International Men's Day 2021: 5 Male Celebrities Redefining the Beauty Industry
From Harry Styles to Pharrell Williams, these are the famous men who are breaking boundaries by starting their own beauty brands celebrating self-care and self-expression
Between Rihanna's revolutionary, all-inclusive Fenty Beauty empire, Jessica Alba's Honest Company going public and raising nearly US$415 million early this year, and the launch of new lines by Jennifer Aniston, Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez, it is safe to say that celebrity-backed beauty brands are more than a fleeting industry trend.
But it's not just the women who are shaking up the industry. The celebrity beauty entrepreneur space is welcoming Harry Styles, Pharrell and other newcomers, who are looking to fill a gap in the market and meet growing demand for make-up and skincare for men.
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A sign of the times, Harry Styles is one of the many young people who want to break free from gender norms and expectations. On and off the stage, he paves the way by being unapologetically himself and showing off his distinctive gender-fluid style, from his painted nails to flamboyant get-ups with feather boas, frilly tutus and over-the-top accessories.
This week, the former One Direction member goes a step further to "dispel the myth of a binary existence" by releasing his new beauty line, Pleasing, which includes a collection of pearl-inspired nail polish and serums for the eyes, lips and face. 'I didn't want to make products to mask people, I wanted to highlight them and make them feel beautiful," he says.
Pharrell Williams' own skincare journey began two decades ago, which is why the Grammy Award-winning singer and producer's complexion is enviably smooth and visibly devoid of fine lines and wrinkles despite the demanding nature of his job. Last November, he shared the secret to his age-reversing beauty regime in Humanrace, a skincare line created with the help of his dermatologist Dr. Elena Jones.
Praised for its mission to encourage self-care and wellbeing in daily routines, Humanrace has also made headlines for its vegan, fragrance-free and pH-balancing formulas as well as its sustainable refill initiative. This month, the brand is even expanding into body care with two bar soaps—Re-energising White Clay Body Bar and Energy Channelling Charcoal Body Bar—to add to their highly rated line of face products.
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Instead of pushing hair loss solutions in the form of creams and serums, Queer Eye's Karamo Brown introduces a full skincare regimen of cleansers, moisturisers, SPF and oil-blotting sheets to help men embrace their bald head with his beauty line, MANTL. Suitable for the face and scalp, MANTL reframes the narrative around balding and instead encourages men to "celebrate the differences that make us unique".
24-year-old rapper Miles Parks McCollum, better known as Lil Yachty, is making waves with more than his music. His new nail polish line Crete is breaking boundaries by sending a clear message to men, encouraging them to celebrate self-expression. "If you find painting your nails is a way to show off your creative side or it’s an aesthetic that fits you, you shouldn’t be judged for it. Outside opinion shouldn’t have an effect on your aesthetic and whatever you decide to do," he said at the launch of Crete earlier this year.
Beyond that, Crete is also innovating the beauty industry with its unique, pen-like nail polish bottle with a retractable brush that has made application much easier, especially for beginners.
For decades, men have been concealing the fact that they use concealers and foundations. This year, male celebrities around the world, including Daniel Kaluuya and Lee Dong Wook, have openly spoken about their favourite make-up products to correct dark circles and even out the skin tone, with some even fronting beauty campaigns by Tom Ford, Chanel and Givenchy Beauty.
As part of the growing movement to normalise make-up for men, former professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez even took it upon himself to partner with hims to introduce The Blur Stick, a hydrating concealer created specially for men.
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