Ready to stake your claim in the new world of gender-neutral cosmetics?

By Rieva Lesonsky

We’ve covered the beauty industry quite a bit here in TrendCast—and even discussed the boom in men’s grooming products. And now, according to WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), a hot emerging trend in beauty is makeup for men.

Part of the trend stems from Gen Z’s acceptance of gender neutrality. WWD says several large brands, including Anastasia Beverly Hills, Sephora and Giorgio Armani, are addressing the trend.

While makeup for men is not exactly new (WWD cites one brand that tried introducing it in the 1980s), the publication says, “An acceptance of it in consumer culture is emerging into the mainstream.” (Consider that mass-market makeup brand CoverGirl recently introduced its first Cover Boy, 17-year-old James Charles.)

WWD says some newer brands, such as Milk Makeup, are introducing products that “are designed to be up for interpretation as to who can wear them and how they can be used.” Anastasia Beverly Hills not only has male customers, but has also used male models in several of its marketing campaigns.  “The pressures to market to men is on,” notes the article in WWD, but “it requires a tactful approach.”

Sam Cheow, chief product accelerator at L’Oréal, told WWD there are two emerging trends in the industry. The first is uniformization—making gender-neutral or unisex products that appeal to both men and women, such as fragrance or lip balm. The second is hyper-specialization of products, which is essentially the polar opposite—creating different versions of the same products for men and women.

Cheow told WWD, “In the next three to five years, there could be some really interesting products coming out.” And that’s where the entrepreneurial opportunity lies.

This is truly an emerging industry with plenty of room for new businesses to stake their claim.

Photo courtesy: Milk Makeup