka Moroz, have been building their beauty industry business. Mastering the trade of a lashmaker, professional development, opening your own beauty parlor, participation in international championships – Evgeny has become accustomed to this pace of life, and he draws real pleasure from work.
Evgeny's wife once suggested he tried the new career in lashmaking. A few years back, for health reasons, he could not do hard physical work, so Evgeny decided to change trade and try himself in the beauty business. New work offered a lot of discoveries but also brought certain negative emotions. As Annushka Moroz recalls, "At first, my Evgen was embarrassed to say that he was in eyelash extension. Stereotypes played a significant role in our life back then, many friends did not take this work seriously, made fun of him. Moreover, there had been no male lashmakers in Ukraine before Evgen, it would be quite safe to say he was a pioneer in this business."
Annushka became Evgeny's first teacher in the art of eyelash extension. After that he was taking advanced courses in various cities, practicing in his own beauty parlor. Despite the skeptical reaction of others, Evgeny rose to eminence in the profession – the customers are actively seeking his services, and almost no one is surprised that their lashmaker is a man. "Evgeny has almost never faced depreciation in his work just because he is male. On the contrary, a few years ago it was such a novelty for Ukraine – a male lashmaker! Many girls wanted to book an appointment with Evgen just to check how good the result would be. In the end, everyone is satisfied."
Evgeny's professional skills did not go unnoticed at the Sculptor Lash international competition. He was the only man among 205 participants. and he fell only 3 points short of the prize.
Evgeny became the first one who had the courage to engage in this supposedly "non-masculine" trade. By his example, he inspired many to discard stereotypes and find something to their liking. In addition to the fact that Evgeny works as a lashmaker and the beauty parlor manager at the same time, he also teaches an extension course for beginners (men too).
Manicure and pedicure specialist, brow expert in the ЯR beauty studio, Kyiv, Ukraine
Modeling and tattooing eyebrows, permanent makeup, manicure, and pedicure – those are the beauty industry areas Svyatoslav has chosen for work. A veteran of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, today Svyatoslav works at the professional manicure studio together with his wife. According to him, it was his beloved woman who brought him into the beauty industry: "It so happened that my darling, also a manicure and pedicure specialist, one day hurt her back, and asked me to cover for her. She had a pedicure appointment, and she said, 'Come on, maybe you try it', and I thought why not?"
Svyatoslav took a chance despite the lack of experience, banter from colleagues and acquaintances. "I'm an impulsive person. Most of my actions are driven by impulse: once a decision has been made, there's no room for hesitation or postponing." This bold approach helped the couple to open their own studio, attract customers, and make plans for the future business expansion.
During his whole career, Svyatoslav has only once been rejected by the client due to the fact that manicure services were to be provided by a male beautician. Basically, those who come to Svyatoslav for the first time are surprised, but as a result, customers are totally satisfied and come back again.
Master of manicure, Minsk, Belarus
A creative person will always find a way to express themselves – the story of Pavel, a 34-year-old manicurist in one of the nail bars in Minsk, confirms this statement.
He loved to draw since childhood, and his hobby grew into the profession of a tattoo artist. "Many girls who came to the tattoo studio where I was working asked if we could do nails as well. The market for tattoo artists is saturated, and there are almost no male manicure specialists, so I thought this might work to my advantage. Well, I thought about it and went to study", Pavel said.
Before linking his life with the creative profession, the man worked as a welder. Arts of tattoo and manicure are completely different, and that's where Pavel feels most comfortable. Pavel works in a nail bar for three days a week, and then he spends three more days in the tattoo parlor.
"When customers see me for the first time, they're kinda lost for a moment: am I getting my nails done or some new tattoos?", inked arms, facial piercing – according to Pavel, his clients are surprised by his looks, but not shocked. "The girls come in, and when they notice me, their eyes are rounded. When they see my tattoos, they say: 'Wow, cool! Incredible!' Sometimes they want to have a closer look, sometimes ask where they can get something similar. But everyone leaves with a smile."
It was at the manicure course when Pavel felt what it was like for a man to master the traditional "female" trade. Envy could be felt almost physically. "Sometimes someone was pushing me in the back, as if by accident, and liquids were spilled on me all the time. They were angry at me as I was progressing, and they weren't. Actually, there was open talk about these things." Ridicule, distrust, childish attitude from friends – all this hurt the novice manicure master, but never demotivated him. "Some people would just start laughing after I picked up the phone, 'A guy manicure specialist, are you kidding me?' – I would just hang up on them. At first, I was even offended that I was not perceived as a specialist."
The main thing in mastering a new trade is the belief in yourself and support from your loved ones. "Great moral support for my endeavor was coming from my wife. She really benefits from it — now she has a personal beautician available round the clock – whenever she needs her nails done," smiles Pavel.
Manicure master in Shortt Cut & Sinead's Nails, Jersey, Channel Islands
From the automotive business to the beauty industry – this has been the way to the new trade of Burly John Shortt, a 39 years old manicurist from the UK. Today, this man works full-time in a beauty parlor, and just a few years back he was a supplier of spare car parts.
The desire to change the profession came to John in 2014, after meeting his wife-to-be Sinead. She owned a beauty parlor, and John decided to work with her. First, our man completed a training course in hairdressing, but after having worked with hair for a short while, he realized that manicure and nail art were more attractive. Sinead also was a manicure specialist, so she taught her fiance the basic techniques and started entrusting him with simple jobs. Soon John realized that he wanted to learn this specialty and become a professional.
John admits that he feels really happy with this job: "Manicure is kind of similar to the car business. Processes are alike: you have to remove the old 'paint', prepare the surface, apply layers of 'varnish' – of course, on a much smaller scale."
Having changed the previous profession for a completely new trade, Burly John Shortt does not regret such a gamble. According to John, his friends and family were surprised by this decision, as they perceived manicure as a strictly "female" occupation that couldn't bring much money. But for John, the money faded into the background: "It is much more important to feel pleasure from work every day."
Manicure and pedicure master, Balneário Camboriú, Brazil
Friendly and sincere Elvis from Brazil has been engaged in nail art for 3 years. He travels around the country, goes abroad to gain new knowledge in the beauty industry and learn different techniques of manicure.
"A few years ago, when I was still living in Fortaleza, I read an article about men who were doing 'female' jobs. So I wanted to work in the beauty industry, but this idea got too much negative feedback from family and friends. I was in doubt whether I would be able to succeed", Elvis explained.
He moved to São Paulo to take a manicure and pedicure course. Yes, the beginning of career turned out to be tough, as not every client could entrust such meticulous work to a man. Besides, all other students were female, and this was an extra source of confusion for the novice master.
Prior to that, Elvis had been working as a waiter for 5 years. He lived in a hostel and dreamed that one day his life would change abruptly. The young man took education very seriously, he was learning theory and started practicing right away.
Today Elvis Gouveia is a master of manicure, well-known in Brazil and beyond its borders. Charisma, energy, and curiosity helped him become a professional. Like any aspiring master, Elvis faced disappointment more than once, but he always worked on mistakes and improved. Today he is a teacher himself, coaching novice manicurists. Elvis was an instructor for the Instituto Embelleze, a reviewer for Revista a3, and currently is an endorser of STALEKS PRO products. An experienced professional appreciates the advantages of Ukrainian professional tools, and he is recommending STALEKS instruments to the beginners.