Some people say “it’s not natural for men to wear makeup,” which I think is hilarious because makeup isn’t natural at all for anyone. I really doubt the first woman was like “hold up Joseph, I need to go to MAC before everyone comes to visit the cave.”
Makeup on men is always a fun topic to talk about, especially in cultures where there’s a strong “masc” and “femme” divide. Despite the taboo some people have of men and makeup, you can easily see men wearing makeup everywhere. These beautiful men, with perfect cheekbones, perfectly bronzed complexions and camera read faces are just as beat as their female counterparts. It’s “weird” for men to wear makeup but we are looking up to these beautiful celebrities who are wearing makeup anytime they making an appearance.
What it comes down to is you do you. You want to wear some eyeliner? Do it! Some foundation to even out your skin tone? You better color match. Want to play with bright eyeshadows? Get a whole palette. I personally like to use BB creams to help even out my complexion. This post will introduce you to the concept of BB creams, highlight western vs Asian BB creams and some tips!
Some basics about BB cream before we get started. BB stands for blemish balm and it’s a creamy but lighter than foundation product that is used to even skin tone, cover minor wrinkles, conceal blemishes and provide SPF protection with a sheer but flawless finish. BB creams also tend to have secondary benefits due to added ingredients that help with anything from moisture retention to brightening the skin.
A handful of western brands have produced their own BB creams, including Garnier, Smashbox and Maybelline. These attempts have produced products that have some differences from the Asian BB creams.
- Western BB Creams: Much lighter, less coverage, more sheer, more moisturizing, heavier and can clog pores easily, can be runny and greasy, but they do offer more shade accommodations with warmer undertones than most Asian BB Creams. Most are just remarketed tinted moisturizers
- Asian BB Creams: Less shade variety and lots of colder/neutral undertones, thicker, creamy, more coverage, usually provides SPF, can have secondary skin care benefits
So as a guy, what kind of BB cream do you want to look for? That answer always goes back to one thing – what does your skin need? There are two finish options, matte and dewy. Dewy is a popular Asian finish that has peaked its head a few times in western looks. It just a healthy glow, slightly moist but not “oily” look.
- Matte: You will want to use matte finish products if you are oily. These creams are usually aimed towards oil control and you won’t have to worry too much about getting shiny throughout the day. A matte finish might not be the best option for drier skin because of its lack of moisture, which can cause it to set into pores and lines while accentuating dry patches of skin.
- Dewy: When it comes to drier skins, dewy finishes will provide moisture and help keep your skin from drying out during the day. While not generally recommended for men, being too dewy or too matte are both possible. Most men’s brand BB creams take this into consideration and will provide creams that fit in that balance. Dewy finishes don’t tend to set, so they have a higher chance of transfer when rubbed.
I have a couple of BB cream sins that I want to share, personal pet peeves if you will. While applicable towards men, they’re really just basic rules for everyone.
- Color match! – This may be difficult when browsing an Asian selection of BB creams since they don’t cover many skin tones, but don’t cave and buy a cream that’s too light. My face is naturally a little lighter than my body because of the constant sunblock, but when your face is multiple shades lighter than your neck it’s just tragic and can make you look sickly.
- There is such a thing as too matte – Generally, it is considered a good thing to be matte. If you aren’t intentionally going for the dewy look then translucent powder becomes your best friend because of it’s ability to absorb oils. For men, matte is considered the way to go. Don’t over do it. If you’re too matte you lose dimension in your face due to the lack of light reflecting and your face ends up looking cakey and dull. Product can also settle into your pores and lines, adding to the cake look. Find a balance and be light handed.
- Don’t rely on the sunscreen of your BB cream – BB creams usually provide some sort of sun protection, but it isn’t the most effective. After the end of the day you’ll usually notice your coverage has rubbed off, which means your SPF has also rubbed off. Always use a dedicated sunscreen, just think of it as insurance for your skin. Just because there is SPF in a product doesn’t mean there is a lot of said SPF available.
- BLEND OUT THOSE LINES! – As one of my best friends once said, “Eugene, I can’t be friends with you anymore if you have lines and unblended spots.” Take a good look in the mirror before you leave your house. Always.
What I Use
I currently use a Tony Moly BB cream called “Get This Guy, Dynamic Fresh BB Cream,” an admittedly funny name. I tend to laugh at most cosmetics branded for men because they try really hard to be “manly,” with funny results. In almost all cases these products are no different from their “women” counterparts other than maybe the use of a different scent and less colors. Skin doesn’t have a gender, so why should your skin care?
That being said, BB creams are somewhat the one exception to the rule because they tend to be more matte and slightly thinner. This allows for a more natural finish that is subtle. I really like my Tony Moly BB cream because it is sheer and light but it definitely has a good amount of coverage that I can layer onto stubborn spots.
This BB cream comes in a decent medium shade that matches my skin tone pretty closely. It is thick like a sunblock with a chalky texture, but it blends in pretty easy. It has decent coverage that helps to correct the redness I usually have around my nose while also hiding irritated spots from pimples.
The cream last a long time for me, giving me a matte finish all day long. By the end of the day my cream does tend to set into some of my creases from my smile line and under eye area, but after 10 hours of running around I think that’s still pretty good.
My favorite thing to do, which I touched on in my “revitalizing tired skin” post, is to mix a drop or two of my propolis ampoule into my BB cream to give a sheer, ever so slightly radiant dewy finish that also provides oil control throughout the day. I feel like this gives me the perfect naturally glowing look.
As far as any other makeup, I don’t really do much else. I know some guys like to use a little eyeliner or eyeshadow, but I’ve never been able to get it right. Guess I’m not very artistic. But if you want to dabble in some BB cream or even some colorful eyeshadow, experiment! Just remember to always wash it off at the end of the night 🙂