Get Over It and Get Pretty: Make-Up For Guys

610x3Oh sure, there was always Rob Thomas and his raccoon eyes, but the rise (and acceptance) of male make-up on the very modern model of a trendy metrosexual comes from two unique and opposing faces. In one corner, you have Pete Wentz, proponent of guyliner and super-duper emo action raccoon eyes. In the other, Zac Efron, King of Twinkopia, whose been spotted walking the red carpets wearing fake eyelashes, foundation, blush and lip balm. Whether “mancake” is acceptable for straight guys or not has been the subject of many probing in-depth journalistic exposés, but since we’re gays, we’re just going to skip the hand-wringing and move right on to all the pretty, pretty make-up that’s out there for boys.


If there’s any one single bit of make-up guys can get away with these days, it’s eyeliner. Jack Sparrow does it, as does Russell Brand, Brandon Flowers, Pete Doherty and of course, Mr. Wentz, who recently said, he may be giving the make-up pencil a rest.

Who It’s For:If you want that rock star, hard-partying look without all the late-night effort, look no further than guyliner. There’s a definite emo-punk aesthetic attached to guyliner, so keep your guyliner to events that a rock star could conceivably attend. That is, grocery shopping in eyeliner isn’t ironic, it’s just sort of sad.

Brands for Guys: Pretty much any black eyeliner pencil (color is not an option) will do, but Taxi Cosmetics manufactures a brand called “Guyliner” that is “chunkier than the female equivalent and therefore easier for men, who have bigger hands.”


In much the same territory as guyliner, mascara is meant to make your eyes look dramatic and moody. Again, that means sticking to basic black and thinking you’re a rock star. You can double up and do a guyliner, mascara combo for maximum impact, but be careful not to overdo it or you’ll just look like the victim of a hate crime.

Who It’s for: Men who are not ready for guyliner, but still want to look sensitive and artsy.

Brands for Guys: Studio 5ive offers up a Double Stroke Cream Mascara that promises to glide on smooth without clumps “unlike women’s mascara”, which is funny, because that’s what all women’s mascara promises, too. It comes in a single shade of brown.


At some point or another (namely during your pimply teenage years) you’ve reached for your Mom’s foundation to cover up skin blemishes. Well, there’s a better way to go about doing it than to turn into a human pancake: concealers, designed to conceal. It’s important not to apply concealer to anything that’s – how to put this politely – oozing, since you’ll just wind up looking like a creepy zombie.

Who It’s For: Everyone at some time or another. No reason to allow a date to be ruined because you have a giant red spot on your forehead.

Brands for Guys: The best (and most pedigreed) is Yves St. Laurent’s “Touche Éclat for Men”, part of a whole line YSL makes for guys. At the very least, the pen looks pretty butch.


Zac gets his effortless glow from a bottle, so why shouldn’t you? After a long day at work, getting that sun-kissed look can be nearly impossible and with the sun being a giant ball of cancer, bronzer can help make you look, if not Effron fresh, a bit more youthful.

Who It’s For: Angelenos, or people hoping to look like Angelenos. This goes doubly so if your name happens to be Ryan Seacrest.

Brands for Guys: Clinique Skin Supplies for Men offers up a non-streak bronzer that avoids many of the pitfalls of lesser brands—namely, that orange Oompa-Loompa look. It’s not face cream, though, so be sparing. And always use less than you think you need.

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  • tom



  • myrios123

    Hey, if it makes someone feel better about themselves… sure why not? Zac Efron can do it, but not everyone can pull it off without looking like Malibu Barbie.

  • Chip

    The bronzer is good for your knees in the winter if you wear a kilt.

  • Sebbe

    @Editor – You sooo should have done a before and after by a professional on your face. Don’t be shy.

    Unless your going for a punk rock look, the key is undetectable. LOL

  • sioraiocht

    I will never wear makeup.

    I will also never date someone that wears makeup.

    The end.

