Ask VMV, Skin

World Traveler Skincare: Top 9 Travel Skincare TipsFeatured

Ever gotten off a plane thinking, I wonder if my epidermis is in baggage claim? Or put mentholated vaginal wash on a rash after desperately trying (and failing) to navigate a pharmacy in a foreign country? What about an epic breakout the night before a big meeting or your best friend’s beach wedding? Skincare can’t be suspended just because you’re not at home. We asked the most peripatetic people we knew…how do you keep skin happy when traveling? Holly Byerly, Senior Esthetician and Brand Educator for VMV Hypoallegenics put together these 9 top skincare and beauty tips to help keep your skin in ship shape throughout your journey.

1. Passport. Phone. Regimen.

Pack your essentials. “It’s important to maintain your routine. Travel with the products that work well for you instead of making do with hotel amenities or nothing at all. Even a week away from your regular skin care can make you regret it.” This means keeping up your daily sunscreen, too!
Holly packs SuperSkin Care Hydra Balance Smart Cleanser, Hydra Balance Cleansing Scrub and Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer, plus Know-It-Oil, The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm and Armada Face Cover 30 sunscreen.

2. Pre-Flight: Go Lightly.

Head to your flight with a clean and freshly hydrated face, free of foundation and powder.
If you feel too naked, opt for a few dabs of Skin-The-Buff Concealer, a Sheer Lip Tint and Ooh-La-Lash! Mascara.

3. Dress Code: Flexible-Smart-Comfortable.

Dress so you can relax but not be disheveled. Being put together upon arrival helps you look peppier than you might actually feel. Light, wrinkle-free fabrics can help you sleep better and prevent lines in skin, which can get particularly deep as our extremities swell mid flight. Leggings are a great option — besides being super comfortable and easy to dress up or down, they prevent the edges of your pants from coming into contact with bathroom floors. Keep a sweater handy for temperature fluctuations. A dressier jacket in your hand carried luggage instantly makes you look more structured (and gives you more pockets!).

4. The Only 8 Makeup Items You’ll Ever Need For Travel

I like to travel with as little as possible. With these mega-multitaskers, I can do just that!
#1 & 2: Skin-The-Bluff Concealers in No More Blues (the yellow is fundamental to camouflage tired undereyes!) and N1 (my shade).
#2: Antioxidant Powder Foundation. I like the flexibility: one product for light, medium or heavy coverage.
#3: (H)Eyebrow Eye + Brow Liner. Again, one product for brows and liner…even shadowing!
#4: Skin Bloom Blush in Bellini. I use this always-flattering-all-year shade not only as my cheek color, but also as an eyeshadow. It really wakes up tired skin and eyes!
#5: Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo. This earthy duo works well with (H)Eyebrow & Bellini for, you guessed, it, multiple options (see a trend here?)
#6 & 7: Sheer Lip Tint in Bubblegum and Velvet Matte Lipstick in Light My Fire (because who can travel with just one lipstick??). I mix a bit of Boo-Boo Balm with Light My Fire for a less intense color in the daytime, and use it by itself for a more dramatic nighttime look.
#8: Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara. This buildable, smear-proof formula is the traveler’s dream.

5. Soar! Not, SORE…

Especially on flights longer than 6 hours, make sure your carry-on has a couple of basic hydration boosters. Mid-way through, take a moment to cleanse and rehydrate your skin. I suggest mini sizes of your SuperSkin Care Cleanser, Know-It-Oil, and Boo-Boo Balm for an in-flight skin quench.

6. Healthy Hydration

Travel with an empty water bottle and refill frequently to make sure you drink plenty of water during your flight. This is especially true for kids who need even more hydration than we do.
Avoid sugary juices or sodas, coffee and alcohol — stick to water or soda water to keep your body and skin as hydrated as possible. This is important for the flight as well as post-flight recovery.

7. Bye-Bye, Boo-Boo’s!

Nicks, cracking skin, dry insides of nostrils…if you have to pack ONE thing, it’s The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm.
KID TIP: Make kids “captains” of specific tasks (“you’re the water captain” or “you’re the Boo-Boo Balm captain”). This builds their self esteem, makes them feel like part of the adventure (instead of like extra luggage), keeps them focused and can be surprisingly helpful!

