He woke up like this. (Photo: AP)
It’s probably the biggest fantasy part male Hollywood stars play: the role of a low-maintenance guy who pays next to no attention to his appearance.
“I really don’t use any specific product.” George Clooney told the Mirror, mirroring the casual “I-woke-up-like-this” beauty philosophy to which male stars like to make us think they live by. “I use Ivory soap.”
Sure, George. And if you believe celebrities of Clooney’s stature achieve that movie-star glow on the red carpet with mere soap and water, maybe you believe it really is Henry Cavill flying in “Batman v Superman.” Because the professionals who help male stars achieve that superstar look will tell you that despite what these modest men’s men will say, it often takes more than just Ivory soap.
“Right…,” celebrity makeup artist Jami Svay says when she hears such Ivory soap beauty confessions. “Maybe after a $500 facial!”
Svay says famous guys tend to downplay how much effort they put into their appearance. “I think it’s because it’s been built into this stereotype that you’re not supposed to do anything [to look good],” she says. “And if you are doing something, then you might be metro, not ‘manly.’” After all, audiences may not want to watch a gritty, high-octane action movie starring an actor who openly admits to using bronzer and getting his face steamed.
But rest assured, when male celebs show up looking fresh on the red carpet, it’s the result of meticulous care and a great deal of help. Yes, a lot of it’s from doctors, but some of it is from makeup artists like Svay, who shared with Yahoo Beauty the stars’ secrets to looking fresh and always ready for their close-up.
Most people rave about Michael Jordan’s legendary basketball skills. But Svay can’t stop talking about his skin.
“His pores were flawless,” she marvels about Jordan, whom she helped prep for his Hanes underwear photo shoots. She believes that more men could be like Mike, at least in the skin arena, by exfoliating — using an exfoliating cream to remove excess dirt and skin cells off their skin.
“If you can exfoliate once a week, that’s major,” she says. “You don’t have to go around crusty with dead skin on your face for the sake of being called a man. If you do nothing else, [exfoliating] will keep you in supermodel status.”
2. Tweeze the eyebrows
You can’t be the stud of premiere night if you’re rocking a unibrow (although someone like Johnny Depp might be able to pull it off if he wanted to).
“The one thing I do notice on the red carpet when I’m working [is that] the guys have really nice brows,” says Svay. “That Groucho Marx unibrow thing is not happening!”
That’s because makeup artists like Svay tell their male clients to get their eyebrows trimmed a day or so before the event. Plus, on the day of the event, they do some clean-up tweezing. “Just cleaning up the brows a little bit so there’s a nice shape to them so that we can see that there’s two eyebrows!” she laughs. “Then we’ll shape the brows with a brow gel.“
Svay’s go-to product: Anastasia Beverly Hills brow gel
3. Get a facial
Along with getting their brows maintained, male stars will also get a facial a day or so before their big red carpet outing.
"And also steam,” says Svay, “which gets the blood vessels going so you’re not pale and crusty.”
She says these professional treatments will clean out pores and remove dead skin, which is crucial for giving your face that superstar wattage. “When your skin is cleansed and refreshed, it reveals a glow that you can’t find in any bottle or any product,” she says.
It’s hard to look fresh-faced when your skin is bone-dry. That’s when moisturizing comes in. “For guys, it’s typically all about making that skin look flawless,” says Svay.
Svay’s go-to product: Clinique For Men Moisturizing Lotion.
5. Use a primer
It’s the dirty little Hollywood secret: When regular exfoliating, facials, steams, and moisturizing don’t do the trick, on the day of a big Hollywood event, male stars will often have a little product (aka, makeup) applied to their faces. And just like you may add a primer before you paint a wall, makeup artists like Svay will reach for a primer before going to work on a star’s mug.
“That basically is a canvas prep where you smooth out any lines or wrinkles and really just prime the skin [so it’s] ready to take on any powder, concealer, or bronzer,” she says. “The primer helps hold it in place.” She says that’s necessary because at Hollywood red carpet events, which can sometimes last for hours, male stars would rather be photographed with their flies open than have a makeup artist run up to them, in full view of journalists and stargazers, to touch up their makeup… er, product.
“I can’t jump in on the red carpet and touch them up because they don’t want people to know that they’re even wearing anything,” says Svay. “So I use a lot of primer when I’m working with my male clients because it really holds the makeup in place and gives it that longevity it needs for a day like that.”
Svay’s go-to product: Spackle Under Make-Up Primer by Laura Geller. “It basically just fills in those little holes and lines,” she says. “So when you apply the makeup on it, it goes on superclean and supersmooth.”
Some male stars don’t exactly live lifestyles that are conducive to a healthy and bright-looking appearance. They’re either working long hours on the set, or they’re spending long hours at the club. So for big events, a little concealer under the eyes is a makeup artist’s best friend.
“Concealers conceal dark circles, wrinkles, or lines that you want to cover up,” says Svay. “So if the day before, [the star] is partying or just not getting any sleep and he’s got bags under his eyes, the concealer will touch up and brighten that area so it looks like you got eight hours of sleep.”
Svay’s go-to product: AmazingConcealer. “It covers extremely well,” says Svay, who also likes its guy-friendly packaging. “It’s just a plain black packaging with white letters,” she laughs. “There’s no pink, no strawberries, nothing like that.”
For as long as Hollywood has existed, a nice tan has been a big part of that healthy glow stars radiate. But sometimes, as in the movies, a little extra makeup is needed to achieve the desired effect. Bring on the bronzer!
“They don’t want to be pale or pasty,” says Svay. “Those are bad adjectives when it comes to makeup. My male clients will ask, 'I’m a bit pale today — can you warm me up a little bit?’ So bronzer is definitely huge on the red carpet.”
Svay’s go-to product: Dew the Hoola by Benefit
8. For acne
Zits on the red carpet? Unacceptable. Celebrity makeup artists need to contend with this problem too.
Svay’s go-to product: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (also Kylie Jenner’s fave) “We get a Q-Tip and put that right on the pimple,” Svay says about the drying lotion (which she also uses herself). “It’s a drying lotion. It literally dries [the zit] right up, and within one or two days, it’s gone.”
9. Water spritz
Stars may look happy and smiling on the red carpet. But when they’re standing in the hot California sun in a wool Tom Ford suit or tuxedo, chances are they’re baking. In such cases, makeup artists often swoop in to the rescue with a water spritzer.
“Say the actor — George Clooney, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto — they’ve been in those camera lights for over six hours,” says Svay. “I’ll spritz a little Evian on the skin to keep their face refreshed on a long day.”
Svay’s go-to product: Evian — because, of course, nothing but the best for the stars!
10. Take care of yourself
Svay says some of the best-looking stars have one thing in common that makes them look flawless when they step out — and it’s not always a good makeup artist: They take care of themselves physically.
“Watching what you eat, what you drink, it shows on your skin,” says Svay. “If you ate a Five Guys burger the other day, best believe two days later you’re going to see that on your skin. What you’re putting into your body is the best skin care. Eating clean, eating healthy, working out — get that blood pumpin’ to those pores. Great beauty starts within.”
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