Who says men can’t wear make-up? The men’s grooming market is actually booming, worth more than £37 billion worldwide.  Surprising? Jo Horgan, founder of huge Australian cosmetics brand Mecca, doesn’t think so.

“The question is not is it going to happen but just how big it will be. I expect make-up for men to be massive,” says Horgan, who firmly believes that men’s make-up will be the next global beauty trend.

If we think about it, men experience the same problems as women – blemishes, acne, dark circles, and the like. Make-up does a wonderful job at concealing these problems, so the idea of men jumping on the make-up wagon should not be as shocking as it is for some.

Men’s Grooming is Becoming More Mainstream

Aside from the usual shaving creams and razors, it’s already been a long time since entire men’s sections have appeared on beauty stores. Products specially dedicated to men such as moisturisers, cleansers, and shampoos are proof that men also take grooming seriously like women do. Cosmetic treatments such as laser hair removal and waxing are becoming more and more mainstream for men as well.

The recent years have seen men who are also getting into Botox and dermal fillers to appear younger. In 2017, the American Society for Plastic Surgeons revealed that almost 10 percent of all cosmetic surgeries consist of Botox for men.  A year later, plastic surgeons said that nearly 20 percent of their clients are men. Keep in mind that treatments like Botox are medical procedures which should be done by professionals only.

Nevertheless, even with men’s grooming increasingly becoming popular, introducing make-up to the market may be harder than other male-dedicated products. A big challenge for make-up companies is trying to persuade men that makeup can be manly. They’ve even gone as far as altering makeup names, such as changing mascara to manscara, and eyeliner to guyliner.

“I don’t expect all men to start wearing make-up and of those that do, some will likely just wear a little, but it is something that is going to take off,” says Horgan.

The Influence of Media

Much like how women are portrayed as having hourglass figures, sculpted jawlines, and poreless faces in the media, men are also feeling the pressures to look good. Magazines, dating websites, and social media platforms are brimming with photos of muscular men with six-pack abs, flawless skin, and perfect hair. Moreover, a lot of publications worldwide release an annual Top 100 list of sexiest men. In Heart Radio UK’s 2018 list, men such as Jamie Dornan, David Beckham, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ryan Reynolds are among those at the top.

But aside from having a great body, the pressure to having great skin is felt by men as well. The vlogging community is a testament to this, with male Youtubers such as Jeffree Star, James Charles, and Patrick Starrr among those in the forefront of the makeup scene. Lots of other men are also providing makeup tutorials for men too.

Indeed, the dissatisfaction with our own bodies is affecting men as well. The health industry picked up on this, with the massive availability of protein shakes, diets, and beauty products for men.

Make-up for Men: The Basics

Men’s magazines and websites are warming up on the men’s makeup topic, publishing how-to’s and guides for men who want to explore this new scene.

An article in GQ magazine discusses a simple step-by-step makeup guide for men, which is summarized below.

  • Step 1: Skin prep. Cleanse your face and apply a moisturizer to make sure that your face is well-hydrated before applying any makeup.
  • Step 2: Correct redness. If you have some red pigmentation on specific areas on your face, a green tinted color correcting primer would do the trick,
  • Step 3: Concealer. Cover your dark circles, spots, spider veins, and other blemishes with a concealer that matches your skin tone.
  • Step 4: Foundation. Consider loose mineral powder foundations to keep it light. Powders with a dash of SPF double as sunscreen, too.
  • Step 5: Eyebrows. When it comes to eyebrows, you can have your pick between brow pencils, brow gels, and brow powders. Remember to choose one that matches your eyebrow color or a shade that’s a bit darker. Brush in the direction of hair growth, filling your brows and giving it more definition.
  • Step 6: Lips. Apply a lip balm to keep your lips moisturized and hydrated.