8. Post-Flight Skincare:

When you have a moment to yourself, cleanse your skin and apply an easy-to-mix hydrating mask:
Pour equal parts Know-It-Oil and the SuperSkin Care Moisturizer for your skin type into a glass or bowl. Apply onto skin. Leave on for 20 minutes or overnight for a more intense skin treatment.

9. Jump start recovery:

You’d be amazed at what 60 minutes can “dew.”
One facial or spa treatment can mean instant refreshment and recovery. Traveling to San Francisco? Call (415) 255 9510 to book a facial or spa treatment with Holly at Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics. Or call (212) 217 2762 to get your “dew” at our VMV Skin-Specialist Boutique in Soho if the big apple’s on your itinerary!
While we may not be able to control the weather, the lines or baggage handling, we can take command of our own smooth sailing!

Press, Skin

Wondering If You Need A Makeup Remover? You Do.

Because what goes on, must come off, and makeup removers do that faster and more completely than just cleansing. 

Why is this even important?

1) Makeup Isn’t Sleepwear

Some makeup (like Skintelligent Beauty) may be safer and more skin-loving than others that contain allergens and comedogens, but all makeup has to come off at the end of the day. Sleep is when your brain and body recover. Give your skin the same opportunity. Your skin uses this downtime to enjoy hours without exposure to dirt, pollution, other potential triggers and anything it doesn’t need. Your skin really benefits from the anti-inflammatory goodness of sleep, too. Let your skin rest. If you want to give your skin extra T.L.C., the only thing that should be on it is a moisturizer or treatment cream made for overnight use. The freshly cleansed surface and opened-up pores can enhance the absorption of humectants and actives, so your skin wakes looking and feeling healthier than when you went to bed!

2) Hygiene

Which part of your body is most exposed to the world? Your face! Your hands come into contact with germs and potential allergens most directly through touching and handling, but your face is almost always uncovered, getting the brunt of pollution and other airborne chemicals from dust, to pollen and fragrances. You also touch your face quite a bit, meaning there’s more transfer of “stuff” from your hands to your face than you might realize.
When you get home, in your normal bedtime routine of getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and brushing your teeth, chances are that you’ve washed your hands. For most of us, washing hands after using the toilet or before food preparation or brushing your teeth is second nature (if it isn’t, that’s a separate discussion altogether). But because you don’t handle things with your face, it tends to get forgotten. And it really shouldn’t be. If you haven’t washed your face, you’re taking everything that it was exposed to throughout the day (including what your hands transferred to it), to bed with you.
Give that thought some time to sink in. Your face is getting all the smog, bacteria, and more, pressed into it for hours. Even if you don’t sleep with your face pressed up against anything, your entire day will be sitting on your skin for hours. That’s six or more hours of undisturbed absorption of ick. Which also means hours and hours of stuff on your face that can clog your pores or cause allergic or irritant reactions. And that brings us to…

3) Sensitivity and Acne

Washing your face before going to bed should be as much of a habit as brushing your teeth. If you just don’t have the time or energy for that, at the very least take your makeup off. Either followed by a cleanser or used alone, a makeup remover gets your skin cleaner and is gentler on your skin than repetitive, excessing scrubbing.
Cleansing, even with our popular cream cleansers and scrubs, won’t completely remove makeup, especially if you’ve got a lot on. Using a makeup remover before cleansing makes sure you get all your makeup — and the topmost layer of the day’s grime — completely off your skin. Doing so reduces overall cleansing time, which can be a blessing for dry, sensitive skin.

