By: Aaron Warga
One day over winter break I was “putting my face on” as I like to call it, and my brother walked by the bathroom. He remarked, “Wow, that’s impressive, I didn’t realize your skin was so terrible!” I stood there frozen for a moment. I didn’t know whether I should throw something or thank him. On one hand he called my skin terrible. What a dick. One the other hand, he complimented my makeup skills… if they could even be called that.
When I was 12 I very seriously considered cheating on a Hebrew quiz (Jewish day school probz). I’m convinced that since then karmic retribution manifested itself through a relentless attack on my face. You see my skin is rather moody. I never know when it’ll get upset and start popping up blemishes just to spite me. When my skin is in a good mood (which isn’t all that often), I sometimes won’t put on any makeup. But my skin has its temper tantrums, and I don’t want it causing a scene in public. When these flare-ups do occur, I turn to the Holy Trinity for assistance. No, it’s not what you’re thinking.
My Holy Trinity is a three-part system of products that I use to cover up my acne in a way that looks like I’m not wearing any makeup whatsoever. While I’m certainly not one to base my style on what’s socially acceptable, I haven’t always been in an environment where I could deviate from the (very restrictive) socially established way in which a “boy” can physically present himself. Being a guy with bad skin can be a really tough situation because using makeup to cover acne may not seem feasible. In a society that tells you makeup is off-limits and that you should feel shame for using it, dealing with stares, hurtful comments, and abysmal self-esteem may seem like the only possibility when you have acne. While I’ve come to adopt a “give no f*ks about gender norms” mindset, I certainly didn’t feel that way at my tiny religious high school in Texas. Although I’m quite open now about my use of “makeup,” my love affair with leggings (seriously pants are overrated), and my tendency toward tight pants and short-shorts (and perhaps crop-tops), I am fully cognizant of the fact that my ability to be this free is purely circumstantial. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to avoid judgment and harassment, which I’m lucky enough not to have to deal with at Georgetown, well at least the latter. So guys, yes guys, boys, dudes, male-identifying peeps, if you’re feeling self-conscious about your skin, don’t think there’s nothing you can do. Just follow these steps if you can.
- Moisturizer. The optimal times to apply it are right after you wash your face and right after you get out of the shower. Not only does moisturizer help prevent wrinkles, it will also allow the next step to go on smoothly. I use Clean & Clear’s “Advantage: Acne Control Moisturizer.” I believe it was $8 or $9 at CVS. How much you should use depends on your skin, but I would recommend starting out with a large pea-sized amount, and then add more if you feel it’s not enough. Rub it into your face with your fingertips.
- BB cream. It’s essentially a magical all in one product that will even out your complexion. So rather than having red, splotchy skin, you’ll have an even tone all over. The one I use is Maybelline’s “Dream Pure BB” which has salicylic acid, which is great for helping to treat acne. I think it was also $8 or $9 at CVS. The way I apply it is by squirting a small pea-sized amount on my fingertip, and then dotting it all over my face. Then, in circular motions, I rub it in very thoroughly with my fingers, making sure to spread some to the eye area so that it isn’t a different color than the rest of my face, as well as blending it down to my chin to my upper neck so that there’s not a noticeable line along my jaw.
I also find that gently patting my palms over my face helps too, as it warms up the product, helping it blend in more seamlessly. You’ll probably still have some visible blemishes after this step, which brings me to the last member of my divine trio.
3. Foundation. I use it as a spot cover up even though that’s not technically what it’s for. But it works. I dip my finger in it, and then dab a small amount directly over any stubborn blemishes. Then I let it sit for 30 seconds to dry a little bit. Then lightly tap over the blemishes a few times to blend the foundation into the bb cream. I have the “Maybelline Matte Poreless Fit Me Foundation” (these names kill me). I think it was also about $8 at CVS.
It may take a bit of practice to get this down, but it really is simple! The most important things to remember are to use enough moisturizer (a bit excess is better than too little), and to be sparing with the BB cream and foundation. Also, make sure you get the right shade of product for your skin tone. In my case it’s the whitest one I can find. The goal of this process isn’t to look like you have perfect skin, because quite frankly, no one does. If your skin looked completely flawless then it wouldn’t look like you aren’t wearing makeup. However, your skin will have an even tone, and your blemishes will be mostly, if not completely, concealed. You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel when it seems like people see you, and not acne. Now you can take some sexy pics.