Maybelline has just announced that YouTuber Manny Gutierrez will be its first male beauty ambassador. This move follows CoverGirl, which appointed James Charles as its own beauty ambassador last October. So why are leading beauty brands now using men to represent them?

There has been a lot of expectation about the growth of the male grooming industry for some time but it seems that we are now finally seeing evidence of this. Euromonitor reports that the global male grooming market grew $3bn between 2015 and 2016, from $47bn to $50bn. However, many men today still only shop in supermarkets for their grooming products and spend less than £5 on a moisturiser.

So, what exactly is driving this growth? 

Hair
Growth in male beauty products has been primarily driven by hair and beard care. A trend once associated with hipsters is now increasingly commonplace, as men embrace not shaving every day. Many skincare brands have created beard products, such as Clinique’s Skin Hydrator and Beard Conditioner and Bulldog’s new shaving collection.

Unilever also extended its presence in the male grooming market in 2016 with its $1bn acquisition of Dollar Shave Club, a subscription service that sells razor blades starting at $3 a month. And it’s not just facial hair that interests men – a recent survey found that 62% of European men are also interested in body-area specific razors.

Accessibility
Many high street retailers, including New Look and Whistles, have recently expanded their ranges to include menswear (see our recent white paper). This not only increases the focus upon male fashion but also provides opportunities to sell male grooming products.  We have also recently seen male grooming stores open, such as Murdock, BEAST. and Ted’s Grooming Room, as well as men-only salons, such as The Refinery.

Online
Despite greater access to products there remains a degree of stigma associated with shopping for male beauty products, making online an attractive channel. It is not surprising that Mr Porter, the men’s counterpart to Net-a-Porter, reported a 300% growth in men’s grooming products in 2015.  In 2013 Amazon introduced its men’s grooming store – a dedicated area for male grooming products which caters to several profiles, from the ‘No Fuss Fella’ to the ‘Moustache Man’. There has also been a rise in online stores for men’s grooming, such as The Modern Man, NewMen, and Mankind.

We are unlikely to see men suddenly start buying beauty products in the volume of their female counterparts. But we believe that the market will continue to grow as a result of sustained spending in established male grooming categories, which may be boosted in the longer term as new channels drive interest in areas that men have previously been inclined to neglect.

Melissa Yeunh