Make up for men? “You’ve got to be kidding me.” That’s what most guys think when they hear about men wearing makeup.
WHY MEN DON’T WEAR MAKEUP
First, everyone knows that make up is for women, not men. Secondly is that men don’t even know where to start, what to buy and how to wear it. Not only is there ignorance, but there’s definitely a stigma around it.
Men aren’t inclined to carry around cosmetics any time soon or be caught dead touching up with foundation and color correcting in the bathroom of their favorite dive bar.
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WHY I’M TALKING ABOUT MEN’S MAKE UP
I feel that the time we’re now living in, men care about their appearance more than ever — by focusing on improving their personal style or investing in a skincare routine. And so carrying around discreet make up product doesn’t seem that farfetched.
The market for men’s cosmetics is expanding with major brands like Tom Ford and Chanel starting their own male make up lines in recent years.
And though I don’t see a trend of men proudly wearing make up, this small shift is quite telling. Especially with aging men who may suffer from dark circles, wrinkles and facial imperfections. There’s a market and surely a need to be addressed.
ENTER CONCEALER FOR MEN
When it comes to make up, concealer is the entry point. It’s the easiest way to get started using make up. It’s a relatively straight forward process that’s difficult to get wrong. Plus, you’re only covering blemishes or lightening certain spots, not covering your entire face.
Are you feeling insecure about a big interview or promising date? Concealer is a good option to help cover up a recent breakout, redness or hide that big red pimple that’s drawing way too much attention to itself.
MËNAJI CAMO CONCEALER VS STRYX CONCEALER TOOL
Menaji Product Details
Menaji – Made in the USA
Menaji’s Menaji Camo Concealer is advanced men’s skincare that’s dermatologist recommended for use on acne and irritated skin.
- Hypo-allergenic and fragrance free
- For all skin types
- Lip-balm sized applicator
- All-natural, vegan ingredients
- Slightly scented
Colors: deep, magnum bronze, magnum light, magnum medium, olive, and sand
Stryx Product Details
Stryx – Engineered in NYC, Made in South Korea
New brand, launched in late 2018. Product 01 is their concealer tool.
- Conceals redness, acne, pimples, razor scratches, scars, or slight imperfections
- Discreet, sleek, and simple to use
- Durable, resistant to scratching, and easy to clean
- No scent & no animal testing
Colors: light cognac, medium mahogany, and dark eclipse
Mënaji Camo Concealer (Sand) Ingredients
Grape Seed, Beeswax, Castor Seed Oil, Silica, Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil Tomato Leaf natural flavor, Natural Vitamin E, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica.
Stryx (Medium Mahogany) Ingredients
Propylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Titanium Dioxide, Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Polyethylene, Octyldodecanol, CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), Polybutene, Mica, Ozokerite, Silica, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), Synthetic Wax, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ethylene/Propylene Copolymer, BHT
FORM FACTOR & PACKAGING
Stryx Packaging & Design
They get an A grade for a premium packaging feel. It’s sleek, just like the product itself. Stryx branding is modern and masculine and doesn’t look remotely like a cosmetic product.
The Stryx concealer tool is ultra-sleek. You can tell they really took to heart men’s concerns about having a traditionally women’s make up product and designed a concealer stick that looks more like a pen than a makeup product.
It’s clear that they spent a lot of time in the design of the product. The tool is kind of cool and something I wouldn’t mind carrying around with me as part of my EDC.
Menaji Packaging & Design
Menaji packaged their concealer tool as chapstick and called it a day. Though not as sexy as Stryx, the Menaji Camo Concealer is just as discreet.
The tool is compact to carry with you in your jeans or jacket pockets, no problem. Being stored in plastic, there’s concern that the formulation could melt or freeze depending on the weather, whereas the Stryx stick was designed with strength and temperature resilience in mind.
Neither of these concealer tools are meant to be applied to the entire face. It’s only meant for spot coverage on blemishes, breakouts or acne. I don’t plan to hide any of my acne scarring.
Menaji Camo Concealer Application
The Camo Concealer opens like your favorite chapstick with the twisting mechanism at the top instead of the bottom.
It’s super easy to apply. You can either rub your ring finger to pick up some of the formulation and gently apply to your skin or apply directly from the stick which is how I like to do it. Once I’ve covered up all dark spots and blemishes I’ll run my ring finger over the areas that might need blending to get a more natural look.
Keep in mind that what you notice won’t necessarily be what others notice since you know that you’re wearing it, so don’t be afraid to apply enough to fully cover your spots and blemishes.
Stryx Concealer Tool Application
The Stryx concealer has a pen-like cap, simply remove it and twist from the bottom to slide the formulation up. You can apply directly like drawing with a pen and blending as appropriate with your ring finger.
You want for the concealer to match your skin tone or get it as close as possible so that it makes for a natural blend. Once you’ve hidden blemishes, evened out dark circles under your eyes, and given your skin tone an even finish — you’re all done.
Applying concealer with Stryx is easier and more natural feeling than with Menji’s Camo Concealer.
HOW THE CONCEALERS WEAR ON MY FACE
Menaji’s Urban Camouflage®
Menaji comes with 6 different shades from light to dark. They sent me the sand color which matches my skin color nicely, but not perfectly. After application and blending the product can hardly be seen, but it does require blending. It’s a highly natural appearance. The formulation is smooth and doesn’t appear caked on.
It holds throughout the entire day, but it will smear if you happen to run your fingers across it, so keep that in mind. And it will stain your clothing, but that’s typical of any type of make up product.
Stryx Product 01
Stryx’s concealer holds throughout the day as well and the medium brown (medium mahogany) color that they sent me matches my skin fairly well, though not as close as Menaji’s sand color. They could benefit from adding a few more colorways to cater to more skin tones.
You don’t feel as if any product is on your face at all and it doesn’t add any shine which is a plus. Overall, the concealers wear quite well.
At $26-$29, both Menaji and Stryx concealers are competitive with others in the market. It’s not cheap or expensive, but somewhere in the middle.
Menaji Camo Concealer – $26 (Get 15% off w/ coupon code Khoi15)
Stryx Concealer Tool – $29
There are a myriad of brands out there offering their own concealer, here are some of the best rated. Though they’re no where near as discreet as Stryx or Menaji.
- Tom Ford Concealer For Men – $42
- Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer – $34
- Milk Makeup Flex Concealer – $28
- Tarte Double Duty Concealer – $27
- Instant Age Rewind Eraser – $9.99
- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer – $30
- YSL All Hours Concealer – $34
Men are valued more for their social status, power and rank in the world as opposed to their appearance, whereas women are always judged on a beauty scale.
This makes it hard to believe that men will be flocking to use beauty products like women do, but I do think a man who’s confident in his skin and with his masculinity won’t bat an eye at applying concealer.
It’s worth mentioning that Stryx offers a similarly priced, $29 tinted moisturizer (product 02) in addition to the concealer tool, that’s just as sleek in design. Personally, I’m not a fan of using it because it makes my skin unnatural looking with an orangish hue, and it stains everything. But I can see the benefits it offers.
Menaji also sent me their Face & Body Scrub, Clear Shave 3-in-1 Formula, the Liquid Powder Shine Eliminator and Lip Balm. I haven’t tested the scrub, shave or lip balm yet, but as someone with naturally oily skin, the shine eliminator works really well. I recommend this one also.
SHOULD MEN WEAR MAKEUP?
As someone who suffered horribly with acne throughout my young adult/college years, I fully understand the physical pain and insecurity that can result from having teenage and adult acne.
According to Ipsos, more than 8 out of 10 women agree that having a beauty or skincare routine can be empowering. And though it’s probably the opposite for men, there are guys who really could benefit from using make up to hide acne scars or skin imperfections so that they feel better about themselves and more confident.
In the end, both Menaji and Stryx have created a quality product that’s discreet, easy to use and serves a real purpose. I recommend both.
A note: Both Menaji and Stryx offered to send me samples so that I could test myself. All opinions are my own. Gentleman Within hold all control over editorial content.
DO YOU OR WOULD YOU WEAR CONCEALER?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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