I get asked a lot about the continual emergence (or not) of male grooming – the metrosexual, the Man who doesn’t use his wife/girlfriends products but actually goes out and buys his own. Some studies have shown a 20-25% rise in beauty products purchased by men in the last 4-5 years (with as many as 42% using moisturiser). It’s unclear how long this will take to move into the electrical beauty but there are obvious signs. I am always sceptical of these reports as I am sure a lot of men still think using lip balm counts.
The term metrosexual, I am told, was coined in 1994 and David Beckham in the early 2000’s really set the tone for the man who uses ‘products’. Whilst the growth in men’s skincare clearly continues to rise, it’s clear that most men still don’t want to shout about it so I think the true extent is not always known. It’s a distinct possibility that men are taking a sneaky go with their partner’s pink Clarisonic in the same way they will pick up a Clinique face wash that’s left by the side of the shower – but are they really ready to take the plunge and buy their own for £120+?
L’Oreal in particular think we are ready. Producing their best selling sonic cleansing device in black as well as a series of alpha male advertising shots.
Let’s face it if L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetic company with £20+ billion sales think us men are ready to buy some sonic cleansing then who am I to argue! Interestingly, Foreo on a much small level have followed suit with their cleansing device in a sharp and manly grey. This is not an insignificant move by too important players in the electrical beauty revolution, but when quizzed on the sales I think it’s clear that the rise is certainly a little slower than we (and they) might have expected. So do manufactures feel they simply have to react to the obvious trend without really believing that men are going to buy high end electrical beauty solutions? It still feels to me like a little bit of an afterthought, someone in a marketing meeting deciding to add a black version to 2014 colours in case a man wants to buy. Until the marketing and PR takes shape for the male product I haven’t seen much to change my mind on this simplistic view.
Here at CB Towers we are recognising more men buying our products, but not surprisingly hair growth and slimming solutions still lead the way.
We sell many other solutions for anti-ageing and when you consider Botox (or BROtox…) is on the rise for men (some Harley St Clinics report 25%) you would think more electrical devices for a youthful appearance and reduction of lines and wrinkles aimed specifically at men would be hitting the market. This isn’t yet the case, and whilst some high profile figures like Simon Cowell, Stallone….erm, Gordon Ramsey, Cliff Richard, Peter Andre, (ok, I am scraping the barrel but you get my drift) admit to Botox use, there hasn’t been an A List celebrity man put his name to significant beauty gadget…. yet.
There is no doubt perceptions have changed significantly and aesthetics are no longer just associated with women but the electrical beauty niche is only responding fairly slowly. Tooling devices in different colours, re-boxing and branding is a costly exercise so the manufacturer is right to be a little cautious, but I can’t help thinking the one that really goes after the male market could make a huge impact. There is no doubt that over the next 5 years we will see if the predicted growth really happens, but for the time being I would say there is still cautious optimism amongst retailers as to how many black Clarisionics will be on the metrosexual man’s birthday wish list this year.
What do you think about men using more beauty products? Are you a man who’s a fan of electrical beauty solutions? Comment below and tell us whether you think the trend will grow.