Male beauty counters a reality within five years, says L’Oréal MD

Beast London male beauty store - The Spa Man

Male beauty counters and male specific make-up counters could be just around the corner, according to Vismay Sharma, L’Oréal UK Managing Director.

*image inset courtesy of BEAST which is setting the tone for men’s grooming with its stand alone store in Covent Garden

According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, Vismay Sharma predicts that male beauty counters could be a reality within five years appearing first of all in department stores. Now the subject of men’s make-up appears on a semi-regular basis. I have been writing about beauty and men’s grooming for around 18 years. Over that time many men’s make-up ranges have launched to varying degrees of success. Few have lasted. Tom Ford’s line is probably the most successful. and its true, that the concept of make-up for men is at a point where it is more accepted than ever before. but are we actually at the tipping point yet? Men definitely do purchase skincare, fragrance and a variety of grooming products. and they buy big. It’s not such a big jump from a face mask to a concealer for the under eye area or the odd spot. but guy liner for the masses? I’m not convinced. but these guys and girls at one of the world’s biggest beauty companies do know their stuff.

picture courtesy of Elemis

Sharma claims that the retail innovation is due to beauty no longer being a taboo subject for male consumers.

“Today you have a very small proportion of men who want to use make-up products but that proportion is growing and it will continue to grow,” he said.

“I think it’s just awareness — two things are happening, men know they can use make-up, and they know what it does when you use it.”

Men’s grooming is booming with some figures pointing to the the size of the market as being worth $50bn. ASOS has a male-only colour cosmetics brand on its site MMUK. But again I feel that this is a niche line in a niche part of a fashion website.

The opportunity is there for guys but we are still struggling to convert men to avid spa-goers. whilst men visit spas in increasing numbers, they are less likely to stray beyond the massage menu, opting for deep tissue or sport therapy treatments. getting these guys to wear make-up? Not yet, for sure.

L’Oréal are cutting edge in their promotional activity and recently included men in its make-up campaigns by featuring male influencer Gary Thompson in its True Match Foundation advert. He is cited as the first male to appear in a cosmetics advert of its kind.


Come back to me in five years and if I am wrong I will wear said make-up. but I think in all honesty, that it will be a decade or more before we see the true tipping point for male make-up.


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