‘Empire’s’ Makeup Artist Dishes on How To Groom Your Guy
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Every week, the men of the hit TV show Empire are perfectly groomed. No face scruff, bumps, zits, or irritation. Just handsome, shaved men. Honestly, there’s something about the Lyon men’s clean shaved faces that if given the chance, you would grab your guy and tell him to take notes. We get it. So we turned to Karen Lynn Accattato, the on-set makeup artist and grooming specialist and asked how we can help our men at home save face and encourage them to stay properly groomed year round. Read on and learn to enhance your natural beauty too. 

ESSENCE.com: What on-set makeup tricks do you use to groom the men of Empire?
Karen Lynn Accattato: With makeup on men, it’s all about keeping the look as natural as possible. Patches of dry, dull or blemished skin are really magnified by the camera, so the best way to combat the need for too much makeup is a cleanser that also serves as an exfoliator. I like Dove Men+Care Deep Clean Face Scrub.

ESSENCE.com: Any tricks for the ladies?
Karen Lynn Accattato: Makeup can only work on skin that’s well cared for with the ladies, too. It’s all about retaining moisture so that dry or oily patches won’t prevent the makeup from going on smoothly and lasting as long as possible, so I always make sure that the Empire ladies are well-moisturized.

ESSENCE.com: Sometimes women over think things when applying makeup. What should ladies keep in mind when applying makeup?
Karen Lynn Accattato: It all about skin health; if your make-up isn’t holding, it’s usually because your face is too dry or oily and by moisturizing twice a day, you can help combat that. Also, keep in mind that makeup is a way to enhance your natural beauty, not mask it. It’s important to look your best when you want to feel your best so stick with a routine that works for you.

ESSENCE.com: How can women encourage their men to upgrade their grooming game?
Karen Lynn Accattato: The best way to help men become better groomers is to make it as simple and seamless as possible—it should fit within a guys’ existing personal care routine. Men can often be overwhelmed when trying to integrate products into their routine, but a line that works cohesively with products that complement each other makes taking better care of their faces fool-proof in three easy steps: cleanse, shave and finish.

ESSENCE.com: Every cast member of the show looks great! How do you get everyone together in so little time backstage?
Karen Lynn Accattato: TV and movie set are always hectic but everyone always works together to make sure everything gets done smoothly and efficiently. Same goes for makeup! The Empire cast is amazing—they’re incredibly talented artists and such wonderful people and I love working with them.

ESSENCE.com: Is there a no-no when grooming a male’s face? What should men avoid?
Karen Lynn Accattato: I think a big no-no is not utilizing a decent shave cream. So often men will shave with whatever they have lying around, like soap or even nothing at all, but guys need products that protect against razor burn or ingrown hairs.

ESSENCE.com: Any must-dos?
Karen Lynn Accattato: Moisturize! It’s amazing to me how many men miss this step. Whether you have facial hair or not, and regardless of their skin type, it’s essential to moisturize. If you don’t properly replace moisture lost in skin, it actually causes your glands to overproduce oil and acne becomes even more of an issue. Men also don’t realize how their daily activities (the environment, sweat and shaving) can really wreak havoc on their skin.