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Subtle Feminine Make Up For Men

Updated on January 26, 2010
This man is wearing make up, can you tell?
This man is wearing make up, can you tell?

My recent article, You Men and Your Panties, asked my readers why they were so interested in feminine clothing yet apparently not so interested in make up and hair, which are two very important facets of feminine appearance.

Many men responded that they are interested in make up, but find it difficult to apply, and once applied, difficult to hide. This makes sense, however there are ways around these problems. The first thing you have to remember when applying make up is that well applied make up should make it look as if you are not wearing any at all.

Think of celebrities you know who look natural, odds are, if you saw them without make up, you'd be briefly horrified at how they look. It is very possible to wear make up without being obvious about it.

Don't Use:

Stay away from blusher. Blusher is very rarely used correctly, even amongst women. The Kardashians are a perfect example of blusher gone wrong. On any given episode, Kris, Khloe, Kourtney and Kim look as if they've had blusher applied with a roller. My advice for men is not to bother with it at all. Also stay away from eye shadow, glitter products, or anything colored if you want your make up to be undetectable.


Brown Mascara

Mascara is easy to apply, and if you use a brown color rather than a black one, you'll find that the results are much more natural looking and hard to detect. Most people make the mistake of using black mascara and applying it willy nilly, which will make for a very dramatic appearance. Using brown mascara on your upper eyelashes only will give you a dash of femininity that will be difficult to pin point.


Foundation is what gives some women that lovely clear looking complexion. Now, depending on your age, skin tone, and stubble factor, you may be able to sucessfully use foundation. The secret in choosing a foundation is choosing one that closely matches the natural color of your skin. The inside of your forearm is often regarded as being the best place to test foundation color. Mineral foundations brush on lightly and may be easier for men to use than liquid or powder foundations that tend to clog up in pores and sometimes crack.

I would also advise beginners to purchase some all in one mineral make up, you know, the stuff that you are supposed to be able to brush on your legs or your face or wherever you want it. If applied sparingly, this is usually a very subtle product that will give you a lift without looking overtly feminine.

Lipstick / Gloss

Easy to apply, but hard to hide. If you are looking for subtle lips, then I would recommend simply using a lip balm. It won't gloss or color your lips overly much, but it comes with all the fun of applying lipstick without the stigma.


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    • profile image

      Mandy (aka) Andrew 

      8 years ago

      Your thoughts on mascara are interesting, I wonder if you wouldn't mind and/or consider expounding on that specificially, as before I even entertained thoughts on wearing panties (thought I wanted to) I took a local hair stylist's advice and let her wax my brows as she said it would 'accentuate my eyes'. I just loathe trying to remove it, especially anything waterproof, as I end up with large dark smudges under my eyes in worst case, and random flecks that out me otherwise, save I spend half an hour picking them (and more than a few lashes) out.


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I found that the best beginning point for me with make up was Olay - Moisturize with a Touch of Foundation. I is easy to blend on edges so I don't have that mask look. As for the edges, if you have grey hair, blend carefully or you will have flesh toned hair (LOL)

      A word about mascara, when it gets old it clumps and doesn't look very natural which can be a dead give away. So buy a new contained every few weeks even if you have some left over.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the make up hints. I wear a small amount of eye shadow, mascara and concealer everyday.

      I have a problem with my mascara flaking and I have to make several trips to the restroom everyday just to ensure that I don't have dark circles under my eyes where my mascara has failed.

      I can't wait to try the brown mascara you suggested in an attempt to elliviate my problem.

      Thanks again Hope.

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      8 years ago

      Dena, make up is supposed to enhance features, not be the star of the show. If it is totally obvious that you're wearing make up, that's where the clown look that so many men (and women) dread starts to come in.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Why wear it if you can not see it? When I wear makeup guy mode or just me being me, I want it to enhance my beauty and not disappear.

    • lainie_xo profile image


      8 years ago

      Dear Hope,

      I have just started to wear a little make-up in male mode and it does add that subtle touch of femininity without being stark staring obvious. I think a good quality toning moisturizer (to help even skin tone)from Neutrogena, Olay etc. is a good morning regimen before applying foundation, and other make-up. Also a good to moisturize before bed.

      I haven't yet worn mascara or eyeliner in male mode, perhaps I will try a brown mascara on the upper lid. I will say that I have been using a product that promotes eyelash and eyebrow growth. This is not an advert in any way, but this stuff (Rapidlash) really works for me. I tried it initially to help my eyebrows out, but also used on my lashes and they are growing like crazy. When I use mascara my lashes are awesome. so even without mascara the longer lashes have given me a more feminine look.

      I do put a plumping lip gloss on sometimes, but what I do is wipe it off before I leave my car. It leaves the plumping action with just a hint of color.

      Thank you again for all of your tips. I'll let you know if I start wearing a little more make-up in male mode.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello Hope, wow what an informative article, there's so much to take in and not much time to practice. I shall look out for the all in one mineral sets, I'm not sure if you can get this in England. Strangely make up and wigs are the items I feel most akward about discussing with my wife yet you can talk about things quite naturally, very refreshing. Do you have any advice on wig selection ie colour,hair length etc

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      8 years ago

      I've noticed that brands for all in one mineral make up vary wildly from country to country but are probably all, at the end of the day, about the same thing. I'd advise asking at the cosmetics counter for a quality all in one mineral make up.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the tips on makeup. Your thoughts are ALWAYS helpful. I will check our your suggestions. Are there any brand names that come to mind when shopping for mineral foundation or the "all in one" mineral makeup? As far as getting "lessons" I have had some luck in going to Merrill Norman, but unless you really specify what you want they tend to overdo things a bit.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      For guys who are interested in make up but don't know where to begin: My wife and I went to the Clinique counter in a local mall and I got an excellent beginner's tutorial on foundation, mascara, concealer, blush, and eyeshadow. The factory-rep who was there took a lot of time and helped find the right shade to match my skin. Note also that Clinique make a line of eye colors that are very natural - flesh tones and browns - that are perfect for a no-makeup look. Indeed, I think their trade name is "almost makeup."

      Give them a try!


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