A Top Celebrity Male Groomer Weighs In On Men’s Makeup And The Number One Product She Uses On Her Famous Clients
Skincare and makeup for men are exploding and Marissa Machado, a leading celebrity male groomer, shares her insights on this evolving industry.
Whether you’re a consumer or a beauty professional, you know that many beauty products have universal appeal. Haircare, body care, and skincare lines target both men and women, yet cosmetics companies are currently experiencing a substantial demand for male beauty products.
A 2019 poll conducted by Morning Consult revealed that “about a third of American men under 45 would consider trying makeup.” That statistic doesn’t surprise me at all, especially having spent the bulk of the 80s in dance clubs and grown into a die-hard EXO fan since falling down the K-beauty rabbit hole.
As the demand for both male makeup and skincare continues to soar, a little evolutionary history is in order along with some professional perspectives on what once seemed an exclusive club for women only.
Male Influencers Are The New Faces Of Beauty
In late 2016, CoverGirl partnered with young social media phenom James Charles, and Maybelline promptly followed suit the following year by putting Manny Gutierrez (aka Manny Mua) front and center in its advertising campaigns. In 2018, Boy De Chanel hit shelves with a small assortment of foundation colors (only four) along with a lip balm and eyebrow pencil. According to one particularly insightful statement in Chanel’s press release, “Beauty is not a matter of gender; it is a matter of style.” Flash forward to 2020, and you’ll find the line has doubled its foundation offerings and added concealer, three colored eye pencils, nail color, and – yes – skincare.
Inside Scoop from A Beauty Insider
I recently spoke with Marissa Machado, a Los Angeles-based celebrity male groomer, about her experience working with men. Speaking with Machado, a down-to-earth Bakersfield, CA native, is like talking to the girl next door with an old-school soul. She’s refreshingly honest and credits her mentors for her success every step of the way.
While most people understand the word “handler” in terms of celebrities or politicians, many are unfamiliar with groomers. I certainly was. Machado explained that her work often entails cleaning up a man’s beard and sideburns, shaping and grooming his nails, and making sure his face looks it’s absolute best. Having frequently been relegated to working on male models and celebrities while assisting someone else in her early years, she now works exclusively on men (and prefers it) and has a singular goal in mind each and every time: “to never make them look less masculine than they are.”
Behind The Scenes With A Pro
Because of Machado’s natural approach and coveted skills, her clients, like actor Miles Teller of Whiplash and Top Gun: Maverick, refer to her not as a “groomer” but as “my girl” – a title conveying not only trust and appreciation, but a level of affection often reserved only for one’s closest friend.
On every job, Machado isolates her client’s needs so precisely that you’d never even know she was there. There’s no template for the work she does as every man she works with has unique requirements that are addressed individually every time. “Some clients,” she says, “want the absolute minimum. Twelve minutes, and they’re done. Others enjoy everything from eye patches and face mask to facial rollers and pampering.”
The Cornerstone of Every Session Is Skincare
Machado’s approach to caring for her clients starts with great skincare, but she does “only what’s necessary.” The products on her station include easily identifiable brands made specifically for men, like Boy De Chanel, V76 by Vaughn, Tom Ford, and Jaxon Lane (a favorite of long-time client Nick Jonas). “A lot has changed since I began my career,” Machado says. “Many great brands now have skincare lines just for men, which include masculine packaging. I’d never had pink bottles on my station.” And as for decanting products into non-descript bottles, that’s not part of Machado’s approach either. Men, just like women, often identify with the fashion aspect of some of the skincare brands she uses, and that connection also establishes her credibility as a professional with male-only clientele. Skincare is so important to her that she even creates kits for her clients, so they can use the same products at home.
The Purpose of Makeup
As far as makeup application goes, bronzer is Machado’s most utilized product. Whether emphasizing a cheekbone or jawline, she takes each man’s features and needs into consideration. She attends to everything from evening out a tan to emphasizing the veins or muscles in a client’s arm. Machado’s aim is beautiful skin that looks natural. That means paying attention to every detail. “Life is not an Instagram filter, and I have to be their mirror because [as a groomer] it’s not about me.”
Ready to learn what the men of Beautytap have to say on the matter? Stay tuned for an in-depth interview with Bradley Bobich, Verified Beauty Expert, and Jonni Renfroe, Beautytap’s Head of Education.