When it comes to men’s grooming, beauty companies are realizing that men are buying for more than functionality. New companies are entering the market with strong, focused selections while established brands are expanding in the mainstream with specialty products. John Varvatos‘ highly anticipated grooming collection will launch this December with a prestige line of more than the basics, including concealers for men. Its packaging is bound to be more accessible than some pieces from Jean Paul Gaultier’s vanity, which went to clever and James Bond-like lengths to hide eyeliner and concealer in “pens.”
L’Oreal’s just launched their “Men Expert” line of seven products targeting skin issues from hydration to anti-wrinkle to shaving. The cosmetic behemoth already produces very popular brands such as Lancome, Biotherm, and Vichy for men. Malin + Goetz recently premiered with an easy to understand line across three ranges: face, body, and hair, each sold as either a “cleaner” or “moisturizer.” Nickel takes a different approach via a huge product range, and relies on its NYC and Paris-based spas to speak to men directly on usage and application. Kiehl’s is one of the more successful brands for both men and women with nationwide freestanding boutiques, and their men’s line features facial fuels, toners, and a host of shaving creams. Zirh has found success in offering extensive range with easy to understand packaging and bold eponymous products like Prepare (pre-shave lotion), Clean (face wash), and Rejuvenate (anti-aging cream).
Seasoned grooming customers swear by beauty-to-the-rescue treatment and renewal potions from top-shelf brands such as Clarins men, Sisley, and deW by Daniele de Winter.
And there’s a whole new crop of specialty products leaning toward the clinical. With specific glycolic and retinols, dermatology brands like Cellex-C offer potent products that target very specific beauty needs. Peter Thomas Roth also takes the clinical approach. Their extensive line of products includes several eye creams like glycolic acid eye complex, oxygen eye relief, and power C eye complex. Knowing which one to choose is personalized. Bionova takes custom care to another level with a line that asks men for their age, problem area, and other relevant data to determine the best-matched product.
How are labels reaching guys and what’s to come in the market? Oliver Sweatman, CEO and co-founder of Sharps, a spunky new barber brand with a suite of maintenance tools (selling at Colette, Barneys and Fred Segal) with a growing fashion following discusses his strategy below.
Photos: John Varvatos
Malin + Goetz