Saturday, August 27, 2011

News flash! Men aren't perfect! But at least they can look it.

This post is inspired by two questions I got from Meredith Jessica and Anonymous. (That may not be his or her real name. I'm just guessing.)
Meredith asked about tips for doing natural makeup on men and Anonymous asked about filling in eyebrows with an alcohol based makeup like Skin Illustrator.
First of all, do male actors need makeup? News flash!  Men aren't perfect.
And people want their movie stars to look good, not real.
On the other hand they don't want to know their actors are wearing makeup. 
So how do you make a man look flawless but appear to have no makeup on?
I always start by making sure they have clean, toned and moisturized skin and that their facial hair is groomed. Often this includes creating a facial hair design that is appropriate for the character. 

Facial hair examples on actors I did on various films.
Standard types of razors in my kit
Recently I have been using tinted moisturizer or airbrushing makeup on men. 
Tinted moisturizers: La Mer, Laura Mercier, Smashbox
For either technique I first spot treat any pimples, discolorations or redness with a concealer like Amazing Concealer, Joe Blasco's special corrective colors, Judith August products or Ben Nye Mellow yellow.
Joe Blasco corrective colors, Amazing concealer,  Ben Nye corrective sticks, Judith August Killer cover
Tip: I leave a bit of natural under eye discoloration because I think it looks masculine and also helps to create a no makeup look. 
Tip: When using a tinted moisturizer stipple over the concealing products instead of pulling back and forth otherwise you can pull them off. 
TIP: To make your own tinted moisturizer simply mix your favorite foundation with a facial moisturizer.

I also really like airbrushing men for a natural look. The trick is to not use too much product. I also personally prefer water based airbrush foundation. If they sweat or it gets wiped off it's easy to reapply without worrying about a line of demarkation. 
A couple of my favorite brands for airbrushing are Graftobian and Dinair.
Examples of Dinair and Graftobian kits. Both companies have a full range of products sold separately as well. 
I use a no color powder to set both the tinted moisturizer or the airbrush makeup. 
Hair grows in weird places as men grow older. Have a tweezer and blunt nose scissors at the ready for wayward hair on ears, in noses, and growing up the neck or back.
TIP: For thick chest, back or leg hair that needs to be thinned use a thinning shear for a natural look.
Thinning shears
Eyebrows should be groomed as well. Trim any long hairs and pluck individual hairs if he has a unibrow. Don't over trim or pluck. It will look too feminine. Leave some hairs between the eyes. 
Older men tend to lose eye brow hair or the hair turns grey. To create a darker or stronger brow try an alcohol based makeup like Reel Color, WM Creations or Skin Illustrator. All of these products are activated with alcohol and last a long time on the face even through sweating. To create individual hairs use an eyeliner brush and for coloring the hairs that are already there apply the product with a disposable mascara wand or spoolie.
Alcohol based/activated makeup. All brands come in a full range of colors for a variety of needs.
Additional Tips:
-Make sure and apply the makeup on ears, back of neck and down front of neck. 
-Don't forget to put makeup on his hands to match his face if needed.

Again, thanks Meredith and Anonymous for your questions. I hope I shared some good tips and advice you can use on any man in your life. 


  1. Wow, I never thought you'd have to go and trim nose hairs! Great post

  2. Wow, thank YOU! This is so informative and helpful, I really appreciate it. I have a photoshoot coming up and it will be my first time working on a male model so I'll be studying this intently.

    Also, this might have been naive of me but I had no idea that you were responsible for shaping the facial hair - that's crazy! Great job though, and I'm always stunned by how many of my favorite movies you've worked on. I've been a fan for so long and not even known it.

  3. Thank you was so helpful. I have a water shoot in the morning with a guy and a girl!!