One response is that our culture still distinguishes men from women along a culture/nature opposition. The religious and scientific stories of our culture tell us that as human beings we are outside or above the constraints of the natural world. At the same time we come into this world through childbirth, we get sick, we age and die, we suffer from various bodily afflictions. How do we reconcile this contradiction?
Lévi-Strauss cites an instance where an anthropological field investigator asks his native informant why his people apply so many tattoos to their bodies. "Because we are not animals" is the reply. They complete the transition from nature to culture, they make themselves cultural beings rather than natural ones, via tattoos, and the fact that they are not within nature makes them want to do so. The implication is that they distinguish themselves from the natural order by decorating their skin.
What I am suggesting is that when women apply makeup they are doing the same thing. They are making themselves into cultural beings. By applying a corporate (meaning collective) mask, women tap into a source of collective power. Men don't need to wear makeup because they are, by definition, already cultural. Of course, much advertising operates along this borderline, and because both men and women buy their products, advertisers pitch to both sexes. Ads say “If you have a problem with a bodily function (i.e. nature) we have a cultural product that can help.”
This also applies to sexual attraction. In order to attract a mate both men and women have to look sharp by applying proper grooming aids, and smell sharp by applying proper perfumes, but women must go much further. They must color and condition their hair. They must paint their eyes, their lips, and their faces. They must remove hair from inappropriate places on their bodies. Ads never discuss (beyond the obvious sexual claims) why they must do this, only how.