The male cosmetics industry is exploding, according to the BBC, who asked on Friday: “Is men’s make-up going mainstream?”
What are the details?
As evidence, the BBC points to the fact that the male-grooming business was valued at $57.7 billion in 2017, and “is growing exponentially.” The publication adds, “We’re not just talking Nivea; we’re talking moisturizing foundation and bronzers, concealers and brow definers — proper cosmetics.”
One of the celebrated modern catalysts of men’s make-up is 19-year-old YouTube star James Charles, whose popular online tutorials led to him developing a merchandise and clothing line. He is now a face of CoverGirl, and his recent presence at an event in England drew such a crowd that traffic was gridlocked for hours.
Charles refers to his following as his “sisterhood” — and they are 14 million strong. Here he is explaining how he found his perfect foundation match:
According to online beauty publication Byrdie, male influencers like Charles are proving that “makeup is in the early stages of becoming more gender-inclusive,” after generations of cosmetics being seen as a “‘girls-only’ enterprise.”
Byrdie points out that “for millennia, stretching from 4000 BCE through the 18th century, men traditionally used makeup in myriad ways,” and that “it wasn’t until the mid-1800’s that makeup was relegated to one end of the gender spectrum.”
The magazine went on to outline the uses of male cosmetics throughout history, and its fall from favor during the Victorian era when Queen Victoria I and the Church of England deemed such embellishments “vulgar.”
The BBC also noted that former soccer star David Beckham will grace the cover of LOVE magazine this month, wearing a similar bright blue eyeshadow to that donned by the late singer David Bowie in his Life on Mars music video in 2016.
That same year, The Huffington Post asserted that it’s “becoming quite common” for straight men to wear makeup, and that “it’s time we stopped empowering fear and insecurity with archaic gender ideas or destructive hashtags.”