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The 9 Best Makeup Products for Men

Grooming

The best makeup products for men - beyond some of the hype, there are now quality products improving men's confidence in a variety of ways...

Men’s makeup is officially overground and selling fast. Sure, there is still a bit of confusion in terms of marketing – do you try to cover lingering anxiety over ‘femininity’ and macho up your makeup, or do you trust there’s a receptive audience there who don’t need to be patronised? – but in general there is a great spirit of invention often alongside a sincerity about helping men with their self-esteem. No doubt that men worry about their faces as much as they worry about their biceps, and dismantling the taboos around straight masculinity and makeup makes for a very exciting development in men’s grooming…

Note: we are concentrating here on makeup aimed specifically at men; obviously there’s plenty of scope for men to buy and use ‘women’s’ makeup rather than just constrict themselves to what’s specifically ‘for men’. Absolutely no taboo in that, we just wanted to cover this product trend.

01

Menaji Anti-Shine Powder

Menaji tries a little too hard to make things ok for men – “urban camouflage” indeed – when actually they could just play it straight and trust that men don’t need the reassurance. Indeed their products are well established now, as you’d expect from a brand started in 2000 by a US make-up artist, and their Anti-Shine Powder, is a particularly useful 'don’t give a shit what anyone thinks' way to combat shiny faces. Vital for public presentations, video calls, and now, once again, steaming nightclubs crushed with bodies. The sweaty man’s best friend – which counts you out, Prince Andrew. Buy - £21.95.

02

War Paint for Men Concealer

War Paint are eating up this new world of men’s makeup. 'As seen on Dragon’s Den' and now with their own shop on Carnaby Street, they’ve overcome their initial struggles in which they tried a little bit too hard to macho the brand up, and now concentrate on the mental health benefits of the brand. Led by their CEO Daniel Gray, who has managed to articulate men’s anxieties brilliantly in detailing his own struggles with low self-esteem about his appearance, War Paint clearly come from a real place. It’s good to see them doing well. Our pick of their rang is the concealer – one of those products where you try it once and it immediately becomes an essential. Excellent for covering spots, scars, blemishes and every other imperfection that men obsess over, even though we don't necessarily tell people that. Buy - £18  

03

Lab Series BB Tinted Moisturiser

A big favourite of The Book of Man, this is a great protector of the skin, with an SPF of 35, but of course the big draw is the subtle way it tints your skin, blending into your tones and making you look approximately 57% younger every day. It just works, and for those still a little worried about daubing on makeup, is a great entry point. One of those products where you kick yourself for not getting onto it five years earlier... Buy - £38

04

Tom Ford Bronzing Gel

Bronzer is one of those things where you do have to pay for quality. Avoid looking all Kurious Oranj, by using Tom Ford’s Bronzing Gel. It's pricey, but it will last, as it's designed to be used subtly across the face, cheekbones, nose, forehead, to mimic being sun-kissed from an afternoon in the terrace cafes of Rome, even if you’ve spent the summer huddling in the corner of a caravan in Cleethorpes. Buy - £39

05

Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector

We’re getting further into subtle touches here rather than glam rock extravagance, but this ‘Lightweight Skin Smoother’ is a useful tool for those of us whose pores are noticeable from space. I mean, it’s make-up, no doubt, but of the lightest touch, which may well be the best route for daily office use. Buy - £25

06

Shake-up Eye Eye Captain

An under eye concealer by breakthrough brand Shake-Up – founded by twins Shane Carnell-Xu and Jake Xu, born in Beijing but brought up in the UK – with whom there's no 'make-up by stealth'. Instead they are aiming at a new generation of men, explicitly calling out toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes and declaring “a new era in men’s beauty”. Bravo to them, and their vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics, of which this under eye concealer and moisturiser is the star of the show. Buy - £20

07

Void Homme Beard Filler Pencil

As with most of the products here, you don’t need a bloody grooming tutorial to make sense of this stylish product. It does what it says it does: provides a bit of extra volume to patchy beards. Works perfectly. Buy - £10

08

MMUK MAN Men’s Brow Gel

Good for shaping and defining your brows, which is particularly where the trend us at. This is an easy to use gel that comes in a clear formula if you just want to add a bit of gloss and shape, and also tinted varieties if you want to cover grey or add some depth. Worth a bit of experimentation to achieve the look you want and not come out resembling a 70s game show host. Buy - £10

09

Altr London Face Fix

Handy-sized little number designed to smooth out across blemishes, dark circles, and any other weird bits that crop up over the course of a night out. Natural waxes in the formula mean it’s not too sticky nor too shiny, and is just a great confidence boosters – which is of course the major reason to celebrate all of these moves into smashing the taboo of makeup for men. Buy - £19.99

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