Over the past few years the makeup industry has seen a dramatic growth in popularity. However, the large number of products now available to us is not the only thing that has grown, as the audience of which the products appeal to has also grown. Recently, the target market of the makeup industry has evidently vastly expanded, to a point where in fact there may no longer be a specific audience that makeup brands are aimed at. Popular and well-known names in the industry e.g. such as Mac, NYX and Maybelline are now using male makeup artists as their brand/campaign promoters, with many other brands such as Spectrum planning to do the same. So, with the great increase of male beauty gurus on YouTube, Instagram & now, in beauty campaigns, in addition to transgender stars, has the makeup industry truly been transformed? Are there now ‘new faces’ of beauty? I have researched both luxury and drug-store makeup brands to find out.
The first makeup campaign I looked at was Jeffree Star Cosmetics’ Christmas collection, which features the creator of the brand, Jeffree Star himself, as well as his friend & fellow YouTuber Nikita Dragun, who is a transgender woman. The former singer Jeffree Star has seen his brand boom over the past year and a half, particularly his Velour Liquid Lipsticks, which arguably started off one of the biggest makeup trends of 2016. In addition to his makeup collections popularity, he also has a YouTube following of over 3.5 million, highlighting what an influential role he has in the growing beauty community. His channel consists of makeup tutorials, reviews and ‘get ready with me’ videos, which also feature some of his friends that are also in the industry, such as MannyMUA, another male beauty guru, and Nikita Dragun. Nikita is very open on her Youtube channel about her transitional journey, sharing her own personal experiences throughout the process, including her operations etc. Assessing the images (below), the fact that Jeffree, Nikita and a male model are featured within the campaign suggests a new ideal that makeup is truly for anyone. Jeffree, through promotion of himself, his products, and his friends, has now developed a brand that caters for everyone, and that makeup has no gender. It is also clear, from his vast social media following, that millions of makeup enthusiasts agree with him.
Maybelline, a world-wide popular drugstore brand, has also recently brought out a new campaign advertising their latest mascara, which features male beauty guru ‘MannyMUA’. Manny is another YouTube phenomenon, who has built up his subscribers to an impressive 2.2 million and growing. His feature highlights that drugstore brands are also willing to take risks in relation to promotion of their products by using non-traditional ambassadors such as male makeup artists. Additionally, NYX, another drugstore brand has also featured a male promotor; makeup guru Patrick Star within their campaigns that can be seen in their stores/branches. This consequently reinforces that men may be the new faces of beauty.
But, are there any campaigns using non-makeup artist males? I searched for a beauty advertisement that used more traditional non-famous male models for the promotion of makeup, and although they certainly seem less popular amongst makeup brands, I did find one from Anastasia Beverly Hills. This add features a male model with simplistic makeup, used mainly for cover up (e.g. foundation and concealer) rather than the intense makeup looks that can be seen in the previous campaigns. However, this add does prove that the makeup industry has expanded even more than first thought; to not only male makeup professionals, but also the average man in society too. Thus, this shows that as an industry, that includes both luxury and drugstore brands, makeup is constantly pushing boundaries and subverting stereotypes.
So, can it be concluded that men are indeed the new faces of beauty? I’ll leave that decision up to you. But, it is clear that there has been a clear shift in acceptance, as well as a shunning of stereotypes in the makeup industry that has been a long time coming. I can’t wait to see what one of the world’s fasting growing industries has to offer us next.
Let me know your opinion in the comments!
Thanks for reading,