Here’s the truth: I wear makeup. That’s right, health care I’m a guy and I wear makeup. I’m not talking about that pseudo-rebellious, angsty boy raccoon eyeliner, nor am I talking about full-on, noticeable makeup in the gender-bending tradition (that’s just not my thing, no offense intended if it’s yours.) What I’m talking about is makeup that’s meant to improve my visage when it’s, shall we say, less than perfect. I’ve dabbled in wearing some inconspicuous makeup as a way of correcting any perceived flaws for years, and I’ve never been afraid to admit that. Frankly, I’ve always felt that more men could benefit from it, but unfortunately we live in a culture that, for all of the emphasis placed on having a perfect (to the point of unnatural) appearance, has yet to fully embrace men in makeup. Why it’s still considered taboo or un-manly is beyond me. I mean, the male population has learned to groom their eyebrows, get a fake tan and remove every trace of hair off of their body. Are those habits really more butch than dabbing on a little concealer?

When it comes to things like this women have it a bit easier. They’re groomed from an early age to use products meant to enhance their appearance. Everything from anti-aging moisturizers to traceless foundation is marketed almost exclusively to women, and they’re expected to use them. It’s certainly not because women care more about the way they look than men do (lord knows THAT’S not the case), it’s just that women aren’t supposed to hide how much they care. But here at ViralFashion, gender equality is the name of the game, and as such, we’ve put together a guide with the help of our own makeup expert, Jessica DeRosa, to educate the boys. After all, we don’t get the opportunity to learn about it as we go, so who better to ask then someone who knows her stuff?

First things first: if you don’t have a skincare regimen, you should. Daily cleansing, toning and moisturizing is crucial. Furthermore, applying any makeup without properly moisturizing your skin is a no-no. Makeup applied to skin that’s not hydrated will inevitably result in less than beautiful results, and it can often make any blemish you might be trying to disguise even more apparent to anyone looking at you thanks to the ugly, dry, cracked finish it creates. So, Rule Numero Uno – Moisturize.

Rule Number Two: finding the right shade for your skin tone. This may seem like a science, but it’s actually rather simple. The goal when choosing any kind of face makeup is to match it as closely to your natural skin tone as possible. DeRosa recommends testing any products around your jawline, as you want a shade that will blend well with the lighter skin on your face as well as the darker skin of your neck. When testing, opt for products that are about a half-shade darker than your natural skin tone if you can’t get an exact match. Lighter shades are more likely to stand out than blend in.

viral fashion 2011 mens grooming beauty makeup concealer moisturizer cover fx skintint products skincareFor any novices who want to start slowly – and that’s actually the best way to start instead of jumping into something you have little-to-no experience with – DeRosa recommends using a tinted moisturizer as the first step into uncharted territory. The benefits are that, because the product is a moisturizer first and foremost, it’s good for your skin and, because it’s tinted, it acts as something of a foundation, but a light-wearing, not-too-apparent foundation. Also beneficial is that you don’t have to use brushes or sponges to apply – just two sets of fingers – and since it’s not a full-coverage product there’s less risk of overdoing it. Still, that’s not to say you should slather it on like cake frosting, but applying a little too much isn’t going to kill you. One important thing to remember when applying anything to the whole face – do not stop at the jawline. The last thing anybody wants is a clear delineation between where the makeup was and was not applied. Avoid this by dragging the moisturizer down onto the neck as well and blending thoroughly. You’ll be glad you did. Chief among DeRosa’s recommended products is Cover FX’s SkinTint FX Tinted Moisturizer, which combines a light-wearing formula with subtle coverage for a “your skin, but better” look.

If more coverage is what you need, say for a breakout, viral fashion 2011 mens grooming beauty makeup concealer moisturizer cover fx skintint products skincare smashboxdark circles or minor discoloration, you’ll want to invest in a good concealer, which will offer a more opaque finish for any trouble spots. It’s best to steer clear of powders, as there’s too much margin for error, so stick to solid sticks, creams or liquids, like Make Up For Ever’s Full Coverage Concealer and Smashbox’s High Definition Concealer, when attempting to cover any blemishes, dark spots or redness. Both are easy to blend and won’t leave your face looking cakey. If dark circles are the problem, a stick concealer is your best line of defense thanks to their easy application and more substantial texture. NARS Cosmetics’ signature concealer will more than do the trick, offering solid coverage that, again, won’t end up looking piled-on. Keep in mind that with any kind of concealer, proper blending is essential. Trust me when I say that if you don’t thoroughly blend the product into your skin, people will notice it. Again, you don’t need brushes or sponges here, just one of your fingertips (popular knowledge holds that the ring finger is best).

viral fashion 2011 mens grooming beauty makeup concealer moisturizer cover fx skintint products skincareAs a finishing touch, DeRosa suggests using a setting spray like Make Up For Ever’s Mist & Fix. Not only will it keep the makeup in place, it allows you the chance to remove viral fashion 2011 mens grooming beauty makeup concealer moisturizer cover fx skintint products skincare malin+goetzany excess product by gently blotting your face with a tissue. Other products that can be used at the wearer’s discretion include a hydrating lip balm (Malin+Goetz lip moisturizer is a great option), translucent finishing powder (be absolutely sure that it’s completely matte and free of shimmer), and clear brow gel (if your brows are of the unruly sort).

So there you have it, a simple breakdown for easy, practically fool-proof makeup application custom tailored for guys. Each of these products has been thoroughly tested for manliness and they have all passed with flying colors. Use these items correctly, and only your Sephora sales associate will know for sure.

by Justin Friedman