Essential Grooming
Essential Grooming
Photo: Ed Ross
Alex LaMarsh

By Alex LaMarsh

Since many of my clients are athletes and male talent, I get a lot of questions about the essentials of a male grooming kit and the steps needed to achieve flawless looks for men. I find that many artists either use too much product or not enough when working with men; guys need a little something to look camera ready, but it’s a fine line to walk. Here I’ll go over the steps needed to achieve a perfectly groomed look, along with a few of the items needed to get there.

First thing’s first: Prep! No matter whom your client is, if you prep properly you will need less make-up in the long run and your subject won’t even look like he’s wearing make-up. When it comes to prepping the skin, the first step is to apply moisturizer. The best products for this will even out skin tone while adding a hefty amount of moisture to the skin, leaving it dewy and fresh. I frequently use anti-aging serums as moisturizers, and one of my favorite products is jeune d’ âge serum. Apply in a downward motion to the entire face and neck with a sponge or foundation brush.

Next, apply your favorite oil-blocking product to the T-zone to help keep shine at bay. My product of choice of the few available on the market is OC Eight Professional Mattifying Gel, which is dermatologist created and helps control oil for eight hours. Usually I find a sponge most helpful in applying this product, as you can use it to soak up any excess by running it back over the T-zone afterward.

Third, apply your mattifying gel of choice through the T-zone and over the apples of the cheeks. I prefer to use a brush to apply mattifying gel because it smoothes the product evenly and pushes off any excess. For this step I like Benefit’s POREfessional. It has a tint to it which helps even out skin of all colors while filling in fine lines and pores. OC Eight (used in the previous step) helps block oil production itself, while mattifying gel minimizes the appearance of pores and allows for a slight healthy dewiness to the skin without shine.

Next, add your favorite concealer with a brush. Hit under the eyes as needed with a light coat and blend with your fingers. Make sure to touch up any little blemishes you find along the way, taking care to blend the concealer in well. My favorite concealer for men is Boi-ing by Benefit, which comes in five shades that are also great for contouring if necessary.

Next, groom the brows with a spoolie and set with brow gel or hair spray. Always brush up and away from the eyes to create a look of alertness. Many artists prefer clear mascara, but I find that it leaves brows looking crispy, which is never good.  My favorite brow-grooming product is Speed Brow by Benefit because of its matte finish and added tint to enhance the color of the brow while lending that natural, untouched look.

As a finishing touch, apply your favorite matte-finish lip balm. I recommend something natural like Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm to moisturize without leaving the lips looking glossy.

Always remember that when approaching men's grooming, less is more. Just refine the look by adding subtle details that will add to the overall image of your male talent.

Photos: Allen Chu