Makeup for Men: More Than A Little Powder

I do makeup for men often, except in my profession, it’s called male grooming. From TV talent to political candidates, everyone could use a little help.

“What do guys need for makeup? Just a little powder?”

Ha! Men aren’t perfect. Is this news?! When I do makeup for men, the main goals are the following:

  • Even the skin-correct redness, dark circles, blemishes, razor burn
  • Hydrate lips without adding any sheen
  • Make sure eyebrows aren’t going wild
  • Eliminate shine
  • Even any weird tan lines from wearing hats, sunglasses, etc.
  • Fill in any patchy areas of facial hair where applicable

This post goes out to the man wanting to do his makeup, fellow makeup artists or partners wanting to help a man in their life get camera-ready.

These are the products I rely on to make everyone from male models, political figures and lawyers alike look their very best.


A lot of men aren’t moisturizing unless their skin feels particularly dry. I don’t know anyone who’s skin doesn’t look better when hydrated. Don’t worry; that doesn’t have to mean shiny.

My current favorite hydrating moisturizers are that still have a matte finish are the and .

is the holy grail for matte lip moisture. It’s minty and can be picked up at any drugstore. My husband always has one nearby and I fully support this.


If you’re someone who always has redness in your face, either from rosacea, sun exposure or hereditary factors, a green color corrector can work wonders.

It won’t leave a makeup-look on the skin and you can apply it just like a lotion. It’s basic color theory, but you’ll wonder if it’s magic.


If someone had a long night, or maybe an all-out bender, there will likely be some dark circles to contend with.

Don’t worry about learning to use concealer for this. Instead, use from Colorescience that brightens under eye darkness in a way that doesn’t read “makeup”.

Colorescience Total Eye, $69

As a bonus, it also gives you SPF 35 protection, hydration and the metal applicator is cooling which helps to depuff. It’s basically a 4-in-1. I recommend the medium shade for most.


For blemishes, a concealer will help to cover quickly. Dot right onto the spot and blend by using light patting/dabbing motions with your finger. Use less than you think because this can easier get makeup-looking!


If someone is giving a presentation, in photos or video, everyone wants to look calm and collected without sweat and shine selling you out. If one is rocking the bald head, you probably don’t want that shining too bright either.

Before going hard with powder, I like to start with a clear, mattifying primer like the OG, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. This is especially clutch for bald heads.

For severe sweaters, there is a product you apply before any makeup called Mehron Makeup Skin Prep Pro.

A translucent (i.e. clear) powder is a great instant fix for shine, but I prefer to use blotting papers first.


Messy, out of control brows can look a little mad scientist. A brushed up and outwards will help hair lay flat without depositing any color and as an extra, can be used to tame facial hair too.

If brows are starting to grey, are bleached from the sun or just need a little amping up, I like to use a tinted brow gel. Glossier Boy Brow is my personal fave but the elf Wow Brow is good drugstore option.

If any of the color gets on the skin around your brows, just make sure to wipe that off and you’re golden.

If you want to hear more about the products I use on men and why, the video below will summarize this post for ya.

1 Comment

  1. Narcis

    04/22/2021 at 8:58 AM

    Awesome post Ivy! Very informative and well written🥰

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