Men’s grooming is booming. According to Statista, the global male grooming market will be worth more than $81 billion by 2024. Whether you’re already using products and looking for what’s next or starting from scratch, you’ve come to the right place for tips and input from celebrity groomers Melissa DeZarate and Eric Williams.
Face the basics
“Every man should have a daily skincare routine in place,” says Williams, who’s worked with designer Marc Jacobs. De Zarate, who grooms Billy Porter and Ben Platt, says the staples for a routine include “a good cleanser, a gentle exfoliator, an eye cream, a daytime moisturizer with SPF and a nighttime moisturizer.” She says it’s important to “build the habit of skincare,” especially for those who are new to using products.
Check out these five basics:
Good Genes can be applied on top of Luna Sleeping Night Oil and before your moisturizer. Oily or combination skin may not even need to moisturize.
Eye Cream: Dabbing product around your eye area will help “reduce dark circles and puffiness,” says Williams. Try Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream, which boasts effective-yet-gentle natural ingredients to brighten the eye area instantaneously. One such ingredient is caffeine, which firms the area and minimizes the baggy look that under-eyes are prone to.
Nighttime Moisturizer: The skin repairs itself while you sleep, so giving it a helping hand with a retinoid-infused product helps combat dullness and signs of aging. Introduce your skin to retinoids (basically a topical form of vitamin A) with Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil. Put a few drops on your fingertips, then rub onto clean skin. And ta-da: Freshly hydrated, younger-looking skin when you wake up.
“Once you’re comfortable using the main five,” says DeZarate of the above staples, “Then you can add in serums and masks,” designed to suit your specific needs, along with beard oil and melanoma-blocking lip balm.
Serum: In a nutshell, serums are made of tiny molecules that can penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers to be extra effective instead of moisturizers that sit near the skin’s surface. There are serums designed for any skin type and need, from redness relief to defying dullness. Where to start? Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum fights signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles) and improves elasticity and firmness (bye-bye sagging). Plus, it’s suitable for all skin types, from sensitive to oily and everything in between. Apply serum on cleansed skin before applying a moisturizer.
Face Oils: These are hydration powerhouses that lock in moisture and prevent the body from having to produce more of its own oil to hydrate the skin. (Often, when the skin lacks oil, breakouts occur, so don’t worry, oils don’t cause breakouts, they can actually help prevent them.) Using an antioxidant-rich oil like Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil — which has cult-fave status among users — helps with the appearance of fine lines and elasticity. Use in place of a moisturizer. Another bonus of face oils is that they can be used as beard oil for hydrating facial hair.
Masks: Whether it’s a sheet mask that you lay on your face, a thick clay-based mud mask, or a basic white creamy lotion, the purpose is the same: Improve skin health. There are masks for acne-prone skin (Sunday Riley’s Saturn Sulfur Spot Treatment Mask treats breakouts and can be used as an effective pimple spot treatment); masks for dehydrated skin (they will infuse skin with hydrating hyaluronic acid); and masks to improve skin tone and brightness (expect them to remove dead cells and impurities gently).
Discoloration or blemishes can be covered in a few simple swipes thanks to the plethora of men’s makeup now available. As Williams says, “In my experience, most men are apprehensive about heavy products and just want minimal makeup with healthy, glowing skin.” The three products to focus on for even skin tone are a concealer, a tinted moisturizer and a gel bronzer.
Concealer: Dab a small amount of this pigmented product to cover blemishes and dark under-eye circles. Williams recommends Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Concealer, available in 20 shades, which “goes on very light and is easy to apply and blend.” Chanel’s Boy Concealer is sweat-proof, making it excellent for staying put all day, and is available in eight shades. To cover and treat pimples during the day, try It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Breakouts, available in seven shades.
Tinted Moisturizer: The beauty of a tinted moisturizer is that it provides a bit of moisture to the face (not usually enough for dry skin types, however) and offers just enough coverage to even out the skin tone without being visible like a heavy foundation. Try Stryx Tinted Moisturizer by adding a small dot to the forehead, the cheeks, the nose and chin. Blend it in with your fingers or a sponge.
Bronzer: To add a bit of warm glow to fair-to-medium complexions, try Clinique Face Gelee, a lightweight, oil-free bronzer that’s easy to apply. Squeeze out a tiny smudge that you swipe across the forehead and blend well so you can’t see any lines. Add a bit to cheeks as needed, but remember to use it sparingly while you get the hang of it and see how you look in natural light.
Sponge: A sponge, like that from Warpaint for Men, helps soften any visible makeup lines and absorbs excess product. You can use a sponge after each step (concealer, tinted moisturizer, bronzer) or at the end to blend everything around the edges. Run the sponge’s pointy end around the edges of the nose, where the product can sometimes accumulate.
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