Make-up For Men

While the world of make-up is incredibly female-focused, as a make-up artist you will also be required to apply make-up on men as well.

Photoshoots, runway, film, and theatre – all of these areas will find you working on male faces so it’s important to understand what you’re doing.

While you might be more frequently working on female faces, men’s make-up is actually incredibly simple to do. There are some differences though, and some tricks you ought to keep in mind when you apply.

Make-up For Men2
Image Source

Consider the beard:

Depending on the brief, your male client might need to be anything from clean shaven to fully bearded! More often than not, men are required to have some ‘manly’ stubble as it’s quite fashionable. It’s not a bad idea to keep an electric razor in your kit for this reason. That way, should your model, talent or client turn up for make-up in the morning with a week’s worth of facial hair when they’re supposed to be clean shaven, you’ll be fully prepared.


The prep:

Men’s skin tends to be a little rougher than the average woman’s. Cleanse thoroughly and pay attention to any dryness around the nose and mouth.

Be sure to moisturise all over to give the skin a hit of hydration.

Men’s pores also tend to be larger. Good prep will help with this, however, you might consider a pore minimising primer.

Make-up For Men3

The base:

The trick to mastering the base on men is to understand ‘less is definitely more’. Nine times out of ten your aim to not to make him look like he’s wearing make-up so you need to be sparing with product.

Begin by concealing only the necessary areas – under the eyes, around the nose and any blemishes or imperfections. Make sure this is well blended into the skin. Should your client need further coverage, apply a light layer of foundation to even the complexion. Do not attempt to apply the foundation over stubble should he have any. It will never blend and will be a dead giveaway that he’s wearing make-up.

Use a translucent or loose mineral powder to take out any shine.


The eyes:

Start by brushing the brows into an orderly shape. Fill in any gaps with a light taupe powder but nothing more. If the brows are particularly stubborn, use a good quality gel to hold them in place.

It’s best to avoid eye shadow if possible, but if it is required, stick with matte shades and avoid shimmers.

Curling the lashes will help to open the eyes up and a clear mascara is all that’s necessary.

Make-up For Men4
Image Source

The face:

Contour very lightly to emphasize the features. Consider where this emphasis would be on men in comparison to women. As a rule, you want chiselled cheekbones and a strong looking jaw. This means contouring the jawline into a more square shape.

Generally men’s make-up aims for a ‘healthy tan’ kind of vibe so opt for bronzer. A dusting across the hairline and high points of the face will give a glow. Just be careful the product isn’t overly shimmery!

Should blusher be necessary, keep it within the beige tones with very little pink.


The lips:

Unless you are working in film or theatre, men don’t need to wear lipstick. When possible, use a lip balm as it isn’t overly shiny.


Do you have any tips for make-up on men? Share them in the comments!
Rachel x


Main Image Credit: Jordan and Zack Stenmark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s