What a lot of people don’t think about, says Laura Janes, Hourglass Cosmetics’ VP of Global Artistry and Training, is that “men can have beautiful, hydrated skin just like women, and men have skin issues, just like women do.” Beyond having the right skincare and grooming regime, what guys don’t realise is that a little bit of makeup can do wonders for improving the look of your complexion — it doesn’t have to look caked on and obvious. “The guy might have skin imperfections, maybe a blemish, a little bit of redness in his skin, possibly hyper-pigmentation, and these are all the issues women deal with. He wants it to be natural; he doesn’t want to see or feel that he has makeup on,” says Janes.
Where hiding a tube of Tom Ford concealer in your medicine cabinet may have felt like a guilty pleasure before, everyday dudes using makeup is definitely becoming a worldwide trend. Just look at the growing scene at Hourglass Cosmetics’ flagship at Venice, California, where several of the brand’s complexion products and brow tools are proving to be bestsellers among men. There are even guy-only private shopping evenings in the works. “It’s definitely a trend for guys to use makeup, because why not?” says Janes. “The easiest things to fix are under eye dark circles, oil control and humidity control” — issues all women and men face especially in a climate as hot as Hong Kong’s.
Chatting with Janes at a recent Hourglass Cosmetics product launch event, we asked her to share her top tips for guys to achieve better skin through their products. “Let the product do all the work,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be complicated. If they come to the counter we’ll teach them how to do it.”
Featured image credit: Goodluz/iStock
“One of my favourite products is the Vanish Foundation Stick, because it can give you virtually perfect skin within seconds. There’s lots of shades — 26 in total. The idea is that you do little tiny dots and then you blend it out with your fingers (or a brush) and it erases imperfections immediately. I highly recommend the Vanish brush, which gives a seamless finish. With Hourglass, we’re known as the kind of “techie” brand and there’s always some unique technology behind the products that we create. This has twice the pigment — highly intense colour — so you don’t need very much. It also adjusts and blends to the body’s temperature. Buff it into the skin, and it feels like you don’t have anything on.”
Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick and Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush, HK$440 each from Hourglass at Lane Crawford
“Another product I love for men would be Immaculate. It’s targeted for the guy who has oily skin. There’s nothing more aggravating than to have oily skin and you feel like you’re getting a little bit too shiny, or you live in really hot weather like in Hong Kong. It’s in a tube so it’s very user-friendly for travel. You need very little. It goes on like a liquid and it immediately transforms into powder. What men really love about it is that it is absorbing the oil in the skin throughout the day. So you can throw away your blotting papers, you don’t need to touch up, and you feel like you have nothing on but perfect skin. Immaculate is also designed for acne-prone skin, because it’s a treatment-based foundation. It helps with breakouts and acne scarring, and the longer you wear Immaculate, the better your skin.”
Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, HK$540 from Hourglass at Lane Crawford
“We created this product to have a combination of the wax and the powder consistencies. It’s also waterproof. They’re all in natural hair colours — we have it even in a beautiful auburn, for those guys with red hair. For men, they can just fill in sparse areas to give a more symmetrical look to the face, but if they want to sculpt they can sculpt too, to create the brow of choice. If they have a few greys, this covers every hair.”
Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, HK$360 from Hourglass at Lane Crawford
“This award-winning lip oil goes without saying. No one likes chapped lips. It’s gorgeous, it’s 24-karat gold, it’s got 28 essential oils and vitamins and three powerful actives that help to restore shape, volume and hydration. You pull it out of your pocket, do one small press. It has no colour, no fragrance, zero taste. It’s got no beeswax in it, so it’s not a lip balm. It just feels good on the lip. If there’s anything wrong with this, it’s that it’s addicting.”
No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil, HK$440 from Hourglass at Lane Crawford
“My secret weapon is the Ambient Light Correcting Primer — another beautiful complexion product. It comes in three shades: Dim, Mood and Luminous. It’s super lightweight and sheer, used as a first layer of ‘light’ that can blur imperfections — great if he has large pores. You only need a pea-size for a tiny bit of coverage and a little colour correcting. If he has a little bit of sallowness and he wants to get rid of that, use Mood, which is a lavender shade — one of the most forgiving colours on skin and it snaps out any yellowish undertones. If he wants to brighten the under-eye area, I use two products — Ambient in Luminous Light to cover dark circles, and then Vanish Foundation Stick for the finishing touch.”
Ambient Light Correcting Primer, HK$430 from Hourglass at Lane Crawford
“This is one of my favourite tricks: carefully line the upper waterline, make sure to get the inner corner. See how it opens the eye right up. It’s very subtle. This is the 1.5mm, and it’s ophthalmologist-approved, so it’s really safe for your eye — particularly for those who wear contacts.”
1.5mm Mechanical Gel Eye Liner, HK$200 from Hourglass at Lane Crawford