February 27, 2014
My fascination with makeup for men began sometime after David Bowie and Adam Ant started experimenting with eyeliner and lipstick and before Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford launched their own man makeup lines. I’ve experimented with makeup quite a bit myself: green eyebrows, stickers on my face, metallic eyeliner, but what got me interested the most was the idea of no makeup makeup. No makeup makeup is the almost deceptively subtle, careful application of makeup to gently highlight certain facial features and conceal flaws to appear as if one’s face was naturally that perfect. Perhaps what discourages most men from wearing makeup is the fear of looking too feminine and done-up, but one thing to note is that the transformative qualities of makeup can go any direction: done right, makeup can make men look more masculine. Today I share with you an expanded version of my man makeup regimen, a collection of techniques I’ve picked up online, from talented makeup artists who have groomed me, and from hanging out at Sephora a little too often, modeled by my dear friend Elliott.
Start with a fresh face, cleansed and toned. Makeup looks best on healthy skin.
I like to start with a silicone-based primer; it does a lot in terms of minimizing pores and fine lines, it gives a silky finish to your complexion, and controls shine. I don’t always wear it, but when I do, it makes a difference.
Rub a couple of pumps of primer on to your hands, and apply evenly to the entire face.
For all of you guys who still get breakouts post-adolescence, I strongly recommend Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage concealer, with the matching brush. Each palette comes in two tones that you can blend to perfectly match the skin tone in a specific area on your face. It doesn’t rub off easily, and it doesn’t need powder to set.
Apply concealer on blemishes, a little bit under the eyes and around the nose to minimize redness. For relatively blemish-free skin, I recommend concealing before applying bb cream/foundation for a more seamless complexion tone, and for skin with relatively more blemishes, flip the order so you can concentrate on spot-concealing more carefully.
Of all the BB creams I’ve tried, Smashbox has the freshest, sheer finish, that I think works best for men.
Apply a thin layer all over the face, blending well with your fingers down the neck, sides of your face, and forehead.
The next step is optional, but is a great way of emphasizing your eyes without looking like that punk-rock kid in high school who worked at Hot Topic. I like the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette because it is a collection of neutral browns and beiges, all matte, some of which you can use as eyeliner, as a shadow to smoke out your eyes if you feel like it, or to use for contouring.
Take some dark taupe eyeshadow on an angled brush, dust off the excess on the back of your hand, and gently massage it in to the upper waterline. It makes a subtle, but noticeable difference.
I personally like to wear mascara; on my downward-facing, relatively short lashes, it does wonders at making my eyes seem more open and alert. Men with full, long lashes might be better off just curling them, or using a thin coat on the ends. I like Maybelline’s One by One mascara: it’s thin, easy to apply, and highly realistic.
Fuller, darker brows can really impart a handsome masculinity to the face. This works great for men with sparse eyebrows, or even sparse mustaches. I love Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Wiz: it’s a skinny retractable pencil that goes on quite faintly, and comes with a brush for blending it in, resulting in brows that are very natural and never drawn-on.
Fill in your brows with short, light strokes mimicking the direction of your brow hairs. Fill in the gaps, and if you must, extend at the base and the tips, but try not to go too far.
Blend in vigorously with the brush, blurring out any pencil lines.
As a quicker alternative to an eyebrow pencil, tinted eyebrow gel works to darken and thicken the brows as well as point them in the right direction. I like to use them both for full effect.
Brush upward on the base, sweeping out and down as you approach the tip.
Nude lipstick is another cosmetic that can make one look more manly. In the same way brightly-colored lips enhance the femininity of a woman, de-saturating the lips can have a masculinizing effect on the face. Today we’re using a combination of clear lip balm and nude lipstick, but lip balm+sheer color lip stick combos in nude such as Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Heaping Hazelnut or Whole Lotta Honey work just as well.
Finding the right nude lipstick for your skin tone and lip tone is tricky. I’ve found that lipsticks with peachy undertones work well for fairer, Caucasian skin, and those with brown-beige undertones work great for darker Asian skin. Find one that makes your lips look like a desaturated version of themselves, but not dead.
Always blot on a tissue after.
