Today, if you browse the menswear department of ASOS, the London-based company that caters to millennial and Gen Z consumers, you’ll find a dedicated make-up for men department with thousands of unisex and men’s only beauty products.
“Men’s grooming has come a long way since the days of soap and water,” reads the foundation’s product description, which covers a mild-to-moderate customer base and we’re seeing the male grooming industry developing. The study revealed that one in three young men use beauty products to look better.
3 big brands of make-up for men
“Liquid” is one of the products MMUK’s (Men’s Makeup UK) men’s foundation voted the world’s best men’s face makeup in the September 2012 issue of Men’s Health magazine.
Brow Gelcomb – Tom Ford Beauty
Tom Ford Beauty offers a men’s line that includes the Brow Gelcomb for men’s brows. The line also includes a brow pencil, a gel bronzer, and a moisturizing lip balm.
Additionally, 29% of millennial men maintain a regular skincare routine. (So if your boyfriend or husband still likes that weird soap, now might be the time to switch gears.)
But it’s not just ASOS and millennial startups that drive the men’s cosmetics boom, and it’s worth watching; mature luxury beauty brands are also experimenting with leveraging demographics.
Boy de Chanel
Chanel launched Boy de Chanel, its first cosmetics line for men, in January 2019, packaged in sophisticated midnight blue matte. Boy de Chanel includes three products: Le Teint, a tinted liquid foundation that promises “undetectable results”; Le Baume Levres Matte Moisturizing Lip Balm, a shine-free lip balm; and Le Stylo Sourcils, a four-shade palette Brow Pencils – Light Brown, Grey, Dark Brown, and Black.
Tom Ford For Men and Boy de Chanel appear to be marketing themselves to male consumers who want their makeup game to go unnoticed. However, some male grooming advocates don’t mind having their makeup skills punched. In fact, for some, make-up for men is their bread and butter.
The male grooming influencer, once relegated to YouTube videos and social media feeds, has received as much international attention in recent years as more “traditional” celebrities.
Internet personality James Charles, who became CoverGirl’s first male ambassador in 2016, was recently spotted walking the red carpet at Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show. His antics, both on and off-screen, often receive mainstream media attention.
Filipino-American YouTube star Patrick Starrr hosts celebrities Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Katie Katy Perry, Raven Symone, Naomi Campbell, and Paris Hilton. He also launched his capsule collection in collaboration with MAC Cosmetics. There is much to thank these “non-traditional media” celebrities in the men’s cosmetics industry for using their channels and influence to claim a space for men in the beauty industry.
Male appreciation for cosmetics and Kpop
In South Korea, male appreciation for cosmetics and personal hygiene has outpaced the rise of K-pop. It’s not uncommon for male K-pop celebrities to wear makeup onstage like their female counterparts.
According to CNN, Korean men are the world leaders in consumers of male skin care products, with the Korean market growing 44 percent between 2011 and 2017. These consumers are likely to enjoy beauty treatments at least once a week, with the ultimate goal of becoming more like their K-pop idols in appearance.
Today we are seeing more and more male faces leading beauty campaigns and taking on cosmetic brand ambassador roles – mainly from Asia, like:
- Korean actor Lee Dong Wook, Boy de Chanel’s new ambassador for Chanel, and Hong Kong rapper Jackson Wang, the newest face of Giorgio Armani Beauty.
- Korean boy band BTS teamed up with VT Cosmetics for makeup, and Monsta X teamed up with Tony Moly for a line of lip glosses.
In an interview with Allure Magazine, K-pop artist Holland said, “I’ve heard that a lot of Americans don’t wear makeup. In Korea, it’s the opposite. A lot of Koreans are very interested in makeup.”
Concealer is still the glam moment on the red carpet that seems to have less to do with your gender than with whether or not you want to wear makeup.
As a Chanel representative put it, “Men should be able to use cosmetics to correct or enhance their appearance without compromising their masculinity.”
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