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A growing market: Makeup for millennial men, coming to a store near you

(AP Photo/Francois Mori )

For millennials, disrupting the status quo is a way of life. Whether it be Uber, AirBnb, or Postmates food delivery, Generation Y has completely transformed how industries in the United States cater to consumers. Now, the latest trend among male millennials has some experts predicting a significant increase in the male cosmetics industry in the next 5 years.

According to Vishay Sharma, a senior executive for L’Oreal in the United Kingdom, male make-up stands will become a reality within five years.

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

Sharma also attributed the growing increase in male cosmetics products to the existence of the first “selfie generation” which is likely attributed to the growing popularity of social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat and creates a competitive “keeping up with the Joneses” effect.

Despite what might first come to mind, popular male cosmetic products are not lipsticks, eyeliners, or mascara. Those that have grown in popularity among men include eyebrow maintenance kits, beard trimmers, and “men’s concealer sets.”

Popular fashion designer Tom Ford recently debuted a $47 “Brow Gelcomb” exclusively designed for men’s eyebrows. The product has apparently skyrocketed in sales, indicating that an increasing number of male clients are feeling the need to maintenance their eyebrows.

Popular UK fashion blogger Gary Johnson also pointed out that makeup habits of men do not need to be extreme.

“If you look at it five years’ ago, if you thought of men wearing make-up you’d think of extreme sparkly eyeshadow but today it doesn’t have to be like that,” said Johnson. “You could wear a good foundation, a good contour, a natural base and it doesn’t have to be extreme.”

While it is unclear how fast male millennials in the United States will begin adopting these styles, we can only hope that lipstick will not become a part of this male fashion trend. Fortunately for America, Generation Y may have prematurely killed the craze with the Friends episode in which Joey stars in a commercial for Ichiban, a Japanese brand of blue lipstick for men. Despite the massive popularity of the episode, the blue lipstick never caught on among American males.

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