Caution: some makeup removing wipes contain MCI/MI (methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone), the top allergen behind the reactions to baby wipes that went viral few years ago. If you have acne-prone skin, avoid makeup removers (especially oils) that are comedogenic. And if you have sensitive skin, look out for other common allergens in the formulation, such as fragrances, dyes, and preservatives.
On the flip side, and allergen-free makeup remover can function as skincare beyond simple makeup removal. Our Skintelligent Beauty Makeup Removers are favorites among TV/stage performers and beauty editors alike for their efficacy (even with very heavy professional makeup), gentleness (even with frequent use), and skin-enhancing benefits such as acne-fighting monolaurin and deeply moisturizing organic virgin coconut oil.


Makeup Isn't Sleepwear: Let Your Skin Rest & RecoverFeatured

Some makeup may be safer and more skin-loving than others that contain allergens and comedogens, but ALL makeup has to come off at the end of the day.
The obvious reasons, we already know: keeping makeup on overnight is keeping your entire day on overnight. For sensitive skin, increased exposure to anything can increase the risk of a flare, or of developing an irritant or allergic reaction. For acne-prone skin, leaving “stuff” on means more chances of clogging pores.
What might be less obvious is that sleep itself benefits your skin, too, and it’s best to let sleep do its important work without any distractions or hurdles. Sleep is when your brain and body recover. Give your skin the same opportunity.
Your skin uses this downtime to enjoy hours without exposure to dirt, pollution, other potential triggers, and anything it doesn’t need. In “sleep mode,” your skin (as your brain and body do) attempts to repair cellular damage from the day. Your skin benefits from the anti-inflammatory goodness of sleep, too. Let your skin rest.
If you want to give your skin extra T.L.C., the only thing that should be on it is a product made for overnight use. The skin’s freshly-cleansed surface and opened-up pores can enhance the absorption of humectants and actives, so your skin wakes looking and feeling healthier than when you went to bed!

Beauty, Skin, Uncategorized

Lip Service: 8 Ways To Pamper Your PoutFeatured

Did you know lip care is skin care?

Like the rest of your skin, your lips have a stratum corneum (the skin’s outermost layer) — but this protective layer is thinner on lips than on any other skin on your body. Combine that with a lack of oil glands (lips rely on saliva for moisture), absence of melanin (your skin’s natural pigment and protection against UV rays), and you’ve got one sensitive organ.
Your skincare just isn’t complete without lip care. Here are 8 ways to pamper your pout:

Beauty, Brand Ambassadors, Healthy Living, Skin, Skinthusiasm

Jess Arnaudin, Green Beauty and Travel WriterFeatured

Jess Arnaudin

Green Beauty and Travel Writer
New York, NY

Jess Arnaudin is an expert skin therapist, makeup artist, beauty writer and adventure seeker on a mission to examine beauty beyond boundaries. Jess combines her 6+ years of experience within New York City’s spa industry with an insatiable curiosity to find the best eco-beauty experiences around the world and share them with YOU! Join Jess on her #beautyadventure and find out firsthand why travel is so incredibly important for your skin and your soul!
Contact Jess for a spa session, or your bridal or special-event makeup.

Follow Jess for eco-conscious skin, beauty and healthy living tips now on JessArnaudin.com!


“Gorgeous training today with the @vmvhypoallergenics team — lots of laughs & good energy all around. Thank you, @ccvr3 @lauraatvmv @vmvhypoallergenics! #hypoallergenic #hypoallergenicmakeup #skinsafe #fragrancefree #highlight #contour #training #makeup”

“It’s a #superfood kind of morning! Berries are sky high in vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) which is the key to #collagen production! It’s also vital in repairing skin’s barrier function. Grab a handful of fresh berries & join me in this colorful carnival of vitamin C! ? (Bowl from @Anthropologie) #powerfood #beautyfood #morningessentials #greenbeauty #vitaminc”
“Matcha energy balls ???Thanks @bysaber & @glowleanrecipes for the inspiration! I made substitutions: (strawberry & honey filling instead of raspberry, and added coconut shavings to matcha powder for coating) and love the result. Best when eaten frozen / chilled! #matcha #matchamadness #energyfood #glutenfree #greentea #greenteapowder #glowlean #coconut #strawberry #cleaneating #skinhealth #caffeine #happysunday #sundayfunday” Instagram-AxisArtistry-MachaBalls-June2015-20150711
Good Living…
“January 15th. Half-way through the first month of the year. How go your resolutions? Every day is a new chance! Take a deep breath. Smile. And start again! Mine is spending more time with a gratitude journal. Totally changes my perspective! #attitudeofgratitude #gratitudejournal #resolutions #pulsecheck #accountability #newbeginning #newopportunity #dreambig #workhard #givethanks #greenbeauty”
“Sending love & light today! We all need a little healing sometimes. ✌️Speak life. Speak love. See light. #gratitude #mindovermatter #love #light #life #healing #energy #peace #mindovermatter #positivevibes”

