MOSCOW (AFP) - Gevorg brushes mascara onto his already long, darkish lashes before dabbing highlighter above his cheekbones and checking the effects in a mirror of a important Moscow salon.

The 26-year-antique is certainly one of a growing range of younger men in Russia who're supplying make-up tutorials and splendor advice on line -- a exercise that isn't handiest boosting their profiles and bank balances but additionally difficult the conservative u . S .

.’s strict gender norms.

"I sense that my paintings is a ‘fun’ schooling that facilitates humans develop in a one of a kind manner," says Gevorg, who goes through simply his first call online.

He began imparting pointers at the net numerous years ago whilst running in a beauty shop and finding a lot of his female customers had a limited concept approximately what they could do with the goods.

The silver-haired blogger keeps his audience up to date with normal Instagram posts and a couple of YouTube motion pictures per week, in which he solutions questions from viewers and discusses his ultra-modern purchases.

across the two systems Gevorg has extra than 250,000 fans and subscribers, many of them younger women, and earns a living no longer just from backed posts however also in-character make-up workshops in towns throughout Russia.

"My work is to show a extensive target audience that makeup isn’t approximately searching like a brightly painted escort -- it’s about looking the way you want and showing that you have a desire, some thing you do in lifestyles," he says.

Male beauty blogging is a international phenomenon that has exploded in popularity in recent years -- spawning US stars which include James Charles and Jeffree famous person, with some 15 million YouTube subscribers each -- and is tied in with primary manufacturers like MAC and Maybelline hiring guys to front campaigns.

however in Russia, wherein LGBT activism is all but unlawful underneath a debatable "homosexual propaganda" regulation, and politicians are more likely to reward girls’s splendor than champion gender equality, the fashion has a selected importance.

‘It’s not ethical’ 

Gevorg admits he located it tough to address competitive on line comments while he first started posting about splendor products, which regularly focused his Armenian historical past.

"They said that during Armenian subculture you can’t seem like that, it’s no longer moral," says the blogger.

"I used to try to engage with people... Now I simply hit the block button and it doesn’t hassle me anymore."

regardless of his brilliant on line presence, the stylist says he avoids issues in the road through sporting neutral makeup or none at all.

different top Russian splendor bloggers have stated harassment online and off.

Igor Sinyak, who has greater than four hundred,000 Instagram followers, become this year threatened by using a set of younger human beings as he become main a masterclass in a shop within the business city of Chelyabinsk, a few 2,000 kilometres (1,2 hundred miles) east of Moscow.

films launched on YouTube showed protection ushering him out of the constructing.

Russia’s maximum distinguished male splendor blogger by using numbers, Andrei Petrov, has published display screen grabs of the abuse he gets thru Instagram and YouTube.

Sergey Naumov, a 27-yr-antique whose famous Instagram display sees him copy the make-up of an invited guest, is of the same opinion his clips should come as a "surprise" to many in the united states of america.

a local of Chelyabinsk, Naumov moved to Moscow as a youngster and observed work as a makeup artist, later launching an eponymous line of beauty merchandise which he promotes via his account.

Soviet legacy 

while his videos are meant particularly as enjoyment, the entrepreneur hopes they're also increasing Russians’ thoughts approximately what men are allowed and capable of do.

"I don’t suppose the problem’s a lot that Russia is a evidently conservative united states of america, greater that for this kind of long term there has been the Soviet Union," Naumov says, an technology whilst conformity was recommended or enforced.

"you need to look forward to humans to turn out to be more open, more receptive to new ideas and this is quite a difficult issue," he provides for the duration of an interview in GUM, the Soviet-technology branch keep on red square that has considering that become a high-cease buying vacation spot.

"however it’s exactly shows like mine, like Andrei Petrov’s, like Gevorg’s, that do make humans a bit extra tolerant, now not toward gays in step with se, however in the direction of men who wear makeup -- it suggests that it’s ordinary."

Sergey Ostrikov, who makes a declare to being the primary male beauty blogger in Russia 12 years in the past, says Russians are already an awful lot more open than they have been to content material like his.

"there has been plenty of aggression closer to me on the very start," recollects the 31-year-antique from the Siberian city of Abakan, who now manages two of his personal cosmetics brands.

"maximum of it came from women -- they have been pronouncing, ‘How dare a man get involved on this region that turned into in basic terms feminine’."

The phenomenon of male beauty running a blog has "absolutely" helped the LGBT network in Russia, he added.

"Now there’s a brand new ‘virtual local’ era who've visible stuff like this from their childhoods -- they take all of it very flippantly. The whole thing’s modified in the ultimate decade and it’s all got easier."