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English Rose Complexion – Hot Summer Look (for Men!)

Image: Topman SS17

In grooming, we look to the runways for inspiration.  Sometimes, they steer us in the right direction.  Men around the globe have fully embraced trends like extra-long hair and subtle contouring.  But sometimes, the runways get a little unrealistic and send us into dangerous territory.  Last year, and even early this year, men’s catwalks have been populated by men with dirty faces and unwashed hair.  Dubbed anti-grooming by fashion critics, the trend is reminiscent of punk culture and not fully applicable to everyday life-especially for professional men.  However, a big grooming trend this summer seems to offer hope that the fashion community to taking us to great new heights.  Say hello to the English rose complexion.

The English rose complexion is the look guys have after a long afternoon on the beach.  When you finally make your way back indoors, your skin looks flushed.  It’s either pink or red on your cheeks and forehead.  Typically, it’s an indication that sunburn isn’t too far behind. For guys who are fair-skinned, they probably end up rocking the English rose without intending to.  Feeling embarrassed or even feeling exhausted after a great workout can lead to rosy cheeks.

The English rose is, unlike many of the most popular runway grooming trends, a naturally occurring look.  However, the trend isn’t just about wearing your natural, rosy complexion.  If you already have fair skin, it’s about exaggerating the redness.  For those with darker skin, it’s about creating a red tint that’s not usually there.

Image: Mashable

It was first noted as a trend by Mashable after Topman’s Spring/Summer 2017 show.  During that show, almost every model floated down the catwalk with a red-tinted face.  Though they were well-dressed and even appeared to be freshly groomed, their faces seemed sunburnt.  The fair-skinned models and dark-skinned models alike all had the same rosy complexion. And it wasn’t just Topman.  British label Sibling accessorized its boldly colored swimwear and streetwear with rosy cheeks and foreheads.  Even fashion show attendees on the streets were seen rocking the look despite the stark contrast of cold weather outdoors.

Once upon a time, it was considered embarrassing to have a rosy complexion.  But now, fashion is telling us it’s cool to look blushed.  So, does this mean you should abandon sunscreen and sunbathe without a care?  Not quite.  As a word of caution, spending days at the beach without protecting your skin puts you at risk for skin cancer, sun damage and early-onset wrinkles.  Even if you want to be on trend, you still have a duty to protect your skin.  The men who are wearing this look are doing so artificially.

As it turns out, the English rose complexion isn’t as new as it seems.  The fairer sex has been mastering this look for ages.  The women’s version plays up rosy cheeks, but instead of a bright red forehead, the look is balanced by bold red lips, accompanied by bright, white teeth.  Their look is achieved with an arsenal of products: blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner.

For men, you won’t need nearly as many things.  Your eyes aren’t part of the equation here.  But you’ll still need some makeup.  It’s time to get acquainted with powder blush and tint sticks. Powder blush is powdered makeup that comes in a variety of colors.  It’s easy to find in red and can be applied with a brush.  It’s often used by women for contouring their cheeks but your focus isn’t contouring.  Just a few strokes of the brush across your cheeks will leave bright red accents that echo the freshly sunburnt style of the runway.

If the thought of buying or applying powder blush is frightening, a tint stick is a little more discreet.  It looks like a permanent marker, but it discharges makeup in the desired shade.  A rose-colored tint stick can be rubbed over your cheeks to get the same effect as the blush. For guys who are already fair skinned, you might not need any enhancements for this look.  Yet, if you decide to use some artificial assistance, take it easy.  It won’t require much for you to go overboard and end up with a dramatic (and obviously fake) English rose look.

With each fashion season, women’s grooming seems to influence men’s grooming in greater ways.  Men’s designers are focused on communicating their message not just through clothing but through the entire package inclusive of hair and skin.  Some designers have looked to temporary tattoos, glitter (a la David Bowie) and dramatic makeup as ways to stand out.  While those trends likely won’t catch on any time soon, the English rose complexion is the way to go this summer.

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