Skincare and updated beauty regimes are no longer part of yo mama’s makeup routine.
Over the past few years it has been easy to see that the way we shop and consume our fashion is becoming more gender-neutral. For a while, the beauty industry always focused on catering to the needs of the different genders – whereas now they celebrate change and embrace gender fluidity. As gender diversity becomes increasingly visible, and “traditional stereotypes begin to dissolve, and this kind of gendered marketing begins to look out-dated and out of touch“.
Like so many others ladies I too love the bold colours, (bring me ALL the cool-toned hot pink lipsticks) however the lack of neutral options has creative a problem by restricting binary categorization. In comes Gender-Neutral Brands. These can be brands that actively market themselves as unisex, such as the self-explanatory Non Gender Specific or the K-beauty inspired brand Panacea. Male grooming is a multi-billion industry worldwide with numbers consistently growing as men continue to invest in their appearances.
Now men and makeup is by no means a new concept. Androgynous styles and Drag have been around since before the 80’s (and to all the Queens out there, YAAAS YOU SLAY and ILY Sasha Velour <3) but something that’s becoming more prominent in mainstream media is gender neutrality and makeup for cisgender men. As the #RejectedBeautyQueen, the name itself basically means “not an expert” but a girl can’t help but notice the changing meaning masculinity.
Though different from full-face makeup beauty gurus, men are still generally invested in their appearances and this interest has led to the creation of makeup and skincare lines structured towards supplying the “everyday man’s need”. Just like women, studies show that men are increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies and for that reason more are flipping the bird to the “Man’s” gendered double-standard on beauty.
I personally first started seeing makeup for cisgender men on this ad by Annabelle
Not once do they mention makeup for men, society’s social construct, sexual orientation or even defending their choice of model. I was impressed by the use of a man, for a typically women’s centred line, just showing the product and not making a big deal (or any at all for that matter) of its impact.
Brands such as Formen, JECCA MAKEUP, Fluide and Both Ways Cosmetics are all examples of non-women specific brands (Formen though identifies as a “makeup line created by men for men“) working to fill the gap in the market beauty market, one which is overwhelmingly catered towards the needs of cisgender women. While many men and women share similar beauty issues, Foremen tackles skin issues unique to cisgender men. Foreman’s $35 Invisible Blotting Powder attempts to “control excess oil that accumulate on the face.” Men sweat twice as much as women, according to The International Dermal Institute.
“While a number of legacy beauty companies — like L’Oreal, Mac and Covergirl — have used marketing to show their gender-inclusivity, a few have done so through products. For example, Tom Ford has a concealer for men; Clinique has a men’s face bronzer; and Calvin Klein sells manscara” (NBC News, 2018).
I identify as a cisgender female and know that when it comes to the beauty industry, everything it catered towards my wants and needs. And for this I am quite lucky. I can’t say that I’ve gone through the troubles of experiencing societal backlash for wanting to wear makeup – but for those that, I am happy to see minds are changing and there are more ways for everyone to feel happy in their own skin.