Makeup & Politics

The term out of sight out of mind comes to play when you think about men’s makeup and the media. We do not visibly see makeup on men, but wearing it is something we may or may not really think about until the moment arises. Does this mean men aren’t wearing makeup in front of the camera? Or is it something the makeup artists have mastered? Mens makeup/grooming is an unrecognized area of the cosmetic industry with mentions of celebrity stylist tips from the red carpet. 

In February, I provided makeup for the the GOP Town Hall held in Greenville, SC. It was a very different experience than the usual Beauty Asylum wedding. Now, I get to share with you the necessary steps, products and techniques to master this political scope.



On-location, for the guys, I use Bobbi Brown corrector/concealer and often times the MAC Studiofix Liquid and Powder. I keep the Bobbi Brown BBU Palette handy as well. On one side of the palette I have 20 skin perfecting foundation shades (versatile enough for every skin type). The darker foundation shades can act as a bronzer in areas I need to warm the skin. The other side features 13 shades of corrector and 14 shades of concealer. 

This palette is magic in the palm of your hand, with the emphasis on the corrector. The corrector colors offered in the palette help balance out darkness under the eye. Think of it as a primer, you prime a wall before you paint it the right color, and the corrector does just that. The one product I cannot forget is the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm. It is favorite in my personal collection. This product offers comfort, hydration, and a protective layer all in one swipe. Men need the smallest amount of lip balm in the center working the product out with a q-tip. The idea is to smooth the lip from visible dryness without a glossy effect.

5 Minutes to Showtime

Time is of the essence. Once meeting the candidates, I only had 5 minutes or less to spare before they had to be tv ready. I start by assessing the skin to match the proper foundation with their skin tone. For darker skin tones I look to work with two shades of foundation. I apply the studio fix foundation under the eye initially as this gives me an idea of the amount of coverage I’m going for on the rest of the face. Optionally, I also apply a concealer under the eye but most men do not require this as it would make them look too “ done up”. I continue to apply the foundation all over to even out the skin tone or for darker skin I apply the lighter shade throughout the t-zone and the darker shade frames the face. 

In some cases full coverage of the face with foundation isn’t necessary. In this case I would just use a Bobbi Brown foundation stick in some key areas and blend it out. 

After the face is even and flawless I apply powder making sure to focus on the ears, hairline and eye area. When deciding my powder color I consider the amount of shine. Working powder into the skin naturally darkens and warms into the skin. I usually opt for one shade lighter.

Finally, I apply a small amount of lip balm and give a swift comb through the brow with a clean mascara wand. 

Working with Low-Light

Backstage does not always provide the best lighting situations, as was the case for the GOP Town Hall, so here are a few tips for working with clients in low-light. Often times it is about studying your client before hand and catching them in the right light as they walk in the door. I did not have that fortune in this case as I waited separately for secret service to get me and take me to the candidate while they were already in their room. However, I did study their skin tones beforehand to make sure I had the right colors on hand. Once I see them it’s just a matter of making the correct color choice. The actual application technique doesn’t change. It’s just important to keep in mind that you're applying the makeup for tv and not for the current lighting situation and utilize whatever light you can to make sure the application is even and blends well. If you do have a ring light and the proper space to set it up then that's a great option to travel with as well.

So which GOP candidate do you think traveled with their own stylist?