  • Darth Paul

    @tom: Really? He’s my goddess.

    Only certain guys can get away w/wearing makeup. Glammy honeys like Patrick Wolf come to mind. Wentz, etc…no way. They just look like watered down versions of 80s hair bands.

  • kevin (not that one)

    @Darth Paul: Thank you! I lived through Poison, Cindarella and Motley Crue already. And before there was a Poison, there was David Bowie and the New York Dolls.

    Some indie queen thinks wearing eyeliner makes him edgy…please.

    Try walking in platform boots and silver spandex.

  • Aaron

    @Darth Paul: Love me some Patrick Wolf!

    Things have changed since I was a kid…I use to wear black nail polish back in high school in my goth days. I had to buy it at Halloween because you couldn’t find it at any other time of the year. Same thing with black lipstick and white face powder. And when I went to the drug store to buy eyeliner, the chashier ladies always looked at me weird. Now YSL has their own line of men’s make-up? Trippy.

  • Whup-Ass Master

    Sorry, there’s no such thing as undetectable man-makeup. If you’re applying mascara before you leave the house you might as well finish the job and put on a cocktail dress. I’d MUCH rather be on a date with a guy who has a pimple than a guy with concealer caked over a pimple. Gross.

  • hardmannyc

    They’ve been pushing man-makeup since the ’60s. It’s never taken.

    As for Efron, it’s ridiculous to single him or Wentz out. Anyone – including politicians, statesmen, scientists – get made up when they’re going to be on TV.

  • Me

    “And when I went to the drug store to buy eyeliner, the chashier ladies always looked at me weird. Now YSL has their own line of men’s make-up?”

    Yeah, when mall rats and emo-poseur bands start to flaunt it, it’s already passe. But thanks anyway for this cutting edge article. As for those lovers of the Efronesque look: check him out in person, and you will probably see a WORLD of difference. What looks like airbrushed perfection on film is egregiously noticeable up-close.

  • sparkle obama

    >>They’ve been pushing man-makeup since the ’60s. It’s never taken.<<

    listen, kittens – cosmetics have improved a *lot* in the past ten years.
    some of you sound a little superstitious about all this.
    any man can wear tinted moisturizer.
    it evens out redness & gives you a healthy, smooth finish.

    laura mercier oil free spf 20 is the very best, followed by smashbox sheer focus.
    it looks like skin, not makeup and it stays in place & does not cake!

    no powder for guys, but you can follow w/a dark, sheer, matte bronzer, if you like.
    lightly applied mascara can by unnoticeable, too.
    use bourgois clubbing in brown or black for no smudges.

    even clear lash conditioner can make you look better.
    i wear clear or clear caramel lipgloss w/no shimmer.

    i look like fuckin Black GI joe, ok?

    cosmetics are lovely!

  • Nick

    I occasionally use Gaultier’s Monsieur line. Good stuff.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @Darth Paul: Yes! Patrick Wolf is one of those men who can totally pull off the glam-drogynous look and make it work for him.

    @kevin (not that one): I wasn’t around for it, but I proudly align myself with the O.G.’s (Original Glamstas). I’ve been a classic glam enthusiast for many, many years. It’s been one of the primary influences on my own music, and though I don’t exhibit the aesthetic much these days, I used to, and I still love me a man who isn’t afraid of some glitter and eyeshadow now and then.

    @sparkle obama: I could have used a friend like you during those aforementioned glam days. For every stunningly fabulicious look I came up with, there were at least four or five missteps to get there. My total lack of knowledge of the available products was a frequent pitfall. Keep on keepin’ on.

  • ajax

    I haven’t left my apartment with an uncurled eyelash since 1984. An occasional, discreet touch of liner in “raisin” pops the green in my eyes. And we all have days when we should not leave the house without a quick smear of bronzer.

    If any of you think there is never a time when your appearance doesn’t need a little help, you’re wrong. Trust me. I’ve sat across from you on the subway or walked right past you in a bar.

