Beauty Trends for Guys for 2020 – Is makeup for men going mainstream?

Justus van Egmont [Public domain]“I’m starting with the man in the mirror”, once famously sang Michael Jackson. Recently, men facing themselves in the mirror  are deciding they need to care for their appearance and skin too.

Men have been painting  their faces for millennia. Ancient Egyptian men wore kohl around their eyes, Alexander the Great used to don it and in 18th-century England and France, men and women wore lead-based white and red makeup on their faces. So we see that makeup is a trend that slips in and out of time (and favour) depending on the time period and attitudes of that period.

While shaving has always been the most popular (and logical) product sector for men, the trend of male beauty and cosmetics has become increasingly important. Male beauty is essentially being redefined. With gender fluidity and the rise of gender inclusivity, the beauty arena is no longer the domain of women.  The market for male cosmetics is now expected to grow faster than any other cosmetics sector and over the next two years it will be worth 61 billion dollars.

We should take a step back though and examine the idea of male beauty and gender neutral beauty products where there seems to be now a greater emphasis on inclusive beauty. Popular brands such as Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique offer makeup lines for men and Tom Ford, MAC and Marc Jacobs all have gender-neutral makeup lines.

The shaving and male grooming space has also exploded, with beard oils, razors, new shaving techniques mostly driven by the rising hipster movement. That’s also not to mention the other stalwart of the male beauty industry – fragrances and skincare. But now it’s moving to make-up, high-performance skincare formulas and hand and nail care products. And all exclusively for men. This is big business.

Gary Thompson, the UK’s most famous male beauty vlogger.Make-up for men has gradually made its way to the limelight. Who would’ve thought that makeup could mesh so well with a bearded face? Well for one, we’ve seen rockers and celebrities for a while like Ozzy Osbourne, Boy George, Adam Lambert, Freddie Mercury,  Zac Efron or Johnny Depp. Smoky eyes, mascara, eyeliner. And who can forget David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust donning full face makeup with lightning bolt on the cover of Alladin Sane? And of course one can never discount the incredible effect shows like the hilarious and heartwarming Queer Eye have had on the psyche of people in general.

So this trend has been picking up steam for a while now. We see massive instagram followings of men donning makeup, makeup tutorials and beginner tips for men via YouTube channels.

We have the likes of Manuel Gutierrez, known professionally as Manny MUA, who is a make-up artist, YouTuber, and beauty blogger. He is also the first male brand ambassador for the make-up brand Maybelline. James Charles is one to follow too.

Face bronzers, concealers, illuminated moisturiser, tinted lip balm, eyebrow defining kits or  lipstick – it’s all being used. Some quite subtly and some more overt. At the end of 2018, Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford released their own cosmetic lines completely tailored towards men. So perhaps 2020 might be the year we see a mainstreaming in men’s make up. Let’s see.

Although in some fringes of society there is still a stigma attached to men wearing makeup, it feels as if the boundaries are shifting and the space is opening up and people are becoming more accepting. It gives men more opportunities for self-expression too and if self care is all the rage, who says that men can’t invest in themselves and their image too?