Dear MMUK, First of all I want to say I'm impressed and relieved in equal measures to find your site and the products on offer that are catered specifically towards men. I have wanted to start learning how to use makeup for some time now but I'm constantly overwhelmed by what's on offer and what I need. I end up looking for a couple of hours and then giving up. First, there's learning about all the products and what they do, i.e. foundation, B.B cream, C.C cream, D.D cream, then huge numbers of companies, shades, coverage ...

I have looked into women's makeup but even after narrowing it down to certain products, I wasn't sure if it would be good for men's skin with mine often being covered in light stubble and anyway our skin has different composition, right?

I'm looking at buying the luxury Christmas pack as it looks like it has a lot of great products in there, and almost everything I could need especially with me just starting out. Because I am a serious makeup newbie, please don't laugh at some of the questions I am about to ask...

1. I think I've worked out that I have cool tones to my skin. My veins are blue, I look better in white jewelry, and some other tests I forgot about now. My skin is a little oily so I worked out I would be best with a matte finish non-oil based foundation. For the shade, I guessed between N4 and N5 but I am not sure which. I live in Vietnam right now and I hope to buy and send to my house in England when I go back to visit so I want to make sure it's right. Please could you take a look at the attached pics. and let me know what you think about which shade to go for? They were obviously taken inside under some kind of strip lighting with a camera that is quite forgiving to skin tone. I think my skin is usually fairly pale (I don't get out in the sun much) but because I'm in Vietnam, it can quickly be filled with colour as the day goes on (35° a lot of the time here!). So the first question is, which shade should I go for? I would prefer a slightly more tanned look, but I guess that's what the bronzer is for, right?

2. I have no idea how best to apply the products that will be in the luxury set. I'm looking to get everything at the same time as I said because the thought of going to a women's makeup counter over here fills me with dread and also all the products are geared towards Asian skin anyway. So, do you have any advice on what to use for all the products that come with it i.e. brushes/ sponges? How many do I need? If you could recommend the links, that would be awesome!

3. I have to wear white shirts a lot of the time (maybe 3 days out of 5) and I am worried about any products coming off on my clothes or dribbling if I got particularly sweaty (that's not a nice image I know, sorry, and it doesn't usually happen, but just in case). Do you have any advice or words of wisdom? Will the primer under the foundation and using a liquid instead of a powder foundation hold it in place or do I need some compressed powder on top of all that ... or would that be overkill? How robust are the products? I mean if I put on a motorcycle helmet that touches my neck, will the product come off on the inside of the helmet?

4. What happens when you go swimming? Do you need to wash all the products off carefully first? I'm worried I may forget and jump in the pool only to be surrounded by a sea of peachy and black goo and attract attention for all the wrong reasons. How do people usually go about this? (I warned you I am a makeup newb.)

5. How do beards affect the choices of products we buy? I usually shave every 2 days. Will some light stubble make the foundation stick to the hairs instead of the skin so I end up looking like a hideous peachy porcupine albeit with nice, even skin?

6. How long will the products last if I use the foundation, for example, every day?

7. I like to think my eyebrows and eyelashes are one of my best features (feel free to shoot me down on this). To accentuate them, do you think I could use colour instead of the clear? Could I replace the two products in the luxury box set if you think I should? Or should I get the brow and beard filler palette as an extra?

8. As a first timer, will all these things be enough or is it too much? Will I end up looking like a warm beige coloured wedding cake with all the layers slapped on me? Is there anything else you think I might need? I'm looking at the guy-liner pencil as I've used one before and I like the results. It makes me look broody, hopefully that's the word I'm looking for.

9. Should I go the whole hog and get some makeup to do contouring or do you think this would make me look like a male Kim Kardashian?

10. Finally. Exfoliation. Is this just using one of those skin products you get in the supermarket that has the pieces in it or is it steaming your face?

I apologise for the huge number of questions but I really hope you can help me with as much as you have time to. Thank you so much for any advice you can give. Thank you, Craig

Good morning Craig, I hope you're well and thank you for your e-mail. I can completely understand that you feel overwhelmed when trying to discover and create an easy to follow makeup routine that will look great as a beginner. It's a very common problem that gentlemen have when new to makeup, however, i'm very confident we can break it down for you and in a few practices at home, you'll soon be feeling really comfortable and confident.

