Staking its place in what is now a multi-billion pound worldwide industry, Chanel has announced the launch of its first makeup line for men.
The collection will include a tinted foundation, available in eight colours, a matte moisturising lip balm and four shades of eyebrow pencil.
Aptly named Boy de Chanel, the franchise – which already includes products such as handbags and a perfume – is named after Boy Capel, the lover and muse of Gabrielle Chanel.
“By creating Boy de Chanel, its first makeup line for men, Chanel reaffirms the ever-changing codes of an unchanging vision: beauty is not a matter of gender, it is a matter of style,” the company said in a statement.
It’s no secret that men wear makeup, they have been doing so for centuries but, despite this fact, society has long deemed cosmetics a signifier of femininity.
From heavily gendered marketing to the horde of successful beauty influencers that dominate Instagram, this is undoubtedly an industry ruled by women.
However, there is a growing movement among men who are taking a stand to prove that beauty doesn’t have to be gender-specific.
YouTube stars such as Manny MUA, Patrick Starr, James Charles and Jake Jamie have demonstrated that men can wear makeup just as well as their female peers, so does makeup marketed specifically towards men miss the point that it’s for everyone?
Chanel isn’t the first brand to create cosmetics for guys of course. Alongside Clinique and MMUK, Tom Ford offers a vast collection of products designed especially for men that includes concealer, brow designers, lip balm and range of skincare staples.
But, as gender diversity becomes increasingly visible, traditional stereotypes are beginning to dissolve, making this kind of gendered marketing appear somewhat out-of-touch.
It is worth bearing in mind that, while some people may feel comfortable purchasing products outside of their binary categorisation, others may not.
There doesn’t seem to be any real difference between an eyebrow pencil marketed to men or women, but if a product designed in “macho” shades of black and steely blue gives a guy the confidence to purchase makeup without feeling ashamed, who are we to argue?
Luckily, there are number of brands tapping into the gender-neutral market who actively market themselves as unisex.
From Non Gender Specific to Panacea, Context and Aesop, there are plenty of options, in neutral packaging that everyone can enjoy.
Boy de Chanel is launching in South Korea on 1 September and will be rolled out to the rest of the world in November on the house’s e-commerce platforms. It will also be available to buy in Chanel boutiques from January 2019.
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