Warmer weather means more outdoor weddings and more opportunities to harm your skin. With that in mind, there’s never been a better time to get down and dirty with your pores and start recognizing how to properly enhance your natural glow on your wedding day. Appearing luminous is something many men and butch brides haven’t really put much thought or effort into, as wearing makeup is stigmatized to the effeminate. From runway shows, such as Michael Bastian and DSquared, to your co-workers appearing slightly sun-kissed without the vacation time (how did they do that?!), masculine makeup trends have surpassed the need for the tanning bed and have transcended the generalizations set upon by the “masc only” part of the community.

Today, the trend towards embracing your natural beauty is important, both in men and women, focusing on anti-aging tools and how to enhance your appearance while protecting your skin from harm. Faux glows are often looked at with an unnatural, orange appearance, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here’s a guide into how to achieve a sunless bronzed look for your outdoor festivities:


(Clockwise from left) Billy Jealousy’s Combat Lines Face Moisturizer, Lab Series for Men oil-free towelettes, Matte for Men, Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm, NARS Cosmetics Matte Bronzer

  1. Start off by cleansing your face with a PH-balanced cleanser that contains antioxidants, with a subtle scent to invigorate and awaken the face for the work that’s about to come. Matte for Men rejuvenates with the right amount of vitamins to liven up your pores. Available at Sephora for $28.
  2. Moisturizing is key to holding your new glow. I recommend an SPF protection moisturizer that also combats lines and aging, such as Billy Jealousy’s Combat Lines Face Moisturizer with SPF 30. Available at Beauty.com for $38.
  3. Don’t set the concealer with a powder if you plan on mixing textures. If you decide to set with a powder, use only a powder to avoid a sticky and streaky appearance.
  4. Test your skin first to see which type of bronzer would work best for your skin. Between powder, blush, foundation, cream or tinted moisturizer, aerosol, liquid, stick … your options are endless.
  5. Non-comedogenic is preferable, as you don’t want a product that’s prone to clogging your pores and overproducing oil (leading to acne and a splotchy appearance).
  6. Matte only. Putting on makeup is enough to make you feel slightly effeminate, right? Well, avoid anything that contains shimmer as it will make you look a little extra shiny in your wedding photos. NARS Cosmetics’ matte bronzers blend easily and work well on the male complexion. Available at Narscosmetics.com for $38.
  7. After showering, look in the mirror to check where the light hits the higher planes of your face. To avoid an unnatural look, focus on the four main points of your face: nose, chin, center of your forehead and your cheekbones. Spritz a toner or misting spray prior if you can’t tell what points of your face the light takes in. Lush’s Tea Tree Water does the trick and also resets the PH-balance in your face. Available at Lush for $19.95.
  8. When applying the bronzer to your face, focus sharply on the jawline and angle your brush on a narrow angle down your cheekbones (pucker your lips to make it look more angular).
  9. To contour your jawline, start from behind the ear and bring the brush down and just under your jawbone. If you can’t tell where your natural jawline is, use your fingers to navigate and go just under the jawbone to bring out your masculine features.
  10. A tinted lip-balm, such as Burt’s Bees in Tigerlily, works in moderation. Don’t overdo it, otherwise you’ll end up looking like Barbie’s main squeeze. Available at for $6.99.
  11. Remember! Tap your brush and don’t blow on it.
  12. If you need to blot throughout the day, don’t rub your face, as you’ll do more harm (acne!) than good. Keep a few spare Lab Series for Men oil-free towelettes in your jacket pocket for quick bathroom touchups from working too hard on the dance floor. Available at Sephora for $15.