The Grooming Routines of Hollywood's Leading Men (the dudes primp, too)

It's easy to assume that before walking the red carpet, the average male celeb just combs his hair, slips on a designer suit, and is off on his merry way. Since no one ever really asks the guys how they got ready for the evening—another injustice highlighted by the #AskHerMore campaign—how would the public be the wiser? Why should only ladies benefit from Hollywood glam squads?

In reality, A-list men spend plenty of time getting primped before stepping in front of the cameras. Men have been getting makeup or 'grooming' for as long as there have been cameras. Everyone does it. When I tell people that every man on television is wearing makeup, a lot of people have a hard time processing that. But why? And what does a typical grooming session entail? Keep reading to find out.

How do men usually groom for the red carpet?
Sure, the ladies are bouncing around town the weekend before the Oscars,getting plucked, massaged and scrubbed in between hair and makeup tests, fittings and manicures, but are the gents sitting around watching games and chugging beers? No, sir. The male of the Oscar species — be he a nominee, presenter, husband or walker — has secret vanity rituals of his own. These days, it’s masculine to be vain.

(+) 1. BROTOX

We have seen a rise in the past few years of guys asking for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, though actors and models start receiving these treatments long before their regular male counterparts. Now 40-year-olds want to play 30 and 30-year-olds want to look 20. To take away all wrinkles might result in a feminized, fake appearance. dermatologists suggest to concentrate on furrowed vertical lines between the brows, horizontal forehead lines, crow’s feet and a sagging neck, if present. Brotox works best on men when it’s subtle (note to — sorry — Burt Reynolds).


They’ve been wearing it onscreen forever. A typical red carpet grooming sesh includes what ladies would normally consider their no makeup makeup. In other words, moisturizer, mattifying primer, color correction and spot coverage, powder, a clear gel in the brows, lip balm, and some bronzer. And of course, the hair. Basically, it's about enhancing their features and blurring flaws (and any oiliness) for the cameras. After the Golden Globes, Benedict Cumberbatch candidly revealed that he had worn concealer and a little foundation for the event. His groomer,Cathy Highland, says she had shown The Imitation Game star red-carpet photos of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise with a little makeup and without: “He totally got it after that,” she laughs. “Men need to look polished.” 

To neutralize redness, Highland uses a men’s moisturizer, a bit of Chanel makeup and Bobbi Brown concealer. Then she blends and blots “with transparent powder.” Celebrity groomer Sydney Zibrak (Eddie Redmayne is a client) applied Laura Mercier primer and Jouer Perfector Foundation to Joshua Jackson for the Globes. It’s a common practice for men. They need to look awake and refreshed, but you shouldn’t be able to tell they have anything on.  She then uses Dior concealer under the eyes and on the chin (“this gets rid of redness”). Some foundation covers blemishes on the face and neck. “The biggest concern for men is to stay as matte as possible,” says Zibrak, who uses Peter Thomas Roth anti-shine gel underneath and powder to finish. Pretty much any man on a red carpet who looks polished, you can assume, has done the same or similar.

For matte hydration: The secret to keeping skin well-hydrated through extreme heat (if any) and preventing a disastrous meltdown is a refreshing crop of oil-free moisturisers. Sloane Inc Aqualicious literally melts on contact with the skin without a trace. This carefully formulated moisturiser deep quenches your dehydrated skin with pure encapsulated water, while keeping you as matte as possible. 

For the no makeup makeup look: Calling it "tinted moisturizer" instead of "makeup" seems to make men more comfortable with the idea of wearing it. Here's the thing: tinted moisturizer is magical. A light-weight foundation that evens out skin tone in with a natural look that not only quenches skin but typically contains some level of SPF protection? It's like the makeup equivalent of finding out that Doritos are heart-healthy—except it's real.

I feel bad for anybody who isn't hep to its powers, but particularly bad for guys who are up against the kind of implicit gender biases about makeup, as though wearing tinted moisturizer would somehow make them less manly. It's a stupid concept that isn't fair and doesn't make sense. More and more men are starting to realize that, though, and the stigma around tinted moisturizer is gradually being lifted.

Try NARS' Velvet Matte Skin Tint Broad Spectrum: This oil-free formula wears comfortably, maintaining skin’s natural moisture barrier while working to control shine throughout the day. Transparent Blurring Powders help to blur imperfections, even the look of skintone, and smooth the appearance of pores and fine lines. The powders’ unique, spherical shape compresses like a cushion, delivering a velvety-smooth, touchable feel and superior comfort on application. Vitamins C, E, and broad spectrum SPF 30 protect against free-radical damage caused by environmental stress. Simply touch and go for an effortlessly perfected look.


Spray-on hair for men has always been used to spruce up thinning spots for movie posters and magazine portraits, but on the red carpet? Jon Cryer admitted using it to Conan O’Brien, and John Travolta, Clive Davis and Gordon Ramsay have been busted using it in paparazzi photos. It’s definitely obvious to us professionals when spray-on fibers are used. There are amazing Hollywood doctors doing hair restoration, or just buzz it short like Jason Statham and go for the tough, virile look.

Hair Restoration: REVAGE 670 LASER
If thinning has left you spinning, this FDA-approved scalp laser that has made ‘head’-lines may help you see light at the end of the tunnel. Just 30 minutes of the no-frail light therapy a week counters effects of stress, ageing and genetics by fighting follicle-hindering hormones, delivering a mega circulation boost to rejuvenate the scalp, fortifying feeble follicles and supercharging hair growth with its deep-penetrating laser energy. This allows you to shun shedding, sprout healthier, stronger strands, and build body painlessly and effectively, without side effects of oral medications, in as little as 12 weeks.

Ideal For: Ladies and men who are scant on time and hair, or are noticing finer, weaker strands with age. Anyone who is secretly afraid of taking on a balding parental semblance, or would just like to max out their mane potential and maintain it for as long it as possible.

For severe male pattern hair loss: ARTAS ROBOTIC HAIR TRANSPLANT
Defy balding genes with forefront hair science. The ARTAS Robotic follicle unit extraction system is your formidable ally in combating alopecia. Its sophisticated image-guided follicle harvesting algorithm translate to unprecedented precision, greater transplant success, better patient comfort, swift recovery, and a natural-looking difference everyone will notice but even your hairstylist cannot tell.

Ideal For: Brave men who would like to confront their moderate to severe male pattern hair loss and spruce up their frontage. Stylish bearded dudes who would like to cultivate lusher designer stubble. Unfortunate ladies hit by receding hairlines, a permanently widened part, loss of outer eyebrows with age, or patchy hair loss due to scarring.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

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