Not so long ago, I was in a taxi on my way to a meeting. It was still early and I was not looking my best after a late night. My colleague was in much the same state. She took out her make-up bag and, with a couple of quick dabs of concealer and foundation, she looked like she’d had a full night’s sleep and was her radiant best. The bags under my eyes, however, could have carried my weekly grocery shopping.
The moment stands out in my mind because it illustrates the gulf between the sexes when it comes to using skincare products to help you look your best. Why is it that women can apply half a dozen cosmetics, often in front of a watching crowd on the train, while men all-but run through the perfume section in Lane Crawford (or any other department store the world over)?
Of course the answer lies in gender stereotypes and the need for men to be the alpha males of their households. In my previous post, I wrote about how I think these stereotypes are changing, even in the more conservative societies of Asia [https://bit.ly/3W1xKOq]. But I also think that brands need to play a part in helping men feel free to be whomever they want. I’m thankful that the shaving adverts of old featuring tennis or football stars have been replaced by advertising that does not make you feel inadequate unless you’re a once-in-a-generation sportsman. We do, however, have so much further to go.
In skincare, for example, men either have the choice of buying products that are oriented towards women with both their packaging and contents, or that use camouflage branding and names that would be more at home on a tank to denote ‘masculinity.’
Surely we can find a better way to give men what they want: no fuss skincare that doesn’t cost a small fortune and that comes without the stigma of walking into the traditionally women-only make-up section.
We’ve worked hard on our range of products. For a start, our branding will mean men don’t have to be embarrassed walking around a shop holding our moisturiser. It’s contemporary and masculine without being over-the-top. Similarly, we’ve created packaging that makes our products super-simple to use while inside, the products have a natural fragrance.
In short, we want to accelerate the rate at which gender stereotypes are being broken so men don’t feel uncomfortable buying and using products that help them look their best whether it’s in their bathrooms every morning, or in the back of a taxi.