Apply Makeup to Look More Masculine

If you're a man, you may want to apply makeup to enhance your natural features. You may also be exploring a new gender identity or in the process of transitioning. Whatever your reasons, there are many ways makeup can be used to enhance masculinity. Starting out, there is little difference between masculine and feminine makeup. You start with a basic foundation and coverup. From there, however, you would reduce shine and contour in ways to enhance masculine features. You can also apply makeup to your eyes, eyebrows, and facial hair to make you appear more masculine.


Applying the Basics

  1. Apply a layer of beauty balm. This will smooth out your skin and conceal some blemishes and discolorations. You should use balm over foundation. Foundation will make it obvious you're wearing makeup. Balm will smooth out your features, prepping your face for makeup, without making the fact you're wearing makeup obvious.[1]
    • Use your index finger to dab dots of beauty balm around your face. Focus on areas in which your skin is uneven.
    • Use a fluff brush or your fingers to blend the balm into your skin. Use circular motions and keep blending until the foundation looks natural. You should not see any obvious lines or marks on your face.
  2. Cover up blemishes with concealer. Focus on areas prone to acne, like the chin and forehead, as well as under your eyes. You can use your fingers to apply concealer. You can also use the wand that came with the package.[1]
    • As with the foundation, work the concealer into your skin with circular motions. You can use your fingers, a brush, or a makeup sponge.
    • Keep blending until the concealer looks natural. It should blend into your foundation and skin tone. There should not be any lines on your face.
  3. Use a powder to reduce shine. After applying foundation and concealer, your makeup will not appear that different than feminine makeup. You should take steps to reduce the shiny appearance left by foundation and cover up. Makeup powder should be dabbed across your face to dull the appearance of your foundational makeup.[1]
    • Choose a powder foundation that matches your natural skin tone. Dab the foundation over your face using a large brush.
    • Target the areas on your face that are the shiniest. Your cheeks and cheekbones, for example, may be shiny after applying cream foundation and cover up.
  4. Contour around your face. Men tend to have more angular features. You can create this affect by using a darker shade of highlighter or foundation to create the illusion of shadows around your cheekbones, jaw, and forehead. Use a small contouring brush to apply the makeup.[2]
    • Start with your cheekbones. Suck in your cheeks and draw a dark line running down your cheekbones. Draw another line tracing your chin and lower jawline. This will create a sharper, more masculine facial structure.
    • Draw a slight l-shape on both your temples. Then, on your forehead, shade a triangular shape on both sides of the forehead. Draw the triangle just above the arch of each eyebrow.
    • Use a light powder to blend the contour shades throughout your face. It should not be obvious you're wearing makeup. Use a large brush and circular motions to blend.
  5. Shade around your nose to make it look bigger. Men tend to have larger and more defined noses. Using a dark foundation or highlighter, you can shade around your nose to make it more prominent. Use a large brush to apply.[2]
    • Shade both sides of the nose. This will also darken the area. Men tend not to wear foundation, so areas of the face usually look darker. Make sure to shade under the tip of your nose, as well as the sides of each nostril.
    • Shade the area where your nose meets your brow bone. This create the appearance of a shadow under the eyebrow. This is important, as men tend to have more prominent fore brows.

Refining Your Eyes

  1. Use makeup to make your eyes smaller. Men tend to have eyes that are smaller in appearance. Therefore, you want to make your eyes look smaller with the use of makeup. To do so, use a concealer lighter than your skin tone under your eyes.[1]
    • Use your fingers to apply the concealer right under your eyes. Apply in an arch that follows along your lower eyelid.
    • Keep working the concealer in until it blends naturally with your skin. When you're done, your eyes should look slightly smaller.
  2. Treat your eyebrows. Male eyebrows tend to be bushier than female eyebrows. They also tend to lack shape. While female eyebrows are arched slightly, male eyebrows may be thicker and more furrowed. You can use makeup to fill in gaps in your eyebrows and shape them in a more masculine style.[1][3]
    • Use an eyebrow powder that matches your natural brow color. Use a small brush to start applying the makeup. Start applying powder at the end of your eyebrow nearest your nose.
    • Fill in any gaps in your eyebrow hair to make them look thicker. As you work your way across your eyebrows, apply the makeup in a straight line. Work against the natural curve of your brow. Blend the makeup in a way that makes your eyebrow appear straighter.
  3. Use a subtle eyeliner. You can enhance your eyes a bit with eyeliner. This will call attention to your masculine looking eyes and brows. However, use a subtle shade. A dark, noticeable shade may look more feminine.[4]
    • Apply the eyeliner right at your lash line. Go for a brown or chocolate brown shade.
    • Select a powder-based liner. This will be less noticeable than other liners, while also defining your eyes.

Enhancing Facial Hair

  1. Choose an eyebrow powder that matches your facial hair. You can use eyebrow powder on your existing facial hair to make it look thicker and scruffier. Stop by a local drugstore or makeup store. Look for an eyebrow powder that matches the color of your natural facial hair.[5]
    • You may have to experiment with several different types of eyebrow powder before finding one that looks natural on you.
  2. Apply the powder over your existing facial hair. Use a small angled brush. Dip it into the eyebrow powder. Then, apply the powder over your existing facial hair.[5]
    • Use circular motions to dust the powder over your facial hair. Give particular attention to areas where there are gaps in facial hair.
    • Keep in mind, this will not work as well if your facial hair is just growing in. You want to wait until your stubble is fairly noticeable before attempting this.
  3. Make sure to blend out the makeup. Otherwise, your makeup will look unnatural. Blend the makeup into your neck and cheeks so the color fades gradually. A dramatic change in color or texture will make it obvious you're wearing makeup.[5]


  • It may take several tries before your makeup looks natural. Do not get discouraged. It takes practice to apply makeup properly.

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Sources and Citations

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