The term "no-makeup makeup" has been coming up a lot lately. If you read the phrase and think, But that literally doesn't make any sense...? you're not alone.
Here's the dealio: "No-makeup makeup" is a beauty technique people use to give their face the natural appearance of looking like they're not wearing makeup even though they are, in fact, wearing makeup.
It's supposed to be invisible. And while plenty of people have mastered the look, some people (typically men) are very confused about what makeup actually looks like.
Because ~enhancing~ your look is something EVERYONE can benefit from, we asked some men in our office to try wearing "no-makeup makeup."
This isn't about getting a dramatic makeover; it's about feeling different in your own skin when you've put more effort into your appearance.
We made things easy: just concealer and tinted moisturizer —nothing too fancy.
Now for the applications!
First up was Kevin, who's never worn makeup before. His biggest concern was hyperpigmentation underneath his eyes.
Kevin's thoughts: "I'd totally wear makeup again. I don't think I'd ever contour or anything, but I'd definitely use some under eye concealer to get rid of the 'black eye.'"
"I took a lot more selfies throughout the day, ha. But I was kind of nervous when I got on the subway to go home because I was wondering whether other people could tell I was wearing makeup."
Here's a closer look at the difference in Kevin's eyes:
Brian used to wear makeup to mask his vitiligo but recently stopped covering up his skin. "I shouldn't have to hide something that is so a part of me," Brian said. Jerry focused on giving his skin a glow and covering up dark circles.
Brian's thoughts: "I love this sort of makeup. It's not necessarily about covering up anything, but more about enhancing my face. I liked the way I looked fresher, and not as hungover as I felt."
"Men should understand that they can wear makeup. It is a tool that can be used to enhance how you look, get rid of those dark circles from stress or no sleep, or just brighten up your face. You can wear makeup to make you feel better about how you are presenting yourself to those around you. Makeup should be for everyone."
James had worn makeup before, but never a full face. His main concern was spot coverage of blemishes.
James' thoughts: "With makeup on, I looked at myself a little differently and carried myself in a more 'I got this' way."
"I was certainly a little more confident, and no one could tell I had it on!"
Bryant had never before had makeup applied by a professional. His main concern was evening out redness.
Bryant's thoughts: "The makeup accentuated my post-vacation glow and it definitely made me feel more confident throughout the day. Everyone kept complimenting me."
"I like that my blemishes were hidden, and I like how he made my nose and lips pop out more. I would definitely wear makeup again, but I gotta step up my blending game, haha."
Taylor doesn't wear any makeup on a regular basis, but he does do a lot of eyebrow grooming.
Taylor's thoughts: "I literally could not stop looking at myself in every reflection that I passed. I haven't gotten in the sun that much this year so it felt nice to have a little glow."
"Men have insecurities too, so if we want to transform our face a bit to feel better about our appearance, why not?"
Jon-Michael wears tinted moisturizer on a regular basis, but not much else.
Jon-Michael's thoughts: "The biggest change was the shift in my anxiety and the direction of my self-confidence: I went from worrying about my complexion and blemishes to worrying people would notice I was wearing makeup."
"It was a complex experience. I’ve never been incredibly confident about my skin’s appearance, so on the one hand, the makeup gave me confidence: My skin was flaw-free. But on the other hand, I was incredibly self-conscious wondering if other people could notice my made-up skin. Looking back, the experience reminds me of something psychologists call the spotlight effect: We think more people notice something about us — be it a pimple on your forehead or a face covered in makeup — than they actually do."
For anyone who wants to wear just a little bit of makeup, here are Jerry's best tips:
Special thanks to Laura Mercier cosmetics.