It's 2019, and you're a grown man, so forget about outdated prejudices and dare to see for yourself what a little makeup can do for your appearance.
Would you believe me if I told you that you can wear makeup to boost your appearance without people noticing? Consider this scenario: it’s Friday night, and you have a big night out planned with friends, but it so happens that it's been a rough week at work, anxiety led to a few sleepless nights, and now the dark circles under your eyes are reminding you of how hard adulting actually is. Here’s where the "no makeup" makeup trend comes in to save you from a bad Instagram selfie.
I know what you're thinking. I was scared and unsure about wearing makeup too: “What if people notice? What if it's too much? Am I going to look ridiculous?” Yes, I had all of these questions too, but really, in this day and age, why should we keep holding on to these toxic masculinities? Brush those prejudices off once and for all! Also, there’s no need to buy “makeup for men” from the “manly isle at Sephora;” do you really want to spend five extra bucks for a "manly" blue or gray container? Come on!
What is "No Makeup" Makeup for guys?
Back in the 1990s, makeup artists started developing more natural trends that would eventually become the go-to style for women. The aim of "no makeup" makeup is to help you look fresh, healthy, and glowing by boosting your natural beauty without making you look “artificial.” This makeup trend eventually made its way into men’s grooming, especially for models and actors at events and photoshoots. However, more recently, more and more guys are embracing it, especially to conceal dark circles, skin fatigue, redness, scars, and dark spots.
Most guys have absolutely no idea where to start, though, so it's best to ask people who know and will be able to help (keep in mind that people working at makeup stores work on commission, so don’t trust them blindly). So, just to get you started, here's an idea of what you’ll need to get:
Sunscreen must be part of your daily skin routine. It'll pay off over time (it’s one the most important things to do to prevent aging, freckles, redness, and uneven skin tone). Pro tip: buy the dermatological kind, rather than a generic one from the supermarket, since the latter tend to be oily, and most guys have oily skin.
How to: Apply a small amount on your fingertips, then spread all over your face, ears, and neck. Let it dry for at least ten minutes.
Guys tend to have oily skin as a result of high testosterone levels, so get a gel moisturizer that gives you long-lasting hydration and that has oil control.
How to: Apply right after sunscreen all over your face and neck, starting from the bottom. Let your skin absorb it, and you’ll look much more rested, fresh, and revitalized.
Ask a friend who knows about makeup to help you choose the right color for you. This is the trickiest of all the products. Why? Well, the first challenge is to find the right tone that matches your skin, and then, the right finish. The easiest way to find the right foundation is to try it at the store and in the sunlight. Draw a line from your cheeks down to your jaw. Let it dry for a few minutes (since most foundations change their color as result of oxidation), and then see if the color matches your neck. If not, try again with another shade, or another brand.
How to: Beauty blenders are a godsend. Apply a very small amount of the product on the back of your hand, spread it, and then get some of the product on the beauty blender. Pad gently all over your face until you cover the entire surface.
Extra tip: Try to find a foundation that’s medium coverage. It’ll even out your skin tone without making you look too pale, cakey, or obvious.
This is the ultimate lifesaver when it comes to concealing dark circles (hence the name). Sometimes I just do this for an even more natural "no makeup" makeup if I don’t have the time to apply foundation.
How to: Get a concealer that hydrates and has medium to strong coverage. You’ll need a tiny brush to blend it in, or you can just use another side of your beauty blender.
This is one is more optional, but it does help improve your looks and give color to your foundation, if it makes you look a little pale.
How to: Use a brush to apply a small amount from your ears to your nose, making a straight line right below your cheeks. If required, brush some on your forehead above your nose.
Hack: applying bronzer under your jawline and on your neck (around your Adam’s apple), it can help reduce a double chin.
This is the cheapest and easiest product to buy and apply. Purchase a translucent powder that has oil control. Re-apply throughout the day if you start looking shiny.
How to: Apply the powder with a bigger, different brush, and set it by padding all over your face.
Brow Volumizing Gel
Your eyebrows have a tremendous effect on the look of your face. Though most guys have thick eyebrows, they can also be a little messy or even patchy. Find a special eyebrow brush and gel (translucent or colored) that makes your eyebrows thicker and neater.
How to: Brush your brows from bottom to top and then to the side to make them more even. You’ll love the difference, and no, no one will notice.
Since we’re newcomers into this world, my recommendation is that you practice at home until you figure out how to pull off the "no makeup" look. Ask your friends if they can help you out when it comes to choosing the right products for you; always check how it looks in the sunlight; and keep practicing until you feel the empowerment makeup can actually bring.
Cover picture by The Guardian
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