How to wear makeup for men – a makeup guide for Gentlemen
|February 11, 2013||Posted by Sebastian Bloodworth under Style, Tips & hints|
If you’re not reading this intentionally then you’ll already have prejudices against this article about makeup for men, which is excellent – do read on.
Some may assert that men have never worn ‘makeup’ (as unglamorous as the word is when one considers its etymology), but in Ancient Egypt men wore makeup. In the Regency period men would compete with their wives to see who could wear the most rouge – a tradition I continue. Victorian morality quickly put an end to this – now we’re becoming almost as blasé as we were 300 years ago, and accordingly makeup is returning to the gentleman’s dressing table. Men who wear makeup are dandies, not homosexuals.
Actors, news reporters, anyone on the television whether man or beast wears makeup – but can you tell? Yes if they’re a woman; no if they’re a man. This article helps to explain how you can cover up any imperfections on your face without anyone being able to notice. You’ll stun people by your mortal beauty as they mistake you for Ganymede.
To the vast majority of men, makeup is a mystery, and so if you’ve got over the first hurdle and read this far, you might ask why. Well, the aim of wearing makeup is to make people think “gosh, how can be that handsome naturally?”. Makeup only works if it’s subtle – one must make up for the imperfections in our skin, which we all have naturally. The meaning of the word subtlety, however, isn’t understood by women.
The last person you ought to seek for makeup advice is a woman – the next thing you know you’ll be in fake eyelashes.
If you’d like to try makeup, then the best way to start is with concealer (this is just applied to the area needed to cover up blemishes, spots, etc.). A man can wear just a bit of concealer, or every product women wear and more and it still won’t be noticeable if you follow these steps:
The how-to guide:
- Step 1: wash your face first. If you get into the habit of wearing makeup then during this step it’s a good idea to use exfoliator
once a week – but make sure you do it before shaving, now, unless you want to be crippled by pain all day.
- Step 2: shave. You must give yourself as close a shave as possible – the best way to do this is by the traditional method
- badger brush, shaving cream and double-edged safety razer.
- Step 3: tone. Toner has 2 advantages and shouldn’t be overlooked – firstly, if you have any shaving cuts, it’s a lot more effective than cold water at stopping bleeding, secondly it ‘tightens the pores’ which means makeup won’t be trapped on your skin and cause spots.
- Step 4: Moisturise. Moisturiser is used to restore the moisture back to your face (after using toner – the 2 are used together as part of the makeup ritual)
- Step 5: Wait 10 minutes after moisturiser (use this time to brush teeth, etc.), then apply a thin coat of primer
. This is optional, but if you’re wearing a tie/fastened collar, it creates a barrier between the moisturiser and makeup and helps to stop it rubbing off on your collar. If you’re just wearing a little bit of concealer, obviously don’t bother with this.
- Step 6: Foundation. There are hundreds of different types and colours of foundations, so I can’t link to a generic one here. I think a liquid foundation is best (powder comes later!) – my own choice is Max Factor Lasting Performance. This is, accordingly only a ‘foundation’ – don’t worry if marks are still visible on your face, these will be hidden later, but don’t wear too much! Subtlety is important remember! A tiny bit will suffice.
- Step 7: Concealer. Unlike foundation which is applied thinly to the whole face, concealer is applied only where needed and rubbed outwards from the centre. These come in all different types too, experiment which one’s best.
- Step 8: Powder. Powder is used to set everything in place. I use Facefinity foundation powder, very lightly to make my face look more natural, as my foundation makes it look sligtly too pale. Then brush transparent powder all over your face.
- Step 9: Eyebrows – this is optional (like every step) but you may wish to slightly darken your eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil.
- Step 10: Rouge. Also called Blusher, this gives you a healthy glow if worn properly. You should pout and use a medium/small brush to put a little bit on your cheek bones.
- Step 11: Mascara. (un ballo in). This can be subtle too. Just 1/2 strokes on the upper-outer lashes.
- Step 12: Aftershave. Choose a suitably aromatic one.
Tips and hints:
- Don’t spend too much or too little! Aim for reputable brands within your price bracket. Cheap makeup is notorious for damaging skin.
- It’s best to go into a shop to buy your makeup – especially the first, so you can check you’re buying the right shade to match your skin colour – this is important if you prioritise subtlety. Have a cavalier attitude and don’t take any prisoners. If you can’t manage this, consider saying that you need it for a part you’re playing.
- If in doubt, go for concealer one tone darker and foundation one tone lighter. Try and match your foundation colour to skin colour but always err on the lighter side – you can make it darker with powder lighter.
- Experiment a lot! Always use a little bit. Never too much.
- Rouge/blusher colour should match your lips (in the tub) – on your face it will be much lighter, I should hope!
- Don’t keep it stored somewhere too hot or it will dry up.
- There aren’t specific ‘men’ or ‘women’ makeup brands – makeup is universal – don’t be fooled into paying 5 times as much because something’s advertised as being specifically for men.
Finally, here’s a video of Quentin Crisp’s makeup routine to inspire.
Do hope this helps you, do comment for your thoughts/suggestions or any questions.