The modern-day challenges facing men’s make-up brands

Makeup has long been a highly dominated female market with over 83% of UK women wearing makeup. However, the makeup industry has seen positive growth with attitudinal changes and the influence of social media encouraging brands to create inclusive products for all genders. This has led to the rise of men’s make-up with the market estimated to reach $276 billion by 2030. 

World recognised brands such as Chanel have seen this potential market for men’s makeup and proactively made strides to diversify their product ranges in order to capitalise on these changing attitudes. In 2018 the luxury brand released ‘Boy De Chanel’ which has gone on to become a worldwide success and in 2020 announced they would be expanding the men’s makeup collection.  


One of the major challenges that the industry faces is continuing to address misconceptions and encourage adoption. Although great progress has been made in changing attitudes and encouraging inclusivity, there is still a long way to go when it comes to removing the stigma that surrounds men’s cosmetics.  

Danny Gray, founder of beauty brand War Paint claims men “feel ashamed about using make-up” with studies finding only one in a hundred men wear makeup on a daily basis.

This demonstrates the challenge currently facing the sector when it comes to adoption but also a huge potential opportunity when it comes to penetrating this untapped market.   

Another prominent challenge is the lack of specific male-dedicated products. Whilst makeup is designed to be inclusive, education is needed for male consumers on why exactly they would choose a male-specific product rather than something they view as unisex. Studies have found that men’s testosterone on average makes their skin 25% thicker than females, and alongside this men’s skin produces more sebum resulting in it becoming more acne-prone and oily. There is a real knowledge gap from consumers when it comes to these differences so brands must ensure they are communicating this in order to legitimise the added value their products will provide.  

Some Brands such as Shakeup Cosmetics are looking to address these issues whilst eliminating the misconception that male-specific makeup is unnecessary. The beauty brand has created a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly makeup range with its mission statement aimed at breaking down barriers around men’s cosmetics and creating “easy to use products specifically designed for men”. 


One major influence helping drive positive change in men’s make-up is the growth of influencer marketing. Survey results found that 75% of brands intend to have a standalone budget for influencers in 2021. It shows a significant shift in how brands are advertising products, with the trust and added engagement provided by influencers genuinely helping to drive behavioural change. As well as getting your brand in front of an audience of engaged followers, influencer marketing within the men’s makeup space may also open your products up to a wider market of potential customers.  

With 67% of beauty enthusiasts turning to influencers before making a purchase, male make-up influencers including Wayne Goss and Jake Jamie are just two examples of successful individuals within the men’s make-up space. Make-up guru Goss boasts a follower count of 702,000 on Instagram and Jamie boasting an impressive 707,000 followers on the social media app. With influencers becoming a marketing technique proven to bring great success, major brands are now seeing the array of advantages and taking notice when advertising.  

Social media as a whole is an effective tool when aiming to amplify brand awareness and one emerging channel within the space that brands must consider is TikTok. With an estimated 1.1 billion users, as well as a growing influencer community, brands should consider how this channel can help diversify the content they are using to attract consumers and tap into this huge audience.  

Engaging content that is accessible on social platforms can also propel brands ahead of their competition. To compliment a social media strategy partnering with experts in media relations can also bring several options to add to any campaign. With the addition of content such as thought leadership pieces in opinion-forming media publications, brands can position themselves as leading voices in the industry and help address misconceptions.  

Creating an online presence and more importantly adding value, will enable a positive impression of your beauty brand whilst helping to increase opportunities for consumers. This presents an opening for consumers to understand your story, see the products and in turn, will drive sales.  

Partnering with a recognized PR Agency with the right blend of traditional media and influencer contacts will be key for brands looking to gain a foothold in this market and genuinely influence attitudinal and behavioural change in what is a booming industry.  

If you’d be interested in understanding how The PHA Group can support your beauty brand, get in touch with us today.  

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