It’s been a hard day’s night. A 7:00 a.m. cursory glance in the mirror tells you that no amount of cold water on your face is going to transform your dull, gray complexion into anything more acceptable than that of an extra from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
To add to the suffering of that banjo convention going on in your head as you reach for the Advil, P&G recently found that 6 out of 10 hiring managers in the Chicago area said well-groomed managers are more likely to climb up the corporate ladder than those less so. How are you going to look your best today when you feel like death warmed up and your skin is only too keen to show it?
Do what women do: Cheat.
No, not like that. Cheat on your complexion by using a concealer. Don’t shake your head or be too quick to judge. It’s not macho, but with the job market so vulnerable at the moment, you can’t risk something as basic as your appearance getting in the way of your job.
In case you don’t know, concealer is the Invisible Woman of the makeup business. It’s used to hide redness, dark circles and all those signs of a late night. “I have got a lot of guys hooked on concealer,” says Adir Yotam, a makeup artist who works with brands ranging from Nars (very fancy) to Sonia Kashuk at Target.
However, using concealer is a bit of a skill. One thing you do not want to do is get caught with concealer badly applied and sitting on your skin like Pee Wee Herman. Actually, you do not want to be caught — period.
How to pull it off
After washing your skin, apply a light layer of face moisturizer. “Then start with an eye cream and pat it around the eyes,” says Yotam. “This is really important, as otherwise the concealer will end up [in] crevices and will just sit on top of the skin you are trying to disguise.” We like Ole Henriksen Total Truth Eye Creme ($45 at Sephora.com), which thankfully does not tell the total truth of a night of debauchery, but will help repair upset skin. Pat a small dime-sized amount of cream around the eyes and go off and make some strong coffee and get dressed so it has time to absorb into the skin.
About 10 minutes later, take the concealer that you have purchased. “The best concealer for men I have discovered is not from a men’s range, but a unisex one that is used a lot on sets. Make Up For Ever HD Concealer [$28 at Sephora.com] is smooth, lightweight and doesn’t separate or cake into the lines,” says Yotam.
Twist a small amount onto your hand to use as a palette. Then, using your finger, apply to the corner of the eye — not too far in — and pat down toward the cheek bone; blend right around the side and on top so it covers the eyelid. “The key is to blend, blend, blend,” explains Yotam. And if the concealer looks at all cakey, apply a smidgen of eye cream to dilute the effect.
Think this is all un-butch? Find a Hollywood star or a male reporter who doesn’t wear concealer. If you do get caught, just say: “Yes, it’s the concealer that George Clooney uses. Have you seen his ex on Dancing With the Stars? She’s so hot.” And the conversation should move along pretty quickly.
Because who doesn’t want to look like himself — but just a little bit better? Without being found out of course.
Yes, concealer’s a bit of a stretch. But with more and more men using botox and having plastic surgery, we think makeup can’t be far away. We’re not saying you should cake your face in your girlfriend’s products, but it might not be a bad idea if you’ve really got to hide last night’s mistakes from your boss.
By Beatrice Aidin [AskMen]