A spokesperson for L’Oreal says that we might be seeing make-up counters at department stores devoted to men in the next five years.
The UK managing director for L’Oreal, Vismay Sharma, told the Telegraph that the “selfie generation” isn’t so worried about gender taboos and might want to use make-up.
“Today you have a very small proportion of men who want to use makeup products but that proportion is growing and it will continue to grow. I think it’s just awareness – two things are happening, men know they can use make up, and they know what it does when you use it.”
Several other brands, like ASOS, have come out with a line of products directed at men, and designer Tom Ford has a collection of male beauty products that includes a concealer set.
This trend actually contradicts Sharma’s argument that “the taboos are going.” Men can already purchase and use make-up, so if they need the word “male” slapped onto the same product to get them to use it, then they are still insecure in their masculinity. What will have changed – if more than a small percentage of men use these products – are the contours of what men are allowed to do.
Moreover, makeup tutorials for men (and I’m guessing they’re aimed at straight men) focus on a “natural” and “subtle” look, which means that the point is to look like they’re not wearing make-up. If it’s no longer taboo for men we wear makeup, then why not put out ads with men wearing noticeable make-up and bold colors?
But if men want to use makeup but need to be reassured that it’s masculine, then cosmetic companies will be ready to make money by selling households the same product twice with different packaging.