Men have been using cosmetics for thousands of years, from the Egyptians’ love for kohl, to the Elizabethans’ use of lead-based cosmetics to whiten the skin. During the past century, men’s makeup certainly hasn’t been the norm! Aside from the brief guyliner trend in the mid-noughties, men’s makeup is still chiefly associated with drag.
But in recent years, there have been signs that men’s makeup is moving away from the theatrical and towards the practical.
In fact, the UK boss of L’Oreal reckons we could be seeing men’s makeup counters at department stores within five years.
So, what’s behind this change? What men’s makeup products can we expect to see? Is it a fad or here to stay?
Men wearing makeup is still something of a taboo for older generations, but experts think the younger generation are far more open-minded in their definitions of masculinity. After all, male grooming is now worth over half-a-billion pounds in the UK alone. Many young men don’t just buy shaving products, but also hair styling products and skincare products such as moisturisers and cleansers.
Men’s skincare products in particular may seem alien to the older generation, but for young people, it’s perfectly normal. Why shouldn’t this trend continue and extend to other cosmetic products?
As with everything in our lives, the internet has changed the world of men’s grooming. Men struggling with skin problems such as acne can now turn to the internet for advice (whether it’s helpful or not). For example, a quick search for ‘acne cover up for men’ brings up endless results showing men how to use makeup to achieve just that.
There are also loads of online communities dedicated to men’s grooming, including discussions on makeup. A quick look on YouTube will find thousands of makeup tutorials for men – from dramatic makeovers to subtle techniques to hide imperfections.
This visibility drastically reduces the stigma associated with makeup for men while, of course, helping individuals express themselves however they like.
The growing market
There are few dedicated men’s makeup brands already on the market – MMUK being one of the most prominent. However, there also aren’t many women’s makeup brands that are branching out into the men’s market, either. Therefore, most men who want to wear makeup must take their pick from women’s brands. While women’s products should work just as well for men in most circumstances, the way these products are marketed to a single gender undoubtedly stops many men from purchasing them.
For the market to grow, we need strong male-oriented brands (or product lines) and some clever marketing to go with them.
Here at Direct Cosmetics, we believe that wearing makeup should be a choice that everyone can make. No-one should ever feel obliged to wear makeup because of their gender, but neither should anyone feel locked out of makeup because of it.
Do you think L’Oreal are right? Will men’s makeup soon be available on the high street and right here at the Direct Cosmetics webstore? Share your thoughts below!