Go out into the world, a perfectly made-up man, looking like you haven’t got a stitch of makeup on.
products used (clockwise from top left): Bare Minerals Prime Time foundation primer, Smashbox BB cream, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage brush, Sephora angled brush, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Ebony, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel in Espresso, Maybelline One by One mascara in black waterproof, MAC lipstick in Velvet Teddy, Caudalie Lip Balm, and Urban Decay Naked Basics eyeshadow palette
June 25, 2013
There are few things worse than finding oneself hungry at an odd hour and being left with no choice but to snack on something unhealthy, or worse, unsavory. I am very oral—constantly reapplying my lip balm, fondling my burgeoning mustache from time to time, and always wanting to put things in my mouth—hence, it is essential that I always have a little baggie of treats to chew on. My recipe for trail mix reveals a palate that is quite opposite from my tastes in clothing; this menswear minimalist has an appetite for bold flavors competing and contrasting with each other in harmonious disarray.
The ingredients for my trail mix: fresh basil, almonds, sesame seeds, dried cranberries, chopped dark chocolate, (not pictured: brown sugar, spices)
I dry-roast the almonds and sesame seeds in a heavy-bottom non-stick pan, constantly stirring until they lightly brown and release their natural oils.
I then add the spices (salt, black pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon) and stir them around the hot dry pan to wake up the flavors.
I scoop in some brown sugar with a tiny splash of water and stir until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts.
I lay the mixture out into a greased cookie pan and sprinkle a generous heap of basil to stick to the nuts and slightly wilt.
When the nuts cool, I fold in dried cranberries for tartness and chopped dark chocolate for a touch of indulgence.
I like to store my trail mix in a lucite box lined in canvas. The fabric shown is from an old white shirt that I tore up to line my clear boxes.
Carry it on its own as a minaudiere of munchies or fasten it with a grosgrain tie and stick it in your bag to snack on, as needed.
June 10, 2013
I really like my hands—hence all the rings, and the occasional accent-painted nail. People ask me what I do to keep them baby-soft and photo-ready, and the truth is that they are just naturally this way. But beauty is fleeting and so I’ve devised a weekly habit to nourish and cleanse two of my most important appendages. It is my take on the classic salt and oil hand scrub, enriched with all my favorite flavors and substances, and this is how to make it.
Hand scrub with extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan black sea salt, green tea, tobacco, and sandalwood extract
Sprinkle about a third of an inch of a cigarette into the olive oil. Tobacco, as an herb, and not smoked, has a surprisingly wide range of health benefits. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is regarded to have anti-inflammatory properties, and is used to treat colds and even rattlesnake and insect bites.
Add the same amount of green tea and let it steep for about 20 minutes. The caffeine in the green tea stimulates the skin, and the antioxidants in it are just plain good for you. This one is blended with some peppermint, which feels zesty on the hands.
Crush the herbs with a spoon to release the oils and let everything amalgamate. Add the black salt after mixing so as not to pulverize the grain. This Himalayan salt is black because of natural charcoal, which has purifying qualities.
Add the sandalwood extract last. Two drops will do; it is precious and highly potent. The scent of sandalwood, by way of Le Labo Santal 33, has been one that people associate with me. I thought it would be apt to mirror that note on my hands.
Spoon the mixture on to your hands, rubbing thoroughly. I try to get the salt grains in and around my cuticle, for a haphazardly painless version of a manicure. Rinse with water, and pat off the excess oil. I’d rather not wash my hands at this point, but rather, let the oil absorb into the skin.
Enjoy your dandy handys. Vintage rose ring with ruby drop, skull band by The Great Frog NYC
March 19, 2013
Sometimes, great DIY projects don’t involve the lifting of a finger, or well, maybe just that. I designed an iPhone case and an iPad sleeve with the wonderful folks at Caseable and was very pleased with how beautiful and fully-functional they turned out. See, much as it would be fun to construct an iPad sleeve out of macaroni and jump rings, or vajazzle my iPhone with real Herkimer diamonds, frills might have to take a back seat to streamlined design when we’re talking about the gadgets with which I run my life.
marble and me: trompe l’oeil marble iPhone case and an iPad sleeve imprinted with a photo of my headless torso, designed with Caseable
Designing these tech cases was an easy process of uploading photos, centering them, picking out trim, adding text, and clicking to check out. I also like that they’re hand-made out of recycled or sustainable materials. Caseable products are made in Brooklyn, and the company also has offices in Berlin—two of my favorite cities in the world, one where I’m always at, and one where I’ve yet to go.