  • Whup-Ass Master

    @ajax: “If any of you think there is never a time when your appearance doesn’t need a little help, you’re wrong. Trust me. I’ve sat across from you on the subway or walked right past you in a bar.”

    Next time I meet a curly-lashed dude with raisin-popped green eyes, I’ll run. Fast. What a dismal, toxic thing you are.

  • kevin (not that one)

    Girls, girls, girls….

    You’d be amazed how much better your skin would look if you would just avoid the sun (or wear and reapply plenty of sunscreen) and improve your diet.

    I rarely use moisturizer anymore, and when I do it’s just basic Vaseline Intensive Care. I don’t scrub my face with a washcloth when I wash and when I feel the dead skin accumulating on my face, I gently use a light exfoliating cream. In general, wash my hair every other day and always use a shampoo/conditioner formula. When I can tell it’s getting a build-up, I rinse it out with distilled white vinegar. I make sure that whatever product I use in my hair doesn’t dry it out (gels are the worst!) I recommend Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme.

    As far as diet is concerned, being an ominvore helps with skin problems. Be sure to eat plenty of eggs and cold water fish. Artic cod liver oil used in moderation (it’s fat soluble) is a good supplement to consider and it works wonders for your skin.

    And plenty of water never hurt.

  • kevin (not that one)

    Oh, and it should also be said that being a crackhead, meth mouth, alkie, or chain smoker will destroy your looks quicker than you can say “Oh, Mary!”

    So stay healthy.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    And here I thought all the time, that the “map” on the upper lip of a guy in the “Got milk?” commercials was the ultimate “makeup’ for men?

    Who knew?

  • Ian

    I’ve worn makeup for 2 yrs now and I can tell you it was the best choice I ever made. It took some time to learn how to do it so as to get a natural look, but since I got it down not a day goes by without someone complimenting my skin. I love it. Everyone thinks that I have amazing skin. You should try it, but make sure to have professional help at first because if you don’t you might end up looking like a clown.

  • Whup-Ass Master

    I’m sorry I just can’t drink this kool-aid. If y’all want to tart yourselves up and mince about like geishas, have a holiday. But I happen to like men with laugh lines, faults and foibles. It makes them genuine. And if you wear makeup, guys…”genuine” is something you can never claim to be.

  • Christian

    Makeup is just another way to enhance ones appearance. At a time, when guys are getting extensive plastic surgery, including pec, ass and calf implants, putting on some mascara seems minor to me. And this misogynistic/homophobic idea that wearing makeup makes you a mincing queen is really offensive. Even a minimal sense of history would let you know that men have worn makeup at various times in countless cultures since the first man or woman figured out the powder makes your face less shiny.

  • Nick

    “Next time I meet a curly-lashed dude with raisin-popped green eyes, I’ll run. Fast. [b]What a dismal, toxic thing you are.[/b]”

    A lot of hatred here.

  • Pragmatist

    I don’t have a conceptual problem with men wearing makeup. After all, we do all sorts of other things to enhance our appearance. You can’t get away from the fact that modern men are looks-conscious; the particular stigma on makeup seems arbitrary to me.

    Stigma aside, however, I think visible makeup looks sort of silly on a guy. Like he’s supposed to be on stage or in front of the camera, but… isn’t.

    Myself, I’m only currently willing to go as far as using a lightly tinted moisturizer in the morning. It’s easy, and it helps warm up my pale complexion (which is made paler by wearing SPF 30 every day).

  • picro

    I’m interested as to what you all think about make-up for women?

  • domelbatallia

    it’s not difficult for us to wear a little or ful of make-up.

  • doctamagic

    john varvatos has an awesome mens cosmetics line

  • mrykgirl

    Not just the usual Mary Kay consultant..
    I have great product for skin care as well as glam looks.
    Come shop with me:
    [email protected]

    One recommendation is the primer.. good product


    – Lydia

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