Mass and indie brands are hopping aboard the genderless beauty movement

The beauty industry has received a shakeup with the now trending genderless movement. Instead of solely aiming new products at women, companies like Covergirl, Maybelline, and MAC Cosmetics have embraced new markets, from men to those who are gender-noncomforming. In 2016, Covergirl appointed YouTube star and influencer James Charles to act as a Coverboy for their mascara campaign. Other brands followed suit by selecting nontraditional spokespeople, and MAC even debuted genderless lines. The driving force behind this exploding trend? Social media.

The challenge with these new spokespeople is that they still largely appeal to the same market: women. It’s women who want to replicate the looks created by male influencers, and that could isolate the groups of men who are uncomfortable with that level of makeup. Vivaldi Engagement Manager Gesina Gudehus-Wittern agreed, telling Glossy, “Not everyone is already as comfortable in their skin as these predominant beauty influencers. They need to start with an acute understanding of their customer and his or her needs, pain points, and behaviors in order to know how to serve them right.” This type of advertising is a start, but brands will have to go dig deeper into the demand behind genderless products if they want to capture new markets at their full potential.