The marble print, a nod to old Raf Simons and the new Wanglenciaga, is a photo I found off Google Image Search, tweaked with Photoshop.
minutely inscribed with my Internet initials
a bomber and bling on the other side
special thanks to Chris of Caseable
February 26, 2013
I am so pleased to announce the winners who will participate in Do It Ourselves, the collaborative DIY menswear project I started with Andrew and Giuliano. It was hard to choose just one, so we picked Pete Skibinski of SKIBINSKY and Daniel of WeHaveNoStyle to join our circle. Thank you so much to everyone who send in their entries; we were overwhelmed with the creativity and enthusiasm that was tweeted and Instagrammed to us. Stay tuned, and hopefully, we create something inspiring.
the final lineup for Do It Ourselves: Izzy of The Dandy Project, Giuliano of HHHoly, Andrew of Pull Teeth, Pete of SKIBINSKY, and Daniel of WeHaveNoStyle
January 16, 2013
I’ve pooled together two of my favorite men’s fashion bloggers for a collaborative project aimed at shining light on new, creative talent in the menswear blogosphere. It’s a little DIY orgy, if you may: one blogger creates a DIY piece for another, and receives a piece from another blogger in the circle to wear and style. We’re calling on you baby bloggers, and veterans in the game, anyone with an online presence and hands that create beautiful things, tweet or Instagram us (@thedandyproject, @HOLY_SPICE, @pullteeth) a DIY project that best describes your style and the reason why you should be part of this collaboration. Mechanics are listed below.
DO IT OURSELVES: The Holy Teeth Project
1. Contestants may apply by tweeting and/or Instagramming to all three of us (@thedandyproject, @HOLY_SPICE, @pullteeth) a link to or a picture of a DIY project that best describes their style and skills AND one reason why they should be part of this collaboration. All contestants must have an existing blog online. Submission period is January 16th-29th, 2013.
2. The three judges deliberate and decide which blogger(s) get to be part of the collaboration, and who they DIY for/who DIY’s their piece.
3. Each winning contestant shall create a DIY men’s fashion item according to the brief, and ship it to the blogger he is assigned to.
4. Each winning contestant will receive a DIY men’s fashion item from a blogger assigned to him, and shall photograph himself in an outfit post featuring the DIY piece he received. Dialogue and collaboration between creator and recipient is highly encouraged!
5. When all the pieces have been created and photographed, the three judges will set a time when all posts will be synchronized to go live. Each winning contestant’s post must feature: (1) the DIY process of the item he created (2) a photograph of the item styled on the blogger who received the item he created (3) a graphic featuring all DIYed outfits of all bloggers involved (4) links to all blogs involved.
6. This is a non-compensated, not-for-profit project. Creative collaboration is encouraged, and the discovery and support of new talent is the goal.
Looking forward to seeing your entries! Feel free to e-mail info (at) thedandyproject (dot) com for any questions.
January 7, 2013
I wear lip tint. When done subtly, it’s a great way of looking more healthy and vital, as if I work out regularly and eat right all the time. It does wonders at balancing out colors in an outfit: I like having my lips look ever so slightly more vivid as a pop of color in an all-black look, or to avoid looking washed out in the rare occasion I wear color. Our resident moustachioed model, menswear designer Mike Shaeffer, returns for another series of my DIY men’s beauty tutorials.
Bare, unconditioned lips can tend to look dead, especially when wind-burned in the winter.
I like to use Benefit’s Benetint for color, and Kiehl’s lip balm #1 for conditioning. Fun fact: Benetint was created for an exotic dancer in the 70′s, allegedly, to make her nipples look rosier. A subtly tinted lip balm could work just as well. Screw the rules of matching warm skin tones with cool colors, and vice-versa. Try on what you see, and if it feels good, then wear it.
