Male beauty: from South Korea to the rest of the world

Male beauty: from South Korea to the rest of the world

Makeup for man was considered taboo and would lead to questioning someones masculinity, but South Korea is leading to a shift of this mindset. Their ideas about male beauty are changing the attitudes and influencing the world. The conventions of makeup are beginning to break down and a new vision of masculinity is rising.

Today makeup in South Korea is already a masculine norm. For many men in East Asia, skincare and eyebrow pencils are an essential part of the grooming routine just as a shower. This movement is given by the influence of K-pop idols who have feminine features and are stars in cosmetic brands. Estée Lauder ambassador for its #310 Mars Red lipstick ad, in April 2018, was male singer Hua Chenyu.

Digitalisation is an additional reason for movement. According to Julien Moignard, vice president of skin care marketing for Clinique for Men, men are far more concerned with their skin than they were ten years ago: “We have a shift…. The younger generation, the digital generation, has changed a lot. When you post pictures every day of yourself, you can imagine skin care has a great role to play. They know that they need to take care of it”

Given this strong movement coming from Korea brands such as Tom Ford, Clinique and even Chanel are now offering options for men. The new line of three products, a sheer, tinted foundation, brow pencils, and matte lip balm, called Boy de Chanel, will launch in September 2019 firstly in Asia. The company stated to WWD “Chanel reaffirms the ever-changing codes of an unchanging vision: Beauty is not a matter of gender, it is a matter of style.

Will the future of makeup mean that there will be no difference between a female and a male makeup routine? It is a strong possibility that we should be expecting.

Anna Oliva