I love make-up. I LOVE IT. But I love it more on men. Yes you heard me. I love it. Everyone could benefit from a little touch up. To cover a blemish, dark circles, scars, or give the skin a healthy glow. Certain situations warrant your best look like a job interview, a date or a special event. But I have found that some men don’t know where to begin when it comes to make-up.
Now if you aren’t comfortable with your sexuality or sexual identity you are going to have trouble with this. The idea that men aren’t supposed to wear make-up is a contemporary idea that pervaded in the 20th century, because throughout history men have worn make-up.
A rendering of King Tutakhamun wearing his beloved guyliner.
From the dawn of time men have mixed pigments together to make designs and markings on their faces to assert their place in society, we know this because of aboriginal and tribal African traditions that continue to this day. Egyptian royalty lined their eyes with kohl, the Greeks painted their nails and wore blush, 17th century males wore powder to make their skin pale, it wasn’t until after the reign of Victoria I that men wearing make-up fell out of fashion after thousands of years of use. The Victorians deemed the use of make-up as vulgar and vain, and a sign of homosexuality since only women were allowed to wear minimal amounts of make-up in a society growing more controlled by the church. Since then make-up has been deemed something for women, and women that are vain and insecure, instead of the beautiful adornments that humans have been using to express themselves.
Okay hopefully you understand now that the shame men feel about wearing make-up is completely tied to a conservative tyrannically oppressive gender suppressing religious structure and has nothing to do with how much of a man you are. You just wanna look good! And you should look good! No one has the right to tell you that you shouldn’t look good and you shouldn’t feel good about the way you look, this isn’t Saudi Arabia!
Okay lets start with the basics: What you will need.
- Cleanser – a good face wash, with exfoliation because men tend to be hard on their skin and scrubbing off that dead skin will help make your skin easier to shave.
- Moisturizer – with SPF 15 or above, to help make you skin soft and healthy, prevents wrinkles and age spots.
- Concealer – this is a cream that you use to cover small spots and marks. Find one that is a shade or two lighter than your skin, test on your chin not on your hand because hands tend to be much darker than faces.
- Foundation – this comes in cream (for more coverage), liquid (for medium, buildable coverage) or powder (for lighter coverage). You can decide what your preference is, do you want total face coverage or a more natural coverage that will allow flaws to come through?
- Powder – find a powder that is either a neutral shade or the same tone as your skin, this is to set your make-up and prevent it from coming off on your clothes and hands.
- Brushes/Q-tips/Sponges – you could use a double ended concealer foundation brush or q-tips to apply the concealer and sponges to apply the foundation.
- Lip moisturizer – find a chapstick or balm that soothes your lips and prevents chapping.
- Shave gel – you need something that lubricates your skin and will prevent burns and irritation.
Here are the steps to applying your coverage.
- Go through with your morning ritual, brush your teeth, shave, put in your contacts.
- Wash your face thoroughly with your cleanser, don’t use water that is too hot. Cooler water closes your pores and will prevent your skin from getting oily and breaking out.
- Apply moisturizer in an upward motion starting from the neck and moving up to the temples. Allow to settle on your skin.
- With your brush take just a dab and place it on the mark or blemish and just blot it, don’t rub it in. Then blend to the outside, blending it with your skin. If it doesn’t blend, take a tissue and dab it to get some of the excess off and try again. Blend with the brush using circular motions, until it’s completely covered and melted into the skin.
- Apply the foundation to your face by taking your sponge and putting spots all over your face, on your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin then either with your sponge or clean hands smooth it all over your face, until it is blended.
- Taking a brush, dip it into the powder, tap off the excess and, in a circular motion, powder your entire face or just the places you’ve covered.
- Apply a lip moisturizer of your choice.
Clear mascara – if you have thin, flat eyelashes that blend into your face but you don’t want the 80’s hair band look that mascara gives you a lifting, separating and defining look that makes you feature more noticeable. Just pull the brush out of the tube and give your lashes a few swipes from root to tip, allowing them to dry a little between applications.
Tweezers – to clean up those brows and stray nose hairs. Clean up in between your brows and above your natural brow line (but not from below since that gives an unnatural arch), you could also use an electric trimmer to cut down the hairs, get in your nose and the back of your neck.
Bronzer – is a type of lotion that makes your skin look like you just came back from Caribbean vacation and gives definition and makes you look more healthy. You should know if your skin is pale and could use a bit of color, unless you are going for the undead, vampire look that I usually go for. Mix this in with your moisturizer for a naturally blended look.
Here is a video on how to apply these tips from make-up artists Pixiwoo: