Makeup For Men's Acne | Easy & Natural | Gain Confidence (2023)

  • Breaking the Stigma – Men in Makeup
  • My Makeup Journey
  • My Recommended Natural Makeup for Men’s Acne
  • Necessary Tools for Natural Makeup
  • Natural Makeup for Men’s Acne – Video Tutorial

Breaking the Stigma – Men in Makeup

Makeup For Men's Acne | Easy & Natural | Gain Confidence (1)

Can you tell I have acne? If not, it’s because I’m wearing makeup. Before I teach you how to gain confidence with easy and natural-looking makeup, I want to break the stigma about makeup for men.

Makeup For Men's Acne | Easy & Natural | Gain Confidence (2)

My Struggle with Acne

I’ve been struggling with acne ranging from the occasional breakout to full-blown cystic acne since middle school…I’m a college graduate now in a Master’s program STILL with acne. I’ve been to countless dermatologists, tried every acne cream on the market, and I’ve been on Accutane twice…still stuck with acne.

The Acne Rage

I’m listing all this to say I know how infuriating it is to take care of your skin, do everything you’re supposed to, go to the dermatologist as everyone tells you to do, and still be left with acne. Meanwhile, other people don’t wash their faces and have gorgeous, poreless skin! Yes, annoying.

Acne & Self Confidence

While the acne struggle is maddening, I know it also affects your confidence. Having acne always made me feel less confident and not like my true self. How can I walk into a party with a great outfit along with a side of large, red, inflamed bumps all over my face and feel confident? Girls wear makeup to feel more confident, so why can’t we? Hence, the reason for this article: makeup for men’s acne!

Men Do Wear Makeup (You Just Don’t Know)

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Have you ever seen a male celebrity with acne? Maybe in a TMZ picture, but chances are if you’ve seen them on screen they didn’t have acne unless it was an acne commercial. News flash-celebrities get acne too! Why do you think you’ve never seen a male celebrity with acne on your TV or in the movies? It’s because the makeup department covers it!

In an article with Byrdie, professional makeup artist, Afton Williams, told the magazine “men have been getting makeup or ‘grooming’ for as long as there have been cameras,” and finished by saying, “when I tell people that every man on television is wearing makeup, a lot of people have a hard time processing that.”

Imagine James Bond with cystic acne-LOL! If women AND most celebrity men cover their acne, why is it looked so down upon for any man to choose to cover up their acne for self-confidence?

(Video) How to Feel Confident with Acne/on "Bad" Skin Days

My Makeup Journey

My makeup journey started back in high school. I was in musical theater and guess what? They made us wear makeup. On stage, you’d be washed out and look featureless without any makeup. They asked us to fill in our eyebrows and bronze our skin to look tanner/more warm-toned in certain parts. Having acne, I tried different things to cover it. I tried BB creams, foundations, powders, and various products to get my face appearing acne-free.

Over the years, I tried tons of different products and learned how to use makeup to get any look I desired and thus, boost my confidence. I will teach you how to cover your acne, boost your confidence, and get your face looking amazing but natural.

How to Buy Makeup as Men – In-Store Nerves & Il Makiage Online Quiz

Buying makeup as a man is scary. I remember when I first started looking for makeup in drugstores and being super nervous. I would be looking at the makeup sweating and trying to play it off like I was looking for something else. Especially with people walking around, it’s nerve-racking. Instead of buying makeup at stores, why not buy online and skip the nervousness?

Here’s the problem – buying makeup online is VERY hard! There are tons of shades to pick from with some brands having up to 50-60 foundation shades. In addition, it is very hard to match your skin color to the makeup shade online. Not to fret, I have a great hack for you to find your best shade.

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First, Read the Below Steps Carefully. Then, Follow the Below Steps in Order:

  1. The company Il Makiage has a great tool for foundation matching. Take This Online Foundation Quiz to Find Your Perfect Shade.
  2. The first question of the quiz will ask about your skin type (dry, oily, combination, balanced). If you have acne, you most likely have either oily or combination skin. If you are unsure, Read This Article From Eucerin on Skin Type. Select your skin type.
  3. Select “light to medium coverage” (second dot from left)
  4. Select natural coverage.
  5. Follow the rest of the questions up until the question that asks how you apply your current everyday foundation. Select “with a blender/sponge”.
  6. For the skin prep question, select “moisturizer” and “primer”.
  7. Go through and follow the rest of the quiz with your best judgment.

When you finish the quiz, your results should look something like this (these are my results). Save these results for the next section.

My Recommended Natural Makeup for Men’s Acne

As I said above, my recommendation would be to order makeup online to feel more comfortable. You must take the above quiz to be able to find the correct makeup shade for yourself.

1. Moisturizer

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First, wash your face with your favorite product. If you need a suggestion for a face wash, I love the PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash which has Benzoyl Peroxide which helps with acne.

After you wash your face you need to moisturize. My favorite moisturizer that works great with all skin types and pairs great with makeup is CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.


2. Primer

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After you wash your face and moisturize, you need to prime. Primer primes your face for makeup. This e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer helps smooth the skin and prepares it for makeup. Think of it as creating a clean slate for the makeup.

3. Concealer

When talking about makeup for men’s acne, concealer is a key step. Concealer helps to cover the acne and reduce redness. My favorite concealer is Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer.

To Find Your Shade:

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  1. Go to Ulta’s Webpage for the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer.
  2. Click on “New! Find Your Shade”.
  3. For the brand, type “Il Makiage”.
  4. For the product, select the concealer product you got from your Il Makiage quiz above (mine is F*ck I’m Flawless).
  5. Finally, for shade select the shade you got from your Il Makiage quiz results (mine is 2.5).
  6. Now Ulta will tell you your perfect shade for the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. Buy this shade.

You can also buy the concealer here on Amazon.

4. Foundation

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My recommended natural-looking foundation for acne is Milani’s Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation. For a very natural look, some may recommend a skin tint or tinted moisturizer which has much lighter coverage. However, us men with acne need more coverage than that to cover the acne.

Refer Back to Your Shade Match From the Above Quiz (Mine is Woke Up Like This Shade #35):

  1. Go to Milani’s Website.
  2. Click on “Find My Shade”.
  3. For skin type click “acne”.
  4. For coverage select “medium”.
  5. For formulation select “liquid”.
  6. When it asks if you found a foundation with a perfect match before, select “yes”.
  7. For the brand, type “Il Makiage”.
  8. For the product, select the shade name you got from your quiz (mine would be Woke Up Like This).
  9. Finally, select the shade you received from the quiz (mine is #35).
  10. Now Milani will match you and tell you your perfect shade to buy for its 2-in-1 Foundation.

You can buy directly on Milani’s website or Buy Here On Amazon (select the shade that the Milani Find My Shade tool provides you).

5. Powder

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Now you need to set the makeup so it doesn’t move around. Think of it as something to dry down paint so it doesn’t come up (imagine touching a freshly painted wall). This affordable Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Pressed Face Powder Makeup is my go-to. This powder is translucent so it will work with any skin tone.


  • Brightening Powder: I love setting my under eyes with Essence’s Brighten Up! Banana Powder. You can also use the Maybelline Fit Me powder under your eyes, but this Essence product is great for brightening your under eyes, especially if you have any darkness. Again not needed, but great for that extra brightening boost if you have any under-eye darkness.
  • Contour: Contouring makes your bone structure look sharper by adding a shadow to where you add it. For example, if you contour your cheekbones, they will look more chiseled. If you contour your jaw it’ll look sharper. If you contour your forehead it’ll look smaller. This is not necessary, but if you are interested, I would recommend Etude Contour Powder in Shade Creator 01 if you are fair skin, or Shade Inventor 02 if you are more fair-tan skin. I would recommend Black Radiance True Complexion Contour Palette for darker skin tones.

6. Eyebrows

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To groom your eyebrows in a natural way, I recommend NYX Professional Makeup The Brow Glue. It is a clear gel that combs through your brows and holds them in place to make them look less messy.

7. Setting Spray

This is the last and final step! Yay! Setting spray locks in everything you just did and helps prevent any makeup from moving. In addition, the spray will help make the powders and foundation you put on look more skin-like and natural. It helps melt everything together and look non-powdery. Get this e.l.f. Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist.

(Video) Exposing "Makeup For Men"

1. Makeup Sponge

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To apply your foundation, use a makeup sponge. This is the best way to make it look natural. Here’s a cheap option to buy: Foonbe Makeup Sponges, Foundation Blending Beauty Sponge.

2. Makeup Brushes

You will need these to apply the powder and set your under eyes (and to apply contour if you wish).

Makeup For Men's Acne | Easy & Natural | Gain Confidence (12)
  • Daubigny Large Powder Brush: You want a large, fluffy makeup brush to apply your setting powder. This brush is great for that.
  • e.l.f. Highlighting Brush: This brush can be used to highlight or contour your face. I recommend this brush to contour your face, and it’s great for beginning makeup users.
  • essence | Bronzer Brush: This brush by Essence is a great brush to blend everything together, especially to go over contour.

3. A Makeup Case

a. MANSCAPED® The Shed Men’s Premium Quality Toiletry Bag

I love this bag due to its high-quality, the multiple compartments it has inside, its water resistance, and its PU leather. It’s also great for travel! It will fit all of your essential makeup products for acne and can also be used for toiletries. It is on the medium to high-end price point currently on Amazon for just under $30. I personally own this bag and love it!

b. Vorspack Toiletry Bag Hanging Dopp Kit for Men

I also wanted to include this option as an alternative. It is a canvas material but still has a nice leather look with great quality and reviews. It is more reasonable currently on Amazon for just under $17.


Natural Makeup for Men’s Acne – Video Tutorial


Is it OK for guys to wear makeup to cover acne? ›

If you have acne that is widespread across your face, the use of a men's foundation will adequately blanket your skin in natural looking cover-up. However, if it's the odd pimple that pops up or lingering blemish, that won't seem to budge, then a quick application of concealer on its own will nicely do the job.

What makeup covers up pimples and acne? ›

Apply a primer all over to lock in your makeup and prevent your skin from absorbing it. Use a color corrector for zits. Using a color-correcting concealer can cover your pimples. This is usually a green concealer, which is opposite the color of your zit on the color wheel.

Can men wear concealer to cover acne? ›

Men also wear concealer to cover up scars, whether it be from acne, skin grafts, skin trauma or birth marks. As most of these types of imperfections tend to smooth over with the passage of time, it's actually very easy to camouflage them with the use of a cream based concealer.


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