Creating A Natural Makeup Look… For Men
By Heath Bryant-Huppert
I believe that makeup is made for anyone that wants to wear it. Makeup is meant to enhance features and make the wearer feel confident. If you are wearing so much makeup that you feel as though you have on a mask, you are doing it wrong (this goes for both men and women). The most important thing to ask yourself before you slap something on is, “What am I trying to achieve?”
The first step in creating a natural look is to moisturize. Let’s all say out loud: MOISTURIZE! A big reason that moisturizing is so important is that with any dry skin you may have, makeup will cling to it and become very obvious. For a guy trying to pass off a very natural look, this will be your first giveaway.
After moisturizing, make sure to apply any serums or eye creams that are part of your daily routine. Some favorites of mine are Kiehls’ Facial Fuel for moisturizer, One Love Organics’ Morning Glory serum, and Clinique’s All About Eyes eye cream.
Once you are good and hydrated, it’s time to make ourselves pretty. I am a huge fan of MAC Cosmetic’s Select Coverup Liquid Concealer. When applying concealer, you really only need to place the product where needed. I suggest a little under the eyes; starting closest to the nose, pat in an outward motion making sure to press the cream into your skin. The warmth from your fingers actually warms the product up and makes it appear more natural. Concealers can come in many forms, liquid and cream being the most popular. I feel like liquid sits more naturally on the skin and looks smoother. If you need more coverage, or prefer a more “beat face,” you might prefer a cream.
The next step would be to use a tinted moisturizer. I recommend this product opposed to a foundation for the simple fact that it is more natural and looks more like skin. Most guys that wear makeup on a daily basis don’t want the average person to realize that they are wearing something. A tinted moisturizer will help you achieve that. There are so many on the market right now; a few that I can’t live without are BEA Cosmetics’ Brightening CC Cream (this product actually adjusts to your skin tone and gives a nice glow to your skin), Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (this product gives a touch more coverage but still super-natural), and NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (this cream has a wonderful finish that has a slighter fuller coverage, so I consider this more of an evening option). Personally, my skin tends to change with not only the seasons, but my mood, so I like to have a few options to play with on a regular basis.
One product that scares guys is powder, and for good reason. You can take a naturally flawless application and turn it into stage time really quick with too much powder. A no-fail product that has been with me since probably 2000 is MAC Cosmetic’s Blot Powder! This is a godsend! If you have oily skin or feel like your face “slides off,” this powder will save your life. I use a fluffy powder brush and just touch a little Blot Powder on my forehead, down the bridge of my nose and my cheek area. Trust me, you will love this product. It is completely translucent and essentially does not add any extra makeup to your face.
Another powder product that every boy loves is bronzer, and for good reason… A good bronzer can take our pasty Minnesota February skin and turn us into bronze Catalina Island goddesses! Just be careful, and go with a more matte bronzer. Otherwise, you might end up looking like a last call disco ball when you show up for brunch with grandma. A good choice would be Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder. Placement of bronzer should be easy. Start at the hairline and go in a three pattern down the cheek and under the jaw. Please, remember that a little goes a long way! Think Ryan Gosling, not Kim K.
Powder products can go wrong really quick on guys. A lot of the reason why is the fact that it sits on top of our facial hair. I have two great tips for this. After you have powdered down, you can use a makeup setting spray, like MAC Cosmetic’s Fix+. This product is meant to give you a mist of moisture and skin treatment, but it also can help subtly take some product off of your facial hair. My second tip is a little strange but hear me out. I will take a clean washcloth, run it under the bathroom faucet and ring it out very well, mist a little Fix+ on it and gently press it on my face. I don’t rub or move the cloth around because I don’t want to shift the makeup around, but I feel this helps set and soften any makeup I have put on.
Some products that finish off a look are clear brow gel brushed into the brows to set them and take any makeup residue out, and of course some lip conditioner. Everyone wants soft, kissable lips!
Most of my advice so far has been for a natural daytime wear. You are more than welcome to interpret this how you will. If you like a bit of drama, go for it… Just remember that blending is your friend and essentially less is more. If you find that you need some help, or are confused, two very good options are YouTube and simply finding a male makeup artist at a makeup counter.
Seasons can sometimes affect the way you wear makeup, but I feel like changes are aimed more toward eyeshadows and lip colors. The only seasonal aspect I keep in mind when creating a no-makeup look is skin shade. This definitely fluctuates with the seasons, so having at least two shades to choose from works in your favor.
Heath Bryant-Huppert is a Minneapolis-based makeup artist and hair stylist, named as North American Hair Awards’ 2014 Makeup Artist of the Year.