I layer the lip tint several times in the inner portion of the lower lip, then I dab it on the inner portion of the upper lip. The idea is to look like you’ve been sucking on a berry, and not like a boy who’d become great at evenly applying his mother’s lipstick all over his lips.
Apply a light amount of clear lip balm all over, to condition, and always blot on a tissue.
Lips, alive and tinted.
Would you rock tinted lips?
October 18, 2012
I am on sabbatical in Manila, for a few weeks, and in addition to my domesticated activities of practicing yoga and baking my famous cookies while I’m home, I’m bringing back an old cottage-industry skill of mine: beadwork. You may recall the nuts-and-coins collar I did on a white shirt a while ago, it was partially inspired by a jet black beaded collar shirt which was part of Amber Siegel’s (of Baartmans and Siegel) graduate collection. I’ve always had that shirt in my virtual to-DIY list, and now that I found the perfect too-plain shirt to encrust with gems, I decided to get on with the bedazzling.
an old basic black button-down by Cheap Monday
It’s as if it was begging me to bedazzle it.
I took black plastic sew-on gems in different shapes and sizes. I decided to go tone-on-tone on this one in an effort to display some sort of restraint on a fully bejeweled collar.
I started to sew them on, starting on the edges, creating a border around the entire collar. I would lock the stitching after every three gems or so to ensure that the entire collar doesn’t completely unravel if one stone comes out.
I made sure the beading was dense as possible, using the smaller stones to fill in the gaps.
DIY beaded black collar shirt, Comme des Garcons Black drop-crotch trousers, Guidi shoes
DIY jet-black beaded collar shirt
last two photographs by Michelle Ordoveza
September 5, 2012
The beauty of creative pants is not lost on me: statement trousers bring a sense of tailoring wonder to warmer-weather outfits necessarily comprised of just a top and bottom, and provide an interesting base above which jacket upon sweater upon shirt are piled on in cooler weather. In search of a new pair, I turned to old Comme des Garcons for inspiration.
DIY white denim and black corduroy double-hem pants
double-hem pants in various color combinations on the Comme des Garcons Fall/Winter 1998 runway (photos via firstVIEW)
This was a simple way of salvaging two pairs of pants that were already in the “garage sale” bin, and if perchance you held on to the hems of pants you cut into shorts for the summer, this may be the perfect opportunity to repurpose those. This also seemed to be a great way of bringing my typically pre-labor day white jeans (not that the rules matter to me) into the Fall. I can imagine this working just as well with hems in plaid flannel, tweed, or even leather. Here’s how I made them:
I used: two pairs of H&M pants in a similar size and cut (white denim jeans and black corduroys), iron-on fabric adhesive (feel free to sew if that comes easy to you), scissors, and an iron.
I folded the white jeans to my desired length in front of a mirror, and marked them with pins.
I cut the jeans straight three folds down from my mark and ironed the folds over with fabric sizing to ensure that they stay.
I laid the black corduroys over the cut white jeans and, using the crotch as reference, transposed the black cords down by the width of one hem fold.
I then cut the black corduroys along the folded hem of the white jeans.
I turned both the jeans and the corduroy hem extensions inside out and I affixed a strip of fabric adhesive about the width of a hem fold on to the insides of the white pants.
I peeled the paper off the adhesive strip, and ironed on heavily over the two fabrics to be fused. I found that using steam helps bind the fabrics together better even if the package advertises that a steam iron is not needed to activate the adhesive. I turned the pants back right-side out, and excitedly wore them out.
DIY Comme des Garcons double-hem pants, vintage cherry red Made in England Dr. Martens oxfords
Comme des Garcons trench coat, oversize silk shirt of my own design, DIY double-hem pants, Dr. Martens shoes
I thought I'd temper my con-Comme with a piece of the real thing: this Comme des Garcons Homme Plus trench features most of the classic trench coat's functional features: the collar, pockets, and vent, all stitched shut. Worn with a vintage flower stick pin.
I found myself initially uneasy about the coat's stiched-shut parts, but I've grown to appreciate how cleanly they make the jacket hang, particularly on this high stitched vent.
outfit photographs by Sean Santiago