Words: Yours truly • Photos: David
Ok, here’s a quick preface: I know this is a bit of a taboo subject for men but it really doesn’t have to be… I mean, it’s 2020!! With the rising popularisation of male beauty YouTubers like James Charles, Edward Avila, etc.; gender-neutral cosmetics or even cosmetics designed purely for men; and RuPaul’s Drag Race (though that’s not the vibe we’re going for here!), we all know that men wear makeup – fact. It’s just a reality that’s not going away, and it’s not that big a deal either.
Do you think male actors and celebrities appear on screen or red carpets without at least a few dabs of concealer here and there? No. In fact, almost never. It’s just that the makeup is so subtle you hardly ever notice it – unless you see them barefaced, then it’s a whole ’nother story! – and that’s the type of ‘makeup’ I want to talk about in this post.
Whatever your gender, if you’d like to learn more about what I do to achieve a natural ‘no-makeup’ makeup look, then keep reading.
The truth is I wear makeup from time to time. Though my skin is clear naturally, I do suffer from eczema flare-ups now and again, which can leave some discolouration and scarring on my face, and sometimes I like to cover them up. (Click here to read my skincare tips for eczema-prone skin.)
For me, when it comes to ‘natural’ makeup, I keep my focus on three things: skin, lips, and brows. And I think for guys or generally anyone who wants to look right and tight without caking it on, that’s all you really need. So let’s started with the first step:
Again, because my skin is naturally clear and I don’t suffer from blemishes or acne, I can get away with a light coverage. So instead of going all out with a full-coverage foundation which can look very makeup-y, I use NARS’s tinted moisturiser to even out my skin tone ever so slightly. A tinted moisturiser does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a skin-coloured moisturiser, but this particular one from NARS is also a sunscreen (it’s only an SPF 15, so I recommend using another sunscreen underneath for extra protection if needed because sun damage is not cute).
Whenever necessary, I whip out my trustee NARS concealer to cover up the dark spots but for this shoot I have only a light coverage on.
Bonus: Here’s an extra step that’s completely optional, but I like to add some life back to my face after applying the base makeup, so I give myself a rosy cheeks by using the Body Shop lip and cheek stain. It’s not the most long-wearing product ever but for a cute selfie – or, in this case, a quick indoor photoshoot – it works just fine. A word of warning though, it can be very drying if you use it on the lip.
When it comes to a natural lip, there are four letters (technically three) you need to keep in mind: MLBB.
In makeup, MLBB stands for ‘My Lips But Better’. The whole concept of MLBB is finding a colour that’s an enhanced shade of your natural lip colour so even as the pigment fades, you’ll still be left with a heightened shade of your natural lip colour rather than patches of a contrasting colour.
In my case, my lips are naturally purply pink, so when shopping for lip products I try to look out for muted pink colours with a purple undertone, so any colour with a name containing words like fig, (dried) rose, and berry just draw me in.
Personally I’m really into moisturised and plump lips – there is nothing more physically unattractive than dry, chapped lips! – and to create that effect I use a lip plumper. The one I’m using here is from 3CE, another K-beauty brand, and while it doesn’t do a lot of plumping, it does give you a nice glossy look and it feels cool and minty too!
I have quite prominent brows. Even with my hair down they take up approximately 75% of my face so they shan’t be neglected. Therefore, the very last thing I do, and this is a new thing that I recently added to my routine, is I prep my brows.
For the most part my brows are dark and thick, but they taper off towards the glabella. So I fill these parts in with an eyebrow pencil by drawing a shadow and creating an illusion of fine hair where there’s none. If you’re lucky enough to have nice full brows, you can probably skip this step entirely…
As a finishing touch, I brush over the brow eye in an upward motion using a brow gel (think of it as a hairspray for eyebrows) to fix every strand in place, then I’m done!
That’s it. I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but each of them probably takes me no more than 30 seconds so it’s really not as daunting as you might think. If you decide to give it a go, let me know how you get on! And if you’re one of the guys who beat his face, sound off in the comments below!
I hope you’ve found this post helpful… or at the very least mildly interesting.
What do you think? Is it time we normalised the notion of men wearing makeup? Do you have any tips to help me improve my skills? Leave a comment and let me know!
What’s on my face:
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, in St. Moritz (Buy) • The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain, in Dark Cherry (Buy) • rom&nd Juicy Lasting Tint, in Fig Fig (Buy) • 3CE Plumping Lips, in clear (Buy) • Etude House Drawing Eye Brow, in black (Buy) • Morphe Brow Setting Gel, in translucent (Buy)
Use my promo code OLIVER123 on YesStyle to get 5% off your order!