There are some women's products that can work well for men, but these are very few and far between and with the sheer selection available from thousands of brands, it's rare that guys get lucky in finding them - let alone in the right colour. Men's skin is typically more oilier than women's, which is why it's a good idea to focus on matte formulas and invest in a good anti-shine powder.

The men's makeup Christmas Box is a great option as a cosmetic newbie - it contains plenty of products that look natural, like our clear mascara and clear brow gel that are perfect for beginners.

After looking at various photos, I can confirm that the correct shade for your skin tone is N4 and as you do have slightly oily skin, our mineral matte foundation fits the bill perfectly and will also help you combat shine. To maintain a matte finish on your skin and also achieve a nice finishing touch of colour, our bronzer compact in 300 is perfect. This will also fit nicely when out in Vietnam if you do get a slight tan and will bring in everything nicely.

I'd begin by applying the skin primer all over your face in the same way you would apply a regular men's daily moisturiser. As this is very silky and matte, you'll only need to apply three or four small drops to your face before rubbing it in. Next, you can move onto your foundation, (which i can swap into your luxury men's makeup set manually). Apply your foundation lightly over your face, using a makeup sponge. As a beginner, apply little and often at this stage, so you can see your complexion gradually becoming enhanced - rather than caking up your face.

After you're happy with the coverage, which will unify your skin tone, take the concealer and dab it gently onto any remaining facial imperfections that may be present. The idea behind concealer is that you only need a smidgen of product as this is thicker and has higher coverage than foundation and any remaining skin problems can be instantly camouflaged. At this stage, you can also dab the under eye concealer onto your eye contours to brighten them, and blend them in using the same blending brush as you would blend in your concealer. Dab and blend in the product with this soft touch brush and it should only take you a few seconds.

You can then use a powder brush to dust on the bronzing powder, applying it mainly to areas of the face that naturally catch the sun, such as the forehead, nose and cheekbones. Again, make sure you go slow and steady and apply your bronzer in natural light so you can gradually build up a tan. A few practices of this technique and you'll be feeling much more confident. You can use the same brush to apply your anti shine powder across your t-zone. This is an invisible powder that sits on top of bronzer and will hold all your face products in place all day, refine your pores and make your overall look appear nice and natural. This powder will also help set and lock in your products, meaning it will be much more difficult for them to rub onto shirt collars or the inside of motorcycle helmets - it will certainly make your overall routine more robust and stay natural long into the day, regardless of temperature.

With regards to when you go swimming, I wouldn't recommend swimming with the products on. Whilst you won't have a peachy goo appear in the pool, it's just best for your skin to breathe as pools tend to have a lot of chemicals in them. For this, i'd recommend our new Anthony makeup remover wipes, which go on sale on Friday. I can include a set for you free of charge and include this manually in your order once it's placed. These allow you to remove makeup quickly and refresh the skin nicely at the same time.

With regards to application over the beard, when applying your foundation with a sponge, apply it over stubble in a dabbing motion rather than a swiping motion. This will allow product to settle below the stubble rather than on it. When applying the two powder products, repeat this dabbing technique, but this time with your brush. It's the same case with the blending brush.

With the use of all the products, it will last all day long, as the anti-shine powder will really lock everything in and keep it in place. With regards to brow products, i'd avoid getting these in colours to begin with, just whilst you're getting used to how much to apply and in what direction. You should apply the brow gel outward in gentle strokes and if you are keen to add colour and fill them in, the beard filler palette is a fantastic option. It also comes with an angled brush too so you can have a few practices until you feel comfortable.

As for adding any more products I'd say no, as this is the perfect amount of product. You could opt for the guyliner, if you think this will accentuate your eyes nicely as before, but when it comes to facial products, this is more than enough to get you confident and have a couple of weeks of regular practicing. At this stage, I wouldn't go for contouring until you're completely confident with these.

When it comes to exfoliation, I'd definitely avoid getting a supermarket standard product with pieces in it and instead invest in a good quality facial polish that will help you remove your products at the end of your day within a minute. I've put the links below to my suggestions too.

I'm always here if you have any further questions both before and after your purchase. I'm delighted to be able to offer advice until you're completely comfortable with all your new products. Regards, Lucy