Should Guys Wear Tinted Moisturizer? We Made 'Em Try It.


Calling it “tinted moisturizer” instead of “makeup” seems to make men more comfortable with the idea of wearing it. But are you comfortable with men wearing it? You should be. In case you needed any convincing of its unisex benefits, we applied tinted moisturizer to the faces of our colleagues at Deadspin. Check out how beautiful they became.

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.

When I told Deadspin’s Tom Ley [pictured above; bare-faced on the left; with tinted moisturizer on the right] that Scott Disick wears tinted moisturizer he said, “I don’t know who that is.”

“He impregnated Kourtney Kardashian. Twice,” I told him, “And he was kind of secretive about wearing tinted moisturizer, but when she found out she was really supportive and said, ‘Tinted moisturizer is amazing to use. It’s awesome.’ And I agree with her.”

I used CK One 3-in-1 Face Makeup with SPF 8 on Tom. Sure, it’s actually titled “makeup” instead of “tinted moisturizer,” but CK One is a notoriously unisex beauty brand.

When I asked Barry Petchesky about his own personal beauty regimen he laughed at the silliness of my question.

“Do you wash your face?”

“I mean…no? Sometimes?”

“What do you use?”


“A special face soap? Something with salicylic acid?”

“Oh, I don’t know. If I wash it, I guess I use hand soap.”

(How annoying is that? He didn’t have a single pimple on his face and he’s a smoker.) I used Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 on him. (Bare-faced on the left; with tinted moisturizer on the right.)

I asked Barry what he considers crossing the line between toiletries and makeup and he said, “Anything where the results are immediately seen.”

So I guess, by his definition, Barry is wearing makeup, because the results were immediate—and gorgeous.

Jack Dickey was my favorite of the makeovers because the shade (Fair) of CK One I used on him seemed custom-made for his skin. Some women spend years trying to find the perfect color and he happened upon his by accident. The tragedy is that he probably won’t even ever wear it again. (Again: He’s bare-faced on the left; with tinted moisturizer on the right.)

In fact, none of these guys expressed any interest in wearing tinted moisturizer beyond helping me out for this post. It’s not that they disliked it—they all politely told me that they liked their after shots, and Jack later emailed me, “WHATEVER. FELT GREAT”—but they don’t even wear regular moisturizer.

Although, I don’t see how anyone could argue with these results. However, none of them received compliments. But they weren’t on the receiving end of any derision either. As far as they could tell, nobody suspected they were wearing makeup. Probably because they looked so natural!

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