Pre-NYFW Men’s: Makeup Tips for Men

New York Fashion Week: Men’s Report

As we head into summer and the men’s fashion week shows, Lisiana Carter offers us an overview on that most taboo of male fashion topics: makeup for men.

Now don’t get all weird. Yes, a lot of men still bridle at the idea of wearing makeup: even though it’s been common practice for decades in stage and screen, and been rocked by “ladies men” from Johnny Depp to Keith Richards to … well, a whole bunch of bad-ass dudes.

But before you reach for that guyliner (and that’s certainly one look to explore), consider that makeup doesn’t have to be about creating a theatrical or flamboyant look. A more even complexion; defined cheekbones; pronounced eyebrows; kissable lips. These are just a few ways to make a subtle impact.

Makeup Tips for Men – Here’s How to Get Started

by Lisiana Carter

Fashion and makeup are not just for women; men shouldn’t be afraid to make the most of these fantastic tools. Men’s makeup doesn’t even have to be all about glitz and glamour, as there are plenty of natural ways of adding a bit of makeup on your face to add to your daily look.

So, as we approach New York Fashion Week: Men’s here are some makeup tips men can utilize when they’re set to look their best.

Starting with the Foundation

The most obvious way to start using male makeup is the foundation. It’s great for beginners because it isn’t anything too flamboyant and it can simply enhance your skin tone and give you more confidence.

Differio Makeup for Men

A good foundation is not supposed to show — it’s just there to cover imperfections and blemishes. Getting yourself a smooth and natural-looking skill will definitely add to your confidence and make you feel like you can conquer the world.

You can see some great examples over at Man Repeller. (There’s also a great Buzzfeed story, but a lot of the pictures no longer work.)


When selecting a foundation, find one that matches your skin tone. You can take a tester and spread it on your neck or the back of your hand. If you can easily spot the foundation, you need to go either darker or lighter. Another good tip for finding the right foundation is to pick water-based foundation. The water-soluble foundation will result in a less patchy finish even if you are out and about all day.

When in doubt, just drop by Sephora — or any makeup counter, really — where you can get a lot of great advice from the people working there.

When applying the foundation, use a brush or a sponge for even application. Make sure your face is clean and that you are wearing a good moisturizer. Applying foundation on dry skin can result in a patchy finish.

While foundation is certainly not just a girl-only thing, one group of men will probably want to skip using a full foundation: bearded men. 

Beards and foundation don’t match, as the foundation will just create an inconsistent look, since you can’t evenly apply it underneath the beard. But don’t worry! You can still use concealer to cover any small spots or imperfections you might have. As with selecting the foundation, you need to find a concealer that matches your skin tone.

There are a few male-specific foundations out there. For example, check out the Differio range. But you can also use any foundation you find in a makeup store — even if it’s not specifically made for males. The key is to just find the right shade and consistency for your skin.

Next, find out about subtly accentuating the cheekbones with a bronzer.

Bobbi Brown bronzer is a great place to start. (You’ll also need a brush. NARS makes a great line of “kabuki” brushes, like the Ita Kabuji Brush, to help accentuate the cheekbones ever-so-subtly. Again, if this is done correctly, no one will actually see you’ve done anything!)

The Eyes Have It

Tired eyes? Do what women have been doing for ages now, and use a concealer, like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Again, if done correctly, it won’t look you’re “wearing” anything. Your eye circles and bags just sort of won’t be there.

if done correctly, it won’t look you’re “wearing” anything

Thicker eyebrows always look great. For that, use an Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil like Dior’s Diorshow Brow Styler. (But again, these are only suggestions. There are hundreds of products to choose from!)

And yes, now it’s guyliner time.

If you want to enhance your eyes and add a bit more drama to your look, you should opt for eyeliner. The makeup product will be more noticeable than the preceding tools, but still look sophisticated and elegant. If you have a little rock star living in you, eyeliner is definitely a must.

The great thing about eyeliner is the versatility. Not only are you able to apply it in different ways to create a different effect, but you can also find it in different colors to go with your look. Black is the most obvious option and it will suit most stylish ensembles. However, brown and navy can be great choices for something a bit different. If you want a lot of drama and attention, go with purple or red eyeliner.

For a classic look that just enhances your eyes, draw a thin line on the top lid, adding a bit more color to the outer edge. If you want, you can also apply a thin line in the lower lid for a more gothic look. For those looking for a playful look, consider cat eyes style or simply make the line a bit thicker.

If you’ve not used eyeliner before you might want to practice with pencil eyeliner. Urban Decay and Artdeco are great for beginners.

Finish it with Luscious Lips

Want to maximize your kissability? Heed these words.

There are plenty of natural options for adding just a layer of lusciousness to your lips without looking like you’ve spent a lot of time adding makeup. Nude lip color or even lip balm might be sufficient to hydrate your skin and give them a lovely dewy look. You can find tons of delicious options from the Body Shop.

lip balm might be sufficient to give lips a lovely dewy look

Another great makeup option for men is lipstick. Again, you really don’t need to go all out with red lips if you don’t want.

In terms of colored lips, men are more suited for darker colors. Soft and light shades can look a bit unflattering, so you definitely want to opt for rich and dark colors. A deep burgundy or a dramatic purple can finish off your evening look in style. Tom Ford has plenty of good lipsticks specifically for men.

The above will help you create a natural makeup style as a man.

If you are more playful, you can add more things such as eye shadows and even cheek stain to your look. When it comes to finding good makeup products, don’t be afraid to shop online and make use of coupon codes like Groupon, etc. Those in the UK can find great deals and discounts from various retailers at VoucherBin.

Now you just need to find your favorite products and practice with the above tips and ideas.

Get ready to look and feel your best.


Lisiana Carter is a renowned independent researcher and is studying the impact of technology in the beauty industry. She is passionate about beauty, makeup, fashion and skincare industry. She holds a Ph.D. in beauty and thereby has been consistently sharing her experience by writing various articles related to makeup, beauty, fashion, and skin care. She has been writing on beauty and skin care related topics from the past 10 years. 

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