Men’s make-up mistakes and how to prevent them

Former Blue Peter presenter and ageing expert Stuart Miles shares his tips for men's make-up


When gay men discovered 'touche eclat' the whole game changed!

Those tired clubbing eyes could be transformed with the wave of a brush and all of a sudden make up wasn't something that just cabin crew and a few department store assistants knew. All men wanted to know the secrets of how to look instantly better without necessarily anyone knowing you had anything on.

Yet whilst some men embrace the make-up thing, others both straight and gay are secretly applying it behind the locked bathroom door. This helps them to keep up the so called masculine illusion that they couldn't possibly be seen wearing make-up.

But the truth is men's make-up is here to stay!

Last year, the chief of L'Oreal here in the UK predicted men's make up counters within five to seven years. In a recent interview, Vismay Sharma, the UK head of L'Oreal said that make-up has become more accepted for men who are part of the 'selfie generation'.

"I think it's just awareness - two things are happening, men know they can use makeup, and they know what it does when you use it," he explains.

For sure the taboos are going and men are prepared to experiment a lot more if it means they look good. However, with experimentation comes casualties and you may well have noticed when out and about some cases of men's make-up gone bad!!

Having worked in television where I was lucky enough to have had someone apply make-up professionally most days I have to confess it's alluring. Once it is on you look bright, healthy and quite frankly hotter!

When it comes off again you are almost let down by what is underneath. All the time it is on you see yourself looking good and it gives you a boost, no matter how bad you are feeling.

Now in my business of helping people to look better as they age, correctly applied make-up can play a big part. It's just a case of learning the rules!

Recently I teamed up with Debbie Storey, celebrity and TV make-up artist, who has worked on shows like the X Factor and is called on by some big-name TV stars. We came up with some tips to help guys who want to use make- up but are only heading for a night out and not Ru Paul's Drag Race!!

Q. What's the best thing to use if you are just looking for some colour in your face but don't want to end up tangoed?

A gradual tan moisturiser works really well as they contain a tiny amount of fake tan that slowly builds up as you apply it each day. You can monitor the colour every day until you have reached a shade that suits you and is not too dark for your underlying skin tone.

Then simply apply every second or third day to maintain the colour and you are always good to go!

Q. What about if you have problem skin and require more coverage?

Debbie recommends using a BB cream which provides the coverage of a light foundation and the hydration of a moisturiser. They are great to cover your uneven skin tone if you are run down and you would barely know you had anything on. She then recommends using a concealer on any problem areas after that.

Don't be too heavy handed when applying it, less is more. It's easy to add but not take away.

Q. How do you choose the right colour creams or concealer.

It is always best when choosing a base colour to go to a make-up counter and get a colour professional to match up. One area they will often test it out on is the back of your hand, here you can see if the colour easily blends with your normal skin tone. If it doesn't then it's wrong!

Don't be afraid to ask advice, if you want a no make-up look then the colour needs to be right. If it's not right then people will be staring at you for all the wrong reasons.

Q. What is the best way to apply under eye concealer?

The best way to apply concealer under your eyes according to Debbie is to use your ring finger and use a gentle pat and roll technique. This technique will allow the product to sit right on the skin. Try not to apply too much pressure in this area as the skin is delicate and can easily be damaged.

Q. What do you think is the biggest mistake when it comes to men wearing make-up?

Debbie says men can be very heavy handed when applying products and so they end up overloading their skin too much. Put bluntly that's where most guys go wrong. Men's make-up is all about making us look healthier when we are not, allowing our skin to look brighter so we look better for our age.

Watching how a professional make-up artist works like Debbie you can see everything is applied lightly and gently using small soft brushes or just the tips of your fingers.

Definitely not a huge dollop of cream rubbed in all over, unless you want to look like a mannequin!

Stuart Miles is the founder of and the UK's leading ageing expert. Follow him on Twitter @Stuart_Miles and Instagram @mrmilesyounger