“Wearing makeup is simply a hobby of mine, like cooking or reading or drawing.” — Sayeed Sanchez
Dressing and applying makeup is an art form for Sayeed Sanchez, a junior English and African American studies major. And he wishes other men felt liberated to do the same.
“I have a very unapologetic kind of style,” says Sanchez. “I like to stand out and look cool and stylish. In fall, you’ll find me wearing lots of dark lipsticks. Black is an iconic lip color I like to rock.”
His makeup and clothes — in maroon, purple, orange and red for this fall — complement one another. He also is a fan of layering of fishnet stockings beneath ripped jeans to add texture.
His style icons are singer Rico Nasty for her “goth girlfriend rocks look” and the gritty, shaved-head, gap-toothed fashion model Slick Woods.
Sanchez learned makeup application from his younger sister, Sabrina, and YouTube tutorials. His sister encouraged him to wear makeup at his Waukegan, Ill., high school when she saw him experimenting with it, but he wasn’t interested back then. “I’d be a boy wearing makeup,” he says. “I didn’t want to deal with all the drama.
“But when I came to college, I started getting more and more into it and looking at it as another form of expression.”
“I identify as a cis [cisgender] gay man, and I enjoy wearing makeup for the pure artistry of it. I think that gender expression can take many forms, and we shouldn’t be limited by whether we identify as a man or a woman.
“Wearing makeup is simply a hobby of mine, like cooking or reading or drawing. I understand some people think it’s weird or unorthodox for men, but my sister said, ‘If you like doing it, you should do it!’”
The skillful application of his eyelashes is not an easy task. “It’s something I learned how to do recently, and I’ve been proud of it because they’re difficult to use. I’m a big fan of doing lashes and eyeliner and occasionally shadow.”
His artistry in applying makeup has him in demand by his female friends — and even his mom, Silvia Sanchez, whom he is tutoring in the art. “I’ll apply her makeup, and then we’ll go out to a nice dinner. It’s one of the ways I like to spend time with her.”
Marla Paul runs the Instagram feed @rebellewithmarla, where she shares photos of street fashion in Chicago. For more, check out our Q&A with Paul, a longtime journalist and former editor of Women’s Wear Daily and W Magazine. She is the health sciences editor for the Office of Global Marketing and Communications at Northwestern University.
This is hysterical. “I like to wear my parents clothes from a long time ago.” Like 1980 or 1990. Somebody is in for an awakening.
—Bob Norris ’78 Dixon, Ill., via Northwestern Magazine
Smart AND stylish! Such a fun piece.
—Erin Spain ’10 MS, Chicago, via Northwestern Magazine
I've worked with Marla for a number of years now, as a health editor/reporter, and I had no idea she had a fashion background and her great Instagram! Loved seeing this feature in the magazine and reading about how students use fashion to express themselves. Thanks for sharing these stories!
—Nicole Kwan ’07 New York, via Northwestern Magazine
Really enjoyed this article. A different and original take on campus life. So much fun to read how these students develop their personal style.
—Cathy Kennedy Chicago, via Northwestern Magazine
Your story “Wildcat Style, No Filter” by Marla Paul was quite touching. It’s a great way to feel in touch as an alumna with how students on campus are actually expressing how they’re thinking and feeling in their everyday life, not just in their milestone accomplishments. Would love to see more fresh stories like this. Kudos!
—Becca Donaldson ’08 Milwaukee, via Northwestern Magazine
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed “Wildcat Style, No Filter” this month. I'd love to see more stories like this!
As a Medill kid, I loved discovering Marla's feed and then learning about her fascinating background as a fashion journalist. I think this is SUCH an inspiring and fascinating story for young journos!
—Katie O'Reilly ’07 Oakland, Calif., via Northwestern Magazine
I read NU Magazine regularly and really enjoy it. I just wanted to drop a special note this month to say how much I loved the piece “Wildcat Style, No Filter.” What a fun and creative way to get to know some of the students on campus. I'd love to see more pieces like this!
—Jamie Poslosky ’07 Washington, D.C., via Northwestern Magazine
I wanted to send a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed “Wildcat Style, No Filter,” this month. I'd love to see more stories like this!
—Sirisha Yadlapati Sualy ’10 Omaha, via Northwestern Magazine