Senior Personal Care and Beauty analyst Oru Mohiuddin said: “for men to use cosmetics is deeply rooted in culture.”
“The rituals and habits of American men in general make it unlikely that they will adopt color cosmetics any time soon.”
She suggested that attempts by manufacturers to open up the market to men in the US reflected a desire to tap into new, unexploited demographics.
Mohiuddin attributes most of the discrepancy to different cultures, saying: “For generations, men have used color cosmetics in South Korea. They’ve seen their fathers and relatives use them, so they’re more open to adapting their grooming routine to it.”
“Western men are used to working hard- it’s that masculine look. We’ve seen things like the metrosexual craze where men would thread their eyebrows, but even that hasn’t lasted long.”
The Euromonitor analyst thinks that in the long term, for example the next 20 or 30 years, manufacturers might succeed in persuading men to use cosmetics, citing the example of female color cosmetics in the West, which in the past were not often used by women from respectable families.
A recent survey by market research company Canadean suggests that men’s’ cosmetics now account for 47 percent of beauty products sold worldwide, with growth increasing quickly in many countries.
Mohiuddin suggests that advertisers might target teenagers or young people in order to invigorate their sales of these products.
Tapping into new demographics
Mohiuddin attributes the increasing attempt to tap into different demographics by cosmetics companies as being a reflection of the mature and saturated Western markets.
She said: “Manufacturers are always trying to tap into new areas which are not covered by existing markets. If they manage to tap into the male demographic, they can increase their growth opportunities by appealing to the other half of the population.”
“Western markets tend to have high per capita spending, which means that if they increase the amount of people who they are selling to they are going to greatly increase the amount of money they can make.”