The real man's guide to make-up!

01st November, 2002

Sometimes the stresses and problems of daily life can get to you. Tiredness and the onslaught of time, show on your face in the form of dark circles around the eyes, blemishes, sun spots and broken capillaries. It's easy to think that only a miracle can solve these problems, but there is another option you may not have thought of.... erm, how shall we put it...cough!... m...a...k....e........u...p...!



Before you all run away, dismissing the idea as 'a bit girly' think about it. Firstly, we’re not talking about using makeup to decorate the face (some guy’s may be able to pull of red lippy and blue eye-shadow, but it’s not for most.), we’re talking about using difficult to impossible to detect makeup to conceal unwanted facial blemishes.- in the same way you may dye your hair to conceal those silver-strands. - It’s the same thing but with your face instead of hair.

Secondly, don’t start raiding your girlfriends makeup box for some Rimmel or BeneFit yet! (a) you may get caught and (b) there are now plenty of makeup products designed especially for men by companies like Menaji and Studio5ive.

Okay, lets not call it makeup or cosmetics, that’s off-putting - we want something more manly and exciting. Moisturisers get called balms and exfoliant gets the manly name of scrub , how about we call male makeup - Manpaint or Blemishbuster. Actually, let’s not, they’re rubbish names. Cosmetics will have to do for now, until someone comes up with a decent alternative word.

Most men would be happy to use a cosmetic product to conceal a blemish provided that they can be guaranteed a few things. The largest concern is that it will be detectable, and people will come from miles around to laugh at you. Also a concern is that the product should last and be able to put up with the hazards of daily life, for example, sweating. Most male cosmetics, such as the Menaji Skincare range have been designed to be virtually undetectable, and to stay put, so that you don’t have to worry about a tell-tale flesh coloured splodge on your shirt collar.

Okay, so you’ve bitten the bullet and decided to get some. Sounds good in theory, but what do we do with it and how do we buy it? Let’s face it, girls were out buying and wearing makeup before they could walk, whereas us blokes didn’t tend to go down that route. With the help of male celebrity makeup artist, Michele Probst (left), Basenotes has compiled a few hints and tips to get you going...

Buying the right stuff.

Okay, two things to consider here. Firstly, what products do you need, and how do you know which shades you want?

What products you need is largely up to you. You mainly should consider a compact face powder, a liquid gel bronzer and concealer. As for the shade, test a small amount of product on your nose to match the colour, preferably in natural light rather than artificial light.

Putting the stuff on your face.

  • Step One: Do all the usual skincare/shaving/cleansing/toning thing. If you don’t do this regularly then you are probably trying to run before you can walk by reading this article. If you need to catch up, take a look at our shaving article and skincare article.
  • Step Two: Once you are all cleaned up, it’s time for the fun bit. - Work the skin tone product with the fingertips or a small sponge, warming up the consistency to a nice liquid. Gently tap on the inner part of the under-eye area, just as an eye cream, patting it in until completely covered.
  • Step Three: Work with the remainder of the skin tone on your finger, or re-wipe from your skin tone stick. Work the tone into the sides of the nose if red or irritated, and gently tap and lift on the neck area over any shaving nicks.
  • Step Four: Finish with a powder application using a clean sponge. Work the powder in a downward motion, avoiding hair influx, over the scalp if bald and shiny, and down the forehead and nose area.
  • Step Five: Spray the sport facial tonic or spray over the skin to eliminate a powdery look and have the skin tone take on a second skin appearance.

If you are wary about applying your own 'stuff' it could be worth seeing a professional for your first time - Good luck!

Basenotes would like to thank Michele Probst at Menaji Skincare ( for her assistance in helping to write this feature.


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About the author: Grant Osborne

Grant Osborne is the founder and editor of Basenotes. Grant has two children, and a dependence on tea, haribo and bacon.


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