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What’s New in Men’s Beauty and Grooming Trends?

Fashion Beauty Runway - What’s New in Men’s Beauty and Grooming Trends 1

We’ve sure come a long way from the nuclear-strength zit creme and the universal face moisturizer haphazardly applied after a quick shower. 

When it comes to men’s beauty, the desire for a glowing complexion, sculpted features — and the products designed to achieve those lofty goals—, has reached a crest never seen before. Finally. Men are now understanding, and being subjected to, the intense aesthetic scrutiny women have been trained to endure for centuries. The pendulum has swung back. With a vengeance. You can thank the incessant critical chatter on social media — and the haters, of course! — which can sting even the more stoic of guys. Because everyone is vulnerable to criticism. 

The fact is radiant, healthy-looking skin and a flawless complexion are the image goals many men aspire to achieve. At different degrees, perhaps, but in all age groups and across the gender spectrum, male beauty requires diligence and some fine-tuned products.

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Men have come to know and understand grooming and skincare products. They’re also willing to pay more for quality. That may be the reason why this market is thriving.

Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

We’ve said it many times on Fashion Beauty Runway: Beauty is so much more than meets the eye. Something that Quebec-based entrepreneur Stéphanie Boulay, creator of the high-end brand Stéphanie B. for ‘gentlemen’ understands so well it’s the ethos behind her brand. 

“I want the people who buy my products to embrace a lifestyle that fosters generosity. Taking care of oneself also means taking care of others to improve our shared space. Beauty is an extension of your personality, and it can take many forms; you just have to be open.” It’s about taking care of your soul and of your body, “the ultimate self-love,” she says.

For Zach, an up-and-coming young fashion creator based in Montreal, “beauty products are not exclusive to one gender. Enjoying makeup doesn’t mean that you’re more feminine. We need to move away from this toxic masculinity mindset. I can be both feminine and masculine.” He wears foundation and a dusting of highlighter when he attends special events “because my skin just looks better with these products, and they help control redness. I do it for me. To boost my self-confidence.” For everyday grooming, he reaches for eyeliner for more dramatic eyes, and blush for a rosier complexion.

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Products from Stéphanie B, a high-end grooming and skin care brand made in Quebec.

Gen Z is Genderless Beauty 

When Chanel launched “Boy de Chanel” in 2018, a succinct cosmetics collection for men featuring foundation, lip balm, eyebrow pencil and matte nail polish, the prestige brand was way ahead of the curve. 

A recent survey conducted by McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, shows that Gen-Z men in Asia are already embracing makeup, with about one third of them regularly using it. In North America and Europe that stat drops to between 5 percent and 10 percent, but the market for beauty products for men is growing quickly in these markets. What’s more, gender-neutral beauty products are on the ascending curve as well, with about 40 percent of Gen-Z people preferring them over gender segregated brands and products. 

Bigger labels have adjusted their playbooks to keep up with this shift. In 2021, YSL Beauté launched Nu Collection, a genderless skin care and makeup line with American rapper Lil Nas X as one of its ambassadors. 

In Canada, there’s Rebels Refinery, a skincare start-up created by three guys who couldn’t find what they were looking for on the market, so they launched a men’s grooming brand. Their first lip balm became so insanely popular with women that they changed their tagline from ‘Premium Natural Skincare for Men’ to ‘Premium Natural Skincare for Humans.’

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About 40 percent of Gen-Z people prefer gender-neutral beauty over gender segregated brands and products. 

Favourite Grooming Products 

According to Stéphanie Boulay, men have come to know and understand grooming and skincare products. They’re also willing to pay more for quality. That may be the reason why this market is thriving. “Men want high-performance products that are also sustainable, sometimes with a touch of luxury.” Her brand is also known for its wide array of unique fragrances that make the wearer travel to other destinations through the magic of scent. 

An exfoliating product is at the top of the list when it comes to men’s favourite beauty products. A scrub helps to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin, which can make it look dull and clog pores. Plus, it helps avoid pesky ingrown hairs. Some skin polishers are also formulated with vitamin C and menthol, which can help to refresh and brighten the face. Translation: Everything a man wants to look at his best, while feeling comfortable. 

A good face cleanser is also essential to maintain a good level of hydration without over drying the epidermis — another fancy name for the skin —, particularly if you have a beard or a moustache. The skin underneath the beard doesn’t breathe as well as the rest of the face, which means this area needs more maintenance. Plus, dead skin cells creep under the beard, making it less full and fluffy. A great brand to try: MenzClub, created by a Quebec City barber lady. 

Men’s Skincare Routine 101

Step 1: Facial Cleanser
Forget about squeaky clean. That’s actually a sign that you’re stripping away the skin of its important natural oils that moisturize and give you that healthy glow. Instead, use a facial cleanser that’s designed for your skin type. Dry skin? A cleanser with oil-controlling ingredients like salicylic acid is what you need.

Step 2: Eye Cream
Think of this product like the Swiss Army knife of a man’s skincare routine. Basically, it’s a simple tool that fixes a whole lot of problems. Dark circles? Puffy bags from a wild night? Fine lines and wrinkles? Check, check, check. The skin around the eye area is thinner and more delicate than the rest of the face. So it needs extra care. 

Step 3: Moisturizer
Yes, you do need moisturizer. Just make sure you find a formula that’s lightweight and quickly absorbed to keep your skin from feeling dry. Good hydration is the best way to keep skin looking youthful and healthy. Apply after showering to help lock in moisture. 

Step 4: SPF
And, finally, the most important: sunscreen. Yes, for everyone. No matter your skin colour, you need to slather sunscreen every day. Skin cancer is very prevalent, and daily sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging product. Nothing to add. 

So, guys, there you have it. Now it’s your turn to implement these grooming strategies to make your mark. On social or IRL. 

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