Men in make-up - it's not a new phenomenon, but there's one male celebrity who is way out in front when it comes to beauty flair writes Anna Hunter

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From Bowie to Boy George, to Brandon Flowers to Russell Brand, the modern man has been experimenting with le maquillage for decades. Ancient fellows were partial to cosmetic enhancements too, and we’re not just talking warpaint. From the sooty-eyed Egyptians to the rouged and beauty-spotted French courts of Louis XIII, men sporting make-up is not a new phenomenon.

High-end cosmetic ranges by the meticulously groomed Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford cater for the contemporary made-up man; superstar make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury has even filmed a tutorial  on achieving that perfectly preened ‘undercover’ make-up look for men. It may not appeal to every mister (or missus for that matter), but you can’t deny that some men pull off make-up with aplomb. Jared Leto is one such example, and even Elvis lured the ladies with a little help from the foundation brush.

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Not even The King can compete with possibly the world’s most prolific male make-up maven, however. A smokey eye maestro, a guyliner guru and well briefed in the art of contoured bronzing; ladies and gentlemen we give you Johnny Depp. Forget the Golden Globes, BAFTA and Oscar nominations; decorated Mr Depp has recently been honoured with a Distinguished Artisan Award by the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild. A new awards category for the industry body, Johnny will receive the accolade on 15th February at Paramount Studios.

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The award will be presented by his long-term partner in cosmetics crime Joel Harlow, an Oscar-winning make-up artist who worked with Depp on The Lone Ranger, Alice in Wonderland and The Pirates of the Caribbean series. As we’re sure you will agree, none of these celluloid looks were particularly low maintenance, and Johnny contributed to the creative process by bringing along his own sketches and exhibiting a thrillingly gung-ho attitude to powder, prosthetics and paint throughout. Guild President Susan Cabral-Ebert expressed that Johnny’s contribution to the industry has been invaluable:

“Make-up and hair artisans agree that Johnny Depp is a wonderful selection to receive our first Distinguished Artisan Award. He, probably more than other working actor today, uses the skills of our members to delineate his characters. Depp has constantly been an outstanding supporter of our crafts, ultimately respectful and appreciative of our members’ abilities and generous with his creative collaboration. A great artist himself, he allows others to shine.”

Perhaps some make-up vlogs are on the horizon for Mr Depp? We’re praying to bump into him at our next beauty launch.