How to Use Makeup to Look Like a Man

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

To create the illusion of a masculine face, you don't need a custom-made mask. Use an eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and pressed powder foundation in light and dark shades to suggest typical masculine features, such as facial hair, thick eyebrows and a chiseled face.

A movie or theater makeup artist can expertly use makeup on an androgynous or feminine face to bring out masculine facial features, and you can follow a makeup tutorial to create contouring for your jawline and brow bone and add facial hair as well.


Video of the Day

Skin care is important, and heavy makeup can be hard on sensitive skin. Take care to wash off all makeup after your event and avoid makeup that you know causes problems for your skin. For an authentic-looking, manly Halloween or costume party get-up, choose clothing, accessories and a hairstyle that man you up as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Eyebrow pencil

  • Dark brown eye shadow (optional)

  • Pressed powder foundation, dark and light

  • Broad makeup brush (optional)

Sketch in a mustache

Adding facial hair is one of the easiest masculine makeup techniques to bring out a more masculine look for your costume. Using a sharp eyebrow pencil, create a mustache by penciling in the hairs. For a realistic look, use this facial hair technique only for narrow mustaches.


Fake goatee makeup tips

For that miniature goatee called a "soul patch," pencil in fake hairs just below the middle of the lower lip, extending down in a rectangle and ending about halfway or above the middle of your chin. Brad Pitt and many other men have worn modern-day goatees with their soul patches. Beginning at the bottom of the mustache, pencil in hairs that form a vertical line from the bottom of each side of the mustache. Extend the lines down to the chin and pencil in a goatee.


Brush on a five o’clock shadow

Another of the facial hair makeup looks to consider is the five o'clock shadow. Create stubble with dark brown eye shadow. Lightly apply it to the areas of the face where a five o'clock shadow on a man occurs—on the cheeks, chin and if you're not sporting a mustache, in that area as well.



Unless you're hiding your hair with a hat, select an eyebrow pencil color for facial hair that's the same or slightly darker than the hair on your head.

Thicken and straighten eyebrows

Using an eyebrow pencil and a light-handed touch, fill in your eyebrows. While men's eyebrows may have arches, the arches should not be as distinct as on a woman's plucked or made-up brows. If you have arches, fill them in partially or completely when applying male makeup.



Pass on the pixie sideburns

Sketch in sideburns with the eyebrow pencil. Instead of feminine pixie hairstyle points, square off the sideburns at the bottom to create a more masculine look.

Sculpt and chisel your face

Use makeup contouring to create a classic chiseled look. Select a pressed powder foundation a couple of shades darker than your natural skin tone or base foundation. Select products that have a more matte finish so that your skin isn't shiny when you are finished.


Using a broad makeup brush, apply the darker shade below the cheekbones and under the jawbone. Using your fingertips, blend in the makeup so it fades on the boundaries instead of ending abruptly. Apply a foundation or concealer that is a lighter shade than your skin tone or base foundation to highlight the cheekbones and jawbones.


Dress like a man

Put together an outfit that is classically male, such as:

  • White-collar professional:​ Wear a man's suit with a tie.
  • Blue-collar worker:​ Wear jeans or other sturdy-fabric slacks or slip into overalls, such as the blue kind mechanics wear.
  • Athlete:​ Rent an athlete's costume or make your own with a jersey, oversized shoulder pads and tight pants.
  • Musician:​ Rock your party with a costume you rent or outfit you put together for your alter-ego male musician.

Walk like a man

You may have a pair of athletic shoes in your closet, which will work if they aren't glittered or pink. Hiking boots might also double for a man's shoes. Sports sandals also work—just remember to remove any toenail polish. You can also borrow a pair of men's dress shoes, loafers or construction boots. If you wear shoes that are too large, wear extra socks to help prevent blisters.


Style or hide your hair

There are several options for your hair:

  • Cover your hair with a hat. If your hair is long, gather it above your head and twist it as if to make a bun. Hold it in place while covering it with a bill cap or hat.
  • Wear a wig with a hairstyle or hairline that's distinctly masculine.
  • Wear long hair down provided that your hair isn't angled or layered, or gather it into an elastic at the nape of your neck, wearing it in a ponytail.
  • Use gel, mousse or spray to transform a short, feminine haircut into a manly 'do.
  • Using a styling product, tousle short hair. This is perfect with the five o'clock shadow makeup.

Accessorize your outfit

There's lots of ways to add a manly touch to your costume using accessories:

  • Wear a man's watch, either dressy or sporty, to match your costume.
  • Purchase a pair of reading glasses (pop out the lenses) or men's sunglasses for a buck at a dollar store.
  • Add a sweatband by tying a paisley bandana around your forehead.
  • Leave your purse at home. Carry your essentials (along with makeup and a costume repair kit) in a gym bag, backpack, briefcase or metal lunchbox depending on your costume.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...