The world of men's grooming is quickly changing and with it, so are the stigmas revolving around men looking after themselves in this way. MMUK MAN announced last week that turnover is surging towards the £1m mark this year, a clear indication of just how far we have come.
Back in 2011 when I began working on my brand new male makeup concept, the reaction of friends, colleagues and those within the male grooming community were predominantly negative. A lot of people I spoke to about men wearing male cosmetics at that time, believed that the bulk of my potential customers would be gay guys between the ages of 24 and 35. Now, five years on, having accrued a client base of over 30,000 men across the UK and beyond, it fills me with great pleasure to say that they couldn't be further from the truth!
Since 2013 in particular, the plate tectonics of male grooming have seismically shifted. From what began with our customers wanting a simple foundation or concealer to cover spots and blemishes, has quickly evolved into an ever deepening cosmetically hungry wolf pack of modern men, keen to further enhance their grooming education. With our product range expanding into the likes of clear mascara, beard filler and matte finish bronzers over the past couple of years, I believe, such an illustration, shows how thousands of men will continue to get on board in the coming years.
Of course the stigmas around men taking care of themselves to such a degree are still apparent. However, I have been fortunate enough to witness firsthand the breaking down of social barriers towards the acceptance and promotion of the male beauty market in recent years. In a selfie obsessed culture, where a simple app, or Instagram filter can improve the tan, texture and evenness of your skin, it's not at all surprising why more and more everyday blokes are learning to blend it like Golden Balls himself.
If I were to ask 1,000 male Huffington Post readers who are interested in male makeup, I predict that less than 30% of you would be gay gentlemen who more than know your way around a makeup bag. Based on my own knowledge from within the market, as much as 30% of those genuinely taking an interest in cosmetics would do so to cover confidence damaging skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and spots. The remainder would consist of guys over 40, keen to achieve a fresher and younger looking complexion for both personal and business engagements, as well as gentlemen wanting to battle the winter blues with tinted and bronzing products specifically designed for men.
The entire make-up of the male cosmetics market features many different components - components which should not be collated and branded as purely a 'gay only thing'. Social acceptance towards men wearing makeup is dramatically on the rise, especially as we see the likes of George Clooney and David Beckham constantly looking red carpet ready. The MakeUpIsGendelress campaign by male beauty vlogger Jake-Jamie Ward is further evidence why the job isn't quite done. He is on a continued mission to raise awareness for men wanting to improve their appearance with targeted products and has been backed by some key celebrity figures, including Katie Price.
It's crucial, that we as a collective, continue to change our perceptions on male grooming and personal care, and as we strive to look our best for our girlfriends, boyfriends, wives and husbands, the entire world needs to continue to learn that there is no pain in being vain.