The concept of grooming was once reserved for womens extensive skincare and beauty routines and male grooming consisted of showering and shaving at the very most. The male grooming market is now worth $56bn in global revenues and continues to grow year on year. So what exactly does this mean in regards to our expectation of grooming regimes for men and women?
This year many of us have opted for a ‘work from home’ look and have spent far less time on our appearance. However, getting ready for work can often be an expensive affair especially for women. A recent study by The Independent has shown that the average British woman spends around £70,000 on grooming and beauty products in her lifetime. For many women, taking care of their appearance is an enjoyable part of day to day life, but for some looking the part can be the difference between a promotion and a failed job interview. Many corporate jobs have an employee handbook with a hefty section for female employees. These often consist of guidelines showing exactly how makeup should be applied and acceptable hairstyles. The pages for male employees often show neat haircuts and smart clothing, a pretty simple guide to follow considering haircuts for men are often far less expensive than hairstyling for women. The continuous pressure on women to look the part for work in order to get ahead has a huge impact as the average woman is said to spend 55 minutes grooming themselves every morning not to mention the added cost of treatments and products every month.
The added time spent each day grooming has led to a rise in demand for quick fix products that can be used on the go. Cult beauty brands such as Milk Makeup create ‘commuter friendly’ products that require minimal effort and make beauty on the go a breeze. Our need for multitasking and portable products mean since its launch in 2016 the brand has become well known for its stick products, including its lip and cheek tint that can be swept across cheeks, lips and even eyelids for a quick flush of colour. The brand’s creator often posts one handed video tutorials creating flawless looks in minutes. Our fast paced lives (pre-pandemic) have given a platform to these quick fixes and encouraged brands to streamline products to make beautifying quicker and easier than ever.
Despite less pressure on men to look the part, the modern day man is now taking far more interest in his appearance. The male grooming market has continued to grow year on year at a rapid rate. Even the most sceptical of men are now being lured into the market with promises of a more youthful look. The stigma that once surrounded male grooming has slowly begun to fade as celebrity brand ambassadors encourage sales whilst instilling masculinity. The demand for products ‘for him’ continues to rise. According to Vogue Business, 69% of skincare products listed on Superdrug also contain the words ‘him’ or ‘men’. No fuss shaving and skincare brand Harry’s describe themselves as a simple, superior and more affordable solution to shaving. The brand has seen a 35% year on year growth and continues to prove the demand for simple male products that do exactly what they say on the tin.
Although demand for male grooming products has risen dramatically, many brands are offering a simpler, gender neutral approach that focuses solely on the product itself. For those with an interest in ingredients first, brands like The Ordinary strip back flashy marketing and packaging and focus on good skin for all. Mintel’s research has shown that a younger generation of beauty buffs now have an interest in genderless beauty products. They are far more educated on ingredients now and that takes centre stage. Other gender neutral brands include Mario Badescu and The Inkey List. Newer brands on the market offering a genderless approach to beauty include Rihanna’s Fenty Skin and influencer Patrick Starr’s much anticipated One-Size line that aims to offer a product selection for all and remove the awkwardness of shopping for beauty products in a sea of gendered adverts and pink packaging.
Is this the end of gendered beauty brands, will it one day be all about the product?