Get skinspired!

Our Brand Ambassadors inspire their community with their artistry, spirit, guidance and goodness. 

Artists, athletes, makeup artists, and more who love what we “dew” as much as we love their contributions to the world.

At VMV HYPOALLERGENICS, we support Brand Ambassadors who spread goodness and “skinside-out” health.
Meet more of our Brand Ambassadors VMV Hypoallergenics Brand Ambassadors!


The Best Virgin Coconut Oil Should Smell Like…Nothing?Featured

For many people, part of the allure of coconut oil is its characteristic odor, reminiscent of a tropical paradise and festive, delicious food. But as a general rule, the stronger the scent of a coconut oil, the less pure it is. This is not necessarily a bad thing: coconut oil is so good for you that even impure oils are better than most! But for skin and hair care — particularly for very sensitive or atopic skins, or medically-managed skin conditions — organic, first-cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is the most hypoallergenic.

The Nose Knows.

When virgin coconut oil is harvested quickly, using no heat or chemicals, there is hardly any odor. This method, however, is more expensive as it is slower and less efficient. Heating, the addition of chemicals, and/or other methods of processing, are faster and get more of the oil…but do result in a less-pure oil with a strong scent.
Getting into the chemistry a bit (a very tiny bit, we promise): the natural scent of VCO is due to the presence of lactones. Not all lactones are allergens, and the lactones in VCO are not among those in the sesquiterpene lactone mix (a common allergen and a standard in patch test trays). Still, heating results in an increase in lactones, which is why unheated VCO is safer.

Still…Not All Odorless Coconut Oils Are For Skin

Another type of coconut oil that has little to no scent is RBD (Refined, Bleached, Deodorized) — which, while scentless, is not recommended for skin.
In RBD coconut oil, deodorization is done by vaporization: high heat and pressure to steam off the smell. This completely masks the inherent odor of the raw material, as well as the smell from the outdoor sun or smoke-drying of the older meat. This is because RBD is made from copra or coconut meat that is dried via sun exposure (such as on the sides of roads and highways). The resulting scent is quite strong and can affect cooking, which is a primary purpose of RBD coconut oils. Hence the need to Refine, Bleach and Deodorize copra oil by both pressure and with chemicals: RBD makes the taste of coconut cooking oils more bland/generic, which allows it to be used for a wider range of dishes.
While less ideal than virgin coconut oil, RBD oil is still healthier than corn and other vegetable oils for cooking. Still, while without scent, this treated RBD oil is an irritant and should not be used on the skin.

So, As Long As the Label Says “Virgin Coconut Oil” and The Oil Doesn’t Have a Strong Smell, It’s The Right Oil for Skin, Yes?

Maybe…maybe not. Like so many substances (including honey and wine), when the market learns that a particular quality or certain characteristics fetch a higher price, some manufacturers take advantage and try to fake the desired quality or characteristics using other methods.
Some manufacturers pack and label RBD oils as “virgin coconut oil” for application on skin and/or as an ingredient for topical products. Being scentless and labeled “virgin” is not, therefore, a guarantee that you are actually getting virgin coconut oil.
On the other hand, some VCOs are heat-treated. Heat-treated VCO is, strictly speaking, still “virgin” but it does have a stronger smell. Therefore, a mild scent is not a guarantee either.
Furthermore, adulteration does occur, such as when other oils are mixed into coconut oil or virgin coconut oil to try to recreate the scentless cold-manual product without the costlier cold-manual processing. Because it is now more known that the mildest smell is one sign of no heat and less processing, and because of the higher price that this increasingly popular oil in its purest/least processed form fetches, there now are manufacturers who adulterate VCO with cheaper oils that are refined and have no smell (such as corn or soybean) to lessen the heated coconut oil’s inherent scent.
A better guarantee of purity is if the product is certified organic. The USDA and other country’s organic certifiers have clear regulations regarding organicity and manufacturers/farms are regularly, physically audited by the certifier.

How Hypoallergenic Is Coconut Oil?

A review of medical literature has yet to show reactions reported to organic, unheated, cold-and-first pressed virgin coconut oil.
There are some reports of reactions to RBD coconut oils and some coconut oils processed with allergens (such as with added flavoring or fragrance, or stored in vats with such allergens), but not to pure VCO.
Some reported reactions to RBD coconut oil may also be due to how the oil might be mixed or heated or otherwise processed or stored in vats which are also used for storing or mixing other oils that are allergenic (such as lavender) or other ingredients that are allergens (such as fragrance mixes).
VMV’s virgin coconut oil is certified-organic (important to confirm the absence of fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, additives, etc. used in inorganic farming methods), as well as cold-and-first-pressed (why there is no smell). It is prepared within hours of optimum age (the longer a coconut stays out in the sun and heat, the more important antioxidants and phytochemicals are lost, and the more lactones are released). It is pressed entirely manually, without centrifuge, heat or additives, and is stored in vats exclusively used by VMV. As we own the farm, oversee its organic certification, and control the unheated-manual processing, as well as its storage and transport, we can confirm that our VCO never comes into contact with allergens. One of our published studies on it was specifically on its use for atopic skin, and we have since received no reported reactions since its introduction.


1. Santos JER, Villain BJ, Soza AR, Dayrit FM. Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Virgin Coconut Oil and their Sensory Atrtibutes. December 2011. Philippine Journal of Science 140(2).
2. J. S. PaiS. S. Lomanno W. W. Nawar. Effect of heat treatments on the volatile composition of coconut oil. J Americ Oil Chemists’ Society April 1979, 56(4):494-497.

Beauty, Skin

Makeup Hack: Anti-Aging "Tan" with Virgin Coconut Oil!

This Gorgeous Anti-Aging Tan Is Made In The Shade!

There is just no upside to tanning. It leads to skin cancer (deadly) or leathery, wrinkly photo-aging (mummification). This virgin coconut oil-rich bronzing technique lets you channel Raquel Welch circa “One Million Years B.C.” … without looking one million years old.

What you need:

  1. Tarte-à-Tan Antioxidant Bronzing “Coco” Powder
  2. Know-It-Oil or Oil’s Well virgin coconut oil
  3. Small bowl or saucer.
  4. Nail file or hard, thin spatula

“Dew” It:

Using your nail file or thin spatula, scrape about ¼ teaspoon of Tarte-à-Tan Antioxidant Bronzing “Coco” Powder into a small bowl or saucer.

Add virgin coconut oil (Know-It-Oil or Oil’s Well) in the same amount you’d use on your face and body.

Stir, then spread on like a lotion, starting with legs, then torso and arms. The leftover oil on your hands is the perfect amount for your face.

Feel like you need more glow on the face?

  • Dust on some more Tarte-à-Tan (How To Apply Bronzer) and add a warm blush (Skin Bloom Blush in Bellini is an all-time favorite with a tan).
  • Want to kick the shimmer up even more? Add Skin Bloom Blush in Luminous strategically (Hypoallergenic Strobing).

Blow-dry and/or complete the rest of your makeup before getting dressed — because virgin coconut oil’s fatty acids are native to skin, it sets quickly (and even if it stains clothing it usually washes out easily).

That’s it! Your anti-aging tan is complete!


Instead of wiping off the little leftover oil, scrunch up the ends of your hair for a leave-in conditioning treatment. Or gently pat your hair to help tame fly-aways!

Beauty, Skin

Why Is Coconut Oil So Great at Removing Makeup?Featured

We already know that virgin coconut oil — specifically pure, organic (not RBD, or Refined, Bleached, Deodorized) VCO — is a godsend for very sensitive or reacting skin. But why is it so good at removing makeup?

First, Less Removes More:

You need less of it to remove a lot of makeup…even heavy performance makeup intended to survive dance and other physical exertions under hot stage lights. The oil’s molecules bond to dirt and makeup very well, which explains why it’s so good at clearing so quickly. This is important for sensitive skin because repetitive rubbing or excessive cleansing can increase the risk of a reaction.

Second, Organic VCO is Non-Allergenic:

While there have been some reports of reactions to RBD coconut oil, or oils with allergens and additives, there are no reports of reactions to pure, organic, cold-pressed VCO.

Third, It’s Non-Comedogenic:

Old reports of coconut oil causing acne were from rabbit-ear tests, that have since been repeatedly repudiated by newer clinical studies on people and with actual use.

Fourth, It Heals As It Cleans:

As it cleans your face, VCO gifts your skin with so much goodness, chief among them, soothing, deep, intensive moisturization and anti-inflammatory care.

Brand Ambassadors, Family Blog, Skin

Skinthusiast Mariza Hourani: My Life Has Been a Fairytale :)

Did you know that most VMV Hypoallergenics models are family members, good friends, work colleagues and real fans of the brand?

Meet Mariza Hourani, a Lebanese-British-Spanish-Philippine stunner who’s also my longtime bootcamp trainer’s daughter. Her dad’s seen me balloon through pregnancies and work myself to a purple-faced mess to get fit again. He trained my dad through his recovery from stem cell transplants and chemo, and still trains my energizer-bunny of a mother in her 70s. Mariza’s mother is one of the nicest, most creative women I know and does pretty much all my kids’ birthday parties plus crazy-good, crazy-healthy eggplant salads and hummus.

We’ve been friends, is what I’m saying, and I’ve been witness — often through stories shared mid bootcamp (usually when her dad’s trying to distract me from my lack of oxygen) — to Mariza’s growing up.

Mariza was also my now-3yo son’s first crush. The photo below shows him at a few months old clinging to her. Seriously, this continued a good, long time. He refused to be removed from this happy hugging. And who can blame him?


LAURA: Your dad’s punished me for years and I still remember our first workouts. When did you first “meet” VMV?

MARIZA: VMV has been a part of my life since I was a kid as I had very sensitive skin growing up and most other brands didn’t have anything hypoallergenic! I used to have the worst lip problems — I couldn’t even smile without them bleeding. Without VMV, I really don’t know how different my life would be.

L: Ouch (the bleeding) but nice to hear (that we could help 🙂 What are your biggest skin concerns or skin goals?

M: As a  model, I’m always concerned about my complexion. I do have to be in makeup quite a lot so it’s the biggest relief to be able to use VMV products that don’t make me break out! I think my biggest skin goal would be to stay as youthful as can be for as long as possible. My career kind of depends on it, ha ha!

L: We can help there, too, I’m sure. Which VMV products do you use?

….. What don’t I use?

L: Ok, which would you consider your faves?

M: I’m white as a snowball. It’s so bad that I’ve used the lightest shades of other makeup lines as BRONZERS. That being said, hands down my favorites are the Skin Savvy Foundation and Illuminants Powder — you actually have my shade!!

L: What do you like about this very bare, very natural look for spring?

M: I’ll correct you right now and point out that I not only like it, I LOVE IT. So many people have the wrong idea about makeup; it’s not supposed to cover up your features, it’s supposed to enhance them. That’s exactly what this look is all about. I feel so preeeeetty

L: I stand happily corrected. And for days when a bare look just won’t cut it, what makeup looks get you jazzed?

M: I’ve always been into the pin-up look. Sexy, classy and timeless all in one.

L: Taking note of that for a future shoot. How would you describe your personal style?

M: Can we skip this question? #identitycrisis

L: Wait till you’re in your 40s. How do you keep as fit as you are?

M: I’m fit?? Hahaha! I try my best to get a jog in whenever I’m not busy with work 🙂

L: What’s your favorite activity to keep healthy?

M: Sleeping. Hands down. You’d be suprised how crucial things like this actually are until you’ve been deprived of them.

L: Totally agree with you. Didn’t think of sleep as an activity until my first experience with a newborn. What’s it like having a trainer for a dad?

M: I would be nowhere in my career without him. He’s been my biggest supporter and closest friend. Friends fight, A LOT, but it’s nothing a few burpees won’t fix.

L: Your dad and those #)*$& burpees. What was it like growing up in your family?

My life has been a fairytale 🙂

L: Those words, just like that, are what I’d love to hear my kids say some day.


Mariza is a model and freelance writer. 



Laura is the CEO of VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister and husband (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about learning, literature, art, health, science, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness and goodness.

Beauty, Skin

Man MakeupFeatured

Grooming is in. I like the term grooming because I think that men are more likely to be open to “grooming” than to makeup. Makeup can seem like it’s for women only, and that it would be awkward to wear. I see this a lot on shoots with men who try to avoid “the makeup chair.” Grooming, on the other hand, is basic care. Brushing your hair, washing your face, even wearing a well-pressed shirt is “grooming.” And that’s how most makeup for men works. It helps hide what you want to hide, so that you look like you, just neater and more polished, well rested, and energized.


Me, with model Karl Kramer


With Manny V. Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT-SMART, the largest telecommunications and digital services company in the Philippines.

A lot of people think that putting makeup on a woman is harder than putting a makeup on a man. But I find applying makeup on men more difficult because you need to make sure that they look natural — their makeup often needs to look like no makeup at all. As a makeup artist, I find that achieving this is highly dependent on using the right products.

Karl Kramer | Patrick Henry, stylist | Dauson Bermtay, designer | Chester Veloso, photographer

Some of the products that I use for grooming are concealer/correctors, foundation, powder, blush, contour kit, eyebrow products and lipstick. Choosing the right products is really tricky because, for the most part, makeup that isn’t obviously makeup works best. I also usually consider the effect of the products on the skin (I don’t want to harm my client’s or the model’s skin, so as much as possible, I choose products that are hypoallergenic). Even the shade of the lipstick is really important. Men are really particular about that.

Actor, endorser, influencer Teejay Marquez | Patrick Henry, stylist | Dave Arden, associate stylist | Meanne Santos-Ong, wardrobe | Chester Veloso, photographer

So, guys…what are you waiting for? There is no harm in trying makeup if it helps boost your confidence. Many of the newer formulations are so good for your skin and lips that they really are more about grooming than anything else. You can say with all honesty that the great new concealer you’re using to hide the dark circles under your eyes is actually just a cream…that happens to do a great job at making you look less tired!

Our recommendations for makeup for men:

Skintangible “BBBB Cream” (BB But Better): Basically a multi-benefit, oil-free skin cream that’s so barely tinted, it almost disappears into the skin but leaves the complexion evened out and brighter. It’s got an anti-acne ingredient, anti-aging antioxidants, and it’s SPF 30, too. Quick tip: smooth skin is a better base for any makeup. Check out our 1635 Gentle Men’s (Therapeutic) Shaving products that double as skincare.
Skin-The-Bluff Concealer: Choose the green color, “Red Alert,” to cancel out redness, then dab on N1, N2, or N3 (depending on your skin tone) to camouflage zits and red patches. Choose the yellow shade, “No More Blues,” for dark under-eye circles (seriously, the best thing for meetings the morning after a late night out).
Sheer Lip Tint: Barely-there hints of color in formulations that are basically lip balms. Still too much of a leap? The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm is a fave for lip care and just a hint of shine…plus it’s a virtual skin “swiss army knife” you can keep on you for post-sports scrapes, dry cuticles, wounds, cuts, and more.


Sharms is a freelance hair and makeup artist, image consultant at John Robert Powers, and events manager. Mom to Taz and Benny, Sharms is an avid mountaineer (“MOMtaineer”!) who loves to travel.