Who says men can't use makeup and other beauty products marketed toward women? With the help of some nice people at a local makeup store (and my girlfriend), I found some items that even the manliest of men can use discreetly and comfortably. Trust me, the only thing people will notice is how good you look.
Nothing looks worse than a bunch of crusty, flaky skin on your face. No, don't pick at it. And don't drench your skin in lotion hoping it will make it go away. That skin is dead and needs to be removed! Exfoliating scrubs will do the trick so your moisturizers will actually do something. A good scrub also gives your skin a nice glow to counteract any dullness in your skin tone.
I tried two exfoliating scrubs, both primarily made with natural ingredients. For my face, I used Fresh Sugar Face Polish that's a mix of brown sugar and strawberry seeds (it smells good enough to eat). For my lips, I went with Bite's Agave Sugar Lip Scrub. They're both pretty similar, so you could probably get away with having just one really good exfoliating scrub. Wash your face, use the scrub, wash it off.
Facial Moisturizer and Lip Balm
Dudes, moisturize your face. It's scientifically proven that moisturizers make your skin look better and help it do a better job serving as a barrier to the outside world. Moisturize at least once a day, but make it twice a day if you're more active or spend a lot of time outdoors. I have pretty fair skin, so I use a moisturizer that includes broad spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen as well, like Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer with Sunscreen. And after you use a lip scrub to get rid of all that dead skin, don't forget to use a good moisturizing lip balm that will make sure your lips stay looking nice.
Primer or Finishing Powder
If you tend to have a shiny face, or your moisturizer seems to amp up the shininess for you, a primer can help even you out. This magical liquid smoothes out your skin and reduces shininess by giving your skin a matte finish. It also reduces the appearance of pores if they tend to draw too much attention. I went with Smashbox's super popular Photo Finish Foundation Primer and it works pretty great. Apply to your T-zone and anywhere else that needs a little evening out.
Translucent finishing powder is similar to primer in how it gives your skin a matte finish, hides pores, and reduces shininess. The downside is that it can be the most visible of the products here if you're not careful. Over-powdering will make it apparent that you're wearing makeup, especially if you have facial hair. I gave Riri's Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder a go and it was fine and light. Could barely tell I'd put any on.
I first learned about the magic of colour corrector on Netflix's new version of Queer Eye. Grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness recommended something called a "green stick" to help improve the skin tone of one of the shows makeover subjects. This man had harsh red undertones in his skin, and a little green colour corrector reduced the redness drastically. I also have red undertones in my skin, so I gave Sephora's store brand of green colour corrector a try and it helped even my skin out quite a bit.
If you don't have red undertones, yellow colour corrector can help hide purple or other darker tones on tan skin, orange hides dark spits on dark skin tones, peach hides blue or purple on light tan skin, lavender hides yellow tones, and pink hides blue tones on fair skin. Talk to someone at a makeup store if you're not sure what your skin tones are. When you've got the right colour, lightly apply anywhere you have tones that need to be evened out, like under your eyes or around your nose, then blend with your finger or a pad.
Concealer is the most makeup-y item on this list. It completely hides your blemishes, evens out dark circles under your eyes, and gives your skin tone an even finish in areas where your colouring is a little different. The hard part is identifying your skin tone to a specific brand's colouring options. There's only one way to do that and it involves going into the store and trying them all out on the back of your hand.
I eventually landed on Kat Von D's Lock-it Concealer Creme because it's not too thick, it lasts a long time, and it doesn't act like paint and crease (making it obvious that you're wearing concealer). It did a bang up job of hiding one of my blemishes. You just apply a tiny bit, then use your finger to gently blend.