In today’s world, there is nothing shocking about men wearing makeup. But if I’ve learned one thing from the uber-talented beauty boys on YouTube® and Instagram®, it is that their artistic expression doesn’t easily translate to daily habits for the average guy. So, when Chanel® launched Boy de ChanelTM, the brand’s first foray into the male beauty space, I secretly prayed it would be all I ever wished for – luxuriously inconspicuous.
It doesn’t surprise me that complexion-related insecurities are causing more and more men to be makeup-curious these days. Uneven tone, sallow-looking skin, redness, spots, or acne all contribute to the way we perceive ourselves. Skin insecurities are not gender-dependent, and the power of makeup is not exclusively for those who apply a full face of makeup. The smallest correction or enhancement can impact our self-confidence.
It’s taken me almost forty years to perfect a solid grooming regimen, and a light touch of makeup is a part of that. I cleanse, use acid toner, and moisturize every single day. Is my complexion perfect? Nobody is. That’s why a subtle hint of color makes a world of difference in my routine. Thankfully, the Boy de Chanel collection is perfectly undetectable: there’s your choice of eight foundation shades, four eyebrow pencil colors, and a clear, matte lip balm to elevate that experience with an exquisite real-life filter for a well-groomed look. At the very least (if you’re a night owl like me), you’ll appear to have slept the recommended seven to nine hours the night before.
“Every man is the ideal Boy de Chanel client,” affirms Tyron Machhausen, CHANEL Celebrity Makeup Artist. “It is all about creating the best possible version of oneself.” Not every man, however, is running to a department store to get color-matched. (That’s beauty speak for choosing the right foundation shade.)
Navigating the World of Foundation
Words like finish, coverage, or undertone (all ones you’ll hear as you shop for foundation) come off as a foreign language to most guys. But the most important thing to master when wearing makeup is selecting the right color (and undertone). “Every skin tone is very specific and truly unique in its ration of cool, warm, and neutral undertones,” explains Machhausen. You can find your undertone by simply looking at the veins on your inner wrist — if they appear green, you have warm undertones. If they’re blue, you lean cool, but if they’re a blend of blue and green, you’re likely neutral.
Let the brand associate recommend a couple of shades and ask for samples. “Try it at home in front of a window with lots of natural light, as certain light bulbs can give a yellow or green cast,” he recommends. The perfect match will seemingly “disappear” into your skin when applied, making your complexion look like your skin, but better. If you’re too shy to face the pros at the counter and prefer the anonymity of online shopping, Chanel offers a live chat feature on its website to help you with color and undertone-related questions.
As for the finish and coverage aspects of our vocabulary lesson? The former of Boy de Chanel’s is natural. This means that once applied, your complexion will just look better than it usually does, rather than matte (devoid of any shine at all) or radiant (luminous and possibly shimmery). And though it’s technically labeled foundation, Le TeintTM ($65) provides long-wearing, sheer to light coverage that is reminiscent of tinted moisturizer or BB cream. It evens out the complexion effortlessly and conceals redness but will not hide major blemishes or darker sunspots. The lightweight texture is very guy-friendly, meaning there’s no heavy, mask-like effect from applying Boy de Chanel.
How to Confidently Apply Foundation
Once you have a stylish, navy-hued matte bottle of Boy de Chanel Le Teint of your very own, know that you don’t need any special tools to apply the formula inside. “It’s great to use your fingers,” advises Machhausen, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s the quickest and easiest way to work with the lotion-like consistency of Le Teint. Your fingers also warm up the product and help it literally melt into the skin. Always (and I cannot emphasize that enough) wear moisturizer formulated for your skin type. This non-negotiable step is essential before makeup application as it ensures smooth and lasting results.
To start, dispense a single pump of product onto your fingertips (this is enough to cover my entire face), then apply to the center of the face, blending outward. “Just think of it like you do your moisturizer and massage it into the skin,” suggests Machhausen. “Blending is key to avoid harsh lines on the hair and jawline.” If you are a beginner, he recommends you check your application by a window in natural daylight (just like you did when you were color-matching). This will allow you to see any patches of skin you may have missed when applying or avoid any streakiness by ensuring everything is blended well.
Even better, since the formula includes hydration-boosting hyaluronic acid and Broad Spectrum SPF 25, it actually feels like a skincare-makeup hybrid. For those wondering about fragrance, yes, it does have that “Chanel” smell. It’s floral, slightly fruity, and does not linger. I like it (a lot, actually).
Yes, You Can Wear Foundation – Even If You Have Facial Hair
Now, a word of advice to those with facial hair. (As someone who introduced a stubble situation to his winter look, I am speaking from personal experience.) Since makeup adheres easily to hair, it’s best to stop your application at the beard line. In this instance, it’s helpful to have a blending sponge like one from JUNO & Co.TM ($20 for four) at your disposal. Using a dampened sponge, blend the fluid lightly into your hairline (do that around your beard and temples) to avoid any harsh lines. Machhausen notes that you can use this same trick as a rescue tip for removing foundation from any of your facial hair.
Brow Styling, the Chanel Way
If the foundation isn’t something you’re ready to consider, Boy de Chanel introduces a dual-ended Eyebrow Pencil ($40) in four shades: light brown, grey, deep brown, and black. The retractable end glides on the brow bone and provides a more defined, sharper look for up to eight hours. Use the spiral brush on the opposite ends to groom unruly brow hair.
“It is great to fill in sparse brows or beard,” explains Machhausen. For the most natural and undetected effect, mimic the hair with fine strokes in the direction it grows. That way you create a fuller brow or a perfect-looking stubble. “Never paint your whole brow, instead just fill in the sparse parts,” he advises.
The luxury fiends who seem to have it all will find the Boy de Chanel Lip Balm ($38) one chic accessory. The swivel stick applicator capped with the signature logo is indeed a splurge. And a perfect gift idea for the grooming obsessive in your life. The clear formula is infused with skin-nourishing jojoba oil, shea butter, and vitamin E to comfort and soothe dry lips on contact. It is also completely matte and non-sticky.
Finally, it’s important to know that once you start incorporating makeup into your daily routine, you should introduce an oil-based face cleanser to your grooming regimen, too. (That foaming face wash in your shower will just not cut it.) A balm or oil formula instantly breaks down and melts away the pigments in your cosmetics, acting as a makeup remover and non-drying cleanser in a single step.
I’ve had great success with the Mr. FoxTM Jelly Balm ($68) and Kiehl’s Since 1851® Midnight RecoveryTM Botanical Cleansing Oil ($32), but you could also opt for the full Chanel experience and snag the brand’s L’HuileTM Anti-Pollution Cleansing Oil ($45). These are all bound to remove every trace of the Boy de Chanel foundation and brow tints. After all, luxuriously inconspicuous is my aesthetic — and nothing says that more than a clean, hydrated complexion and a smudge-free pillowcase.