Makeup is synonymous with womanliness, but a cultural shift has been witnessed in recent years where cosmetic companies have started to target men. While rock stars proudly wore makeup in the past, it is now more mainstream and less associated with a counter-culture that's both subversive and gender-bending. What is fueling the growth in the male makeup market? Why have men started to warm up to cosmetics?
We discussed the matter with Andrew Grella, CEO of Formen, a men's makeup company that was founded on the back of its owner having a bad skin experience the night before his prom.
Andrew created Formen, the world's first male cosmetic house that offers a range of products designed to cloak skin imperfections, enhancing appearance without drastic transformation. His business has grown rapidly and after two years of online retailing is now available in 55 retail locations across Canada and in 2019 will triple it's product count.
The Rise of Male Makeup Influencers
The male makeup trend is just one side of a much larger phenomenon, which is the explosive growth of the online cosmetic industry. YouTube has contributed significantly to the popularity of makeup tutorials and reviews. Beauty content received more than 88 billion views on YouTube in 2017. Some men have arisen as heavy-hitters in this thriving industry. A former musician that became a makeup expert known as Jeffree Star has more than 10 million subscribers on YouTube while Patrick Starr has more than 4 million subscribers and 4.5 million Instagram followers. CoverGirl actually named James Charles, who was then 17-years old as their first male ambassador in 2016.
Online platforms have helped propel male makeup gurus as the industry's leading spokespeople. They review, try on, and advertise cosmetics of different kinds while presenting the products as ultimately genderless. However, beyond the influencers, there are other subtler reasons why men have started to be more receptive to makeup.
Changing Gender Roles
Numerous outlets including CNN, Lifehacker, GQ, and even The Wall Street Journal have delved into this enticing topic in recent years. Brendan Gough, a social psychologist, said that men today are invested in their appearance to some extent regardless of age or generation. He also said that moisturizer used to be a taboo not so long ago, but it is now commonplace. He added that makeup is one of the last bastions of femininity that men have started to encroach upon. Gough also contextualized male makeup with how allegedly feminine tasks such as cleaning and cooking are now also being done by men. Therefore, as the clearly defined gender roles start getting muddled so are the interests, hobbies, and products.
Besides the shift in interests, it is also becoming increasingly apparent that men, just like women, want to cover up their blemishes as well as accentuating various features. The Wall Street Journal interviewed a 34-year old man that applied foundation prior to special events as well as a 32-year old CEO that used concealer to hide eye-bags when he is exhausted. Such anecdotes show that men don't always have to be rock stars or YouTube influencers to apply makeup. They are gravitating towards such products since they help.
The male grooming industry has enjoyed steady growth and the makeup market has been expanding steadily too.
The Most Common Makeup Products Used by Men
Subtlety is the overall trend when it comes to male makeup. YouTube vloggers might experiment with colorful palettes, but the vast majority of male-oriented products are marketed as inconspicuous solutions to common problems such as acne, blemishes, and exhaustion. The goal of the makeup is to be hardly noticeable rather than making a statement.
Concealers are used for covering up dark circles, wrinkles, and acne. Numerous products can be used for different situations. If you have an acne breakout, you can try Formen's concealer. It was created to make skin look more uniform, and blurs and blends imperfections to hide dark circles or acne for example.
Under eye concealers allow you to easily conceal one of the largest trouble spots for those with potential issues. Formen's compact trio conceals under eye bags via an easy to administer finger application. Simply use the product as advised on the page to conceal problem areas and mask the male under eye bags.
Excess oil on top of the skin causes shine and can look unattractive and this is where Formen's Invisible Blotting Powder comes to the fore. It's easy to apply and will reduce the amount of excess oil on top of the skin, helping it to look more shine free. It's easy to apply and will help you feel refreshed and clean as you use it throughout the day.
Science Backed Skin Care Solutions
Male makeup might be growing in popularity, but covering up the issue is not necessarily solving it. Formen's 6 in 1 offers a variety of skin care solutions that help to combat acne, reduce the signs of aging, as well as moisturizing the face. It's a great product and one that's easily applied, and a jack of all trades product that can really have a positive impact on skin
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