A market with huge potential?
According to 2018 Cosmetic Industry Report released by 360 Marketing Research Institute, the mobile traffic for men’s cosmetics experienced a rapid increase, growing by 194.7%. A 2019 Makeup User Insight Report released by Toutiao (Another Top information content platform in China) shows that the number of male users following cosