Men use beauty products, too. While the stigma about men enjoying skincare and using makeup has started to fade, many still find themselves at a loss trying to navigate the new and complex world of the makeup aisle. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up the basics that men can start with.
Real quick: if you’ve never worn makeup before, don’t panic! While you’re probably aware of what very obvious makeup looks like, you might be less aware that no-makeup looks exist. Yes, you can use makeup to improve your appearance without looking like you’re wearing makeup. We’re going to focus on subtle things you can use, but keep in mind there’s a whole world out there to explore. Also, keep in mind that every face is different, so specific products that work for some people might not work for everyone. Pay attention to what looks good (and feels good) on your face and adapt where needed.
Of all things you can do for your face, moisturizing is probably the best. If you do nothing else, get yourself a moisturizer, preferably with an SPF if you don't also wear sunscreen, and use it often. The kind of moisturizing face cream you get will depend heavily on your type of skin. Sensitive skin might need something with fewer irritating ingredients like plant extracts and fragrance, while oily skin would need a moisturizer that uses less natural oils. (FYI: if you think you're too oily to wear moisturizer, think again. Oily skin is sometimes the most dehydrated, so it over produces oils to keep you skin from drying out. Adding a moisturizer can stop that overproduction.) The good news is that you don’t need to pick a certain color of moisturizer to match your complexion, so you can safely shop on Amazon and buy one that works with your skin.
In addition to a moisturizer, a good exfoliating scrub should be part of your regular routine. As your body creates new skin cells, older cells die and accumulate on the surface. These dead cells can make your skin feel rough, clog your pores, and overall dull the look of your skin. Exfoliating scrubs remove this dead skin, leaving you with healthy, vibrant skin.
Just like moisturizers, which scrub you use (and how often you use it) will depend on your skin type. Sensitive skin can be harmed by exfoliating too often, while thick, oily skin can handle it more often. Lip scrubs also serve a similar purpose, but use a different product. If you have dry or chapped lips, don’t pick the dead skin away, use an exfoliating lip scrub instead.
Maybe you’re not ready to put on a full face of makeup, but there are problem areas you’d like to hide. Dark circles under your eyes. A spot of acne. Maybe even some wrinkles. In this instance, concealers can help. Dab them on certain spots or spread them over your face to blend in with your skin to help disguise any spots you're not happy with. You can find concealers for specific purposes, like this dark circle concealer for under your eyes, or this acne concealer that treats your spots as well as covers them up.
Note that a concealer is designed to match your skin tone, so you’ll want to find one that most closely matches the color of your skin. One major exception, however, is color correcting concealers. Some spots on your skin may be more yellow or red than others. In that case, color concealers can be used to balance out the discoloration using opposite shades on the color wheel. Purple concealers can balance out sallowness, green can be used to balance out redness, and so on.
Eyebrow Pencils (and Some Tweezers)
If you want to see the difference that changing your eyebrows can make, look no further than the difference between Thor’s first and third movies. Some men are born with naturally thick, attractive eyebrows that match their hair, but others (like myself) have thin eyebrows that either don’t match their hair colors, or are too light to see.
The simplest way to fix this is with an eyebrow pencil. You’ll want one with a color that not only plays nice with your skin tone, but that complements your hair color. If, on the other hand, you have overly bushy eyebrows, you might try using a pair of tweezers or even an eyebrow trimmer to scale it back just a bit and make them look neat and tidy.
If “eyeliner for men” immediately conjures the image of Captain Jack Sparrow in your mind, we don't blame you. However, eyeliner can be a lot more subtle than you might think. With a good eyeliner pencil, you can add a little contrast and draw more attention to your eyes. A black eyeliner is a safe bet that works with most complexions, however you can experiment with other colors.
Natural colors can be used to add a highlight without standing out too much from your skin tone, but if you’re feeling more bold you can try other colors to bring a splash of color to your eyes. Just pay attention to how those colors complement both your skin tones as well as the color of your eyes themselves. Colorful eyeliner doesn’t really fit the invisible, natural look—people will definitely know you’re wearing makeup if your eyelids have a teal highlight—but it’s a simple way to ease into more obvious makeup styles.
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