When we think of weddings, one of the last things we consider is grooms and makeup. Weddings have long been associated with bridal bliss. This tradition is steadily changing, especially as the beauty industry shifts to reflect all gender expressions. The concept of wedding prep has existed for generations. Yet, it’s typically been rare for men to be the center of attention. In recent years, grooms have been encouraged to experiment. While men’s makeup can be more subtle, you can’t deny its ability to enhance one’s appearance. After all, this is one of the most important days of a couple’s life together. Grooms are exploring more ways to put their best faces forward.
Makeup artists are also seeing a broader spectrum of wedding clientele. “Fashion and grooming trends are now mirroring the inclusion of same-sex and gender non-conforming couples,” says hair and makeup artist Alexandra Baranoff. “Weddings have grown to include a truer reflection of society,” she shares. “Everyone involved wants to look as great as they can, especially with the influence of social media.”
Below, beauty and grooming professionals share how their male clients are using makeup on their wedding days.
Bring Out Your Best Features
When you're exploring wedding trends, you’ll find that makeup can help make the day more special and memorable. It can brighten up your outfit and give you a boost of confidence. It enhances your look and sense of style. That's why it's important to know how to use makeup during your wedding day so that you look your absolute best. “I’ve found that most grooms and even fathers of the couple are open to enhancement,” confides Baranoff. “As long as they still feel and see themselves reflected.” These days, makeup artists are working double duty on both sides of the wedding party.
“I think men overall have become more open to makeup,” confirms Amber Amos, a celebrity makeup artist and groomer. “The reality is that regardless of gender, everyone wants to look as flawless as possible.” Men are certainly no stranger to the makeup chair. “Grooms have typically used makeup in preparation for the pre-wedding festivities,” recalls Amos. “The focus has mainly been a little concealer where needed or powder to take away any shine.” Amos loves using Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder on her clients.
Unleash the Inner Rockstar
Some grooms may want to bypass subtlety for a more rocker-chic vibe with their wedding makeup. They’re looking to channel their inner Mick Jagger as they walk down the aisle. As many more couples share details of their wedding on platforms like Instagram, it creates even more reason for grooms to take some of the spotlight. “Weddings are also an opportunity to play out your fantasies with your look,” says Baranoff, who’s worked with eyeliner god Alan Cummings. “You can do a few things to be more daring,” she adds. “A light comb-through of mascara on the top lid, the same shade as the lashes, can emphasize eye color and add a subtle pop.”
If the groom is feeling a bit fatigued (from taking his role of rockstar too seriously), Baranoff informs that makeup can be also helpful. “Using a flesh tone eyeliner on the bottom waterline defines the eyes shape and cools the inner rim when they are red,” she shares. “This is a tell-tale sign of exhaustion from all the celebrating the night before.” Add some dark eyeshadow, and you’ve created a slept-in smokey eye look. The idea of a glammed-out groom sounds so appropriate in 2021.
Skincare Is the Foundation
We can’t discuss makeup without mentioning the importance of skincare. A facial can make all the difference when preparing for a wedding. These services aren’t limited to the bridal party. Many makeup artists prefer to focus on skincare when working with grooms. “I have seen grooms and groomsmen make more of a thing of their pre-wedding prep,” says LA-based makeup artist and hairstylist Sam Bates. “I’ve worked with grooms that have wanted [simple] skin correction. The process will be cleansing, moisturizing, sunscreen, and a little spot concealer.” That's one way of taking a more “no makeup” makeup approach. Bates says Weleda Skin Food and Kiehl’s Facial Fuel with SPF are a must in her kit.
Grooms can take things one step further by visiting a licensed aesthetician. There are even specialized treatments that focus on concerns such as beard irritation and ingrown hairs. Pedro Boyer, an aesthetician at Brooklyn's Shen Beauty suggests getting a facial about a week before the wedding. “I would recommend a detoxifying facial massage, deep pore cleanse, and necessary extractions,” says Boyer. “I’d then follow with a customized mask and L.E.D. therapy to round out the perfect pre-wedding facial.” If there were ever a time to go all out on your skin, it would be before your vows. We’d all agree that makeup is best when applied to a fresh, healthy canvas.
Photographs Last Forever
When your magical day wraps up, one thing will remain—your wedding photos (not to mention the countless social media posts you’re sure to be tagged in!). Makeup is a small element that can help ensure couples enjoy those images for years to come. “The average person is more keen on being ‘camera ready’ because they’re aware that this will be a highly photographed event. Even grooms are getting into that,” Bates explains. Other pros like Amos are just as encouraging. “I'm all here for men incorporating makeup into their wedding looks,” she says positively. “Honestly, the pictures will be with you for a lifetime. Why wouldn’t you want to look fresh and groomed standing beside your partner? This is also your day!”
Baranoff shares some of her wedding photo-prep techniques. “Using a light tinted moisturizer will give skin a glow and ‘lit from within’ appearance,” she says. “A hydrating concealer under the eyes provides a wide-awake look. Concealer can also be used to cover blemishes and razor burn. Translucent powder will set makeup and help ready skin for a day of pictures and partying.”
The last thing makeup should do is hide who you are underneath. “The idea is not to cover or change the features,” says Baranoff. “We use makeup to help clients look their best in any occasion, lighting, and environment.” Grooms are discovering what the power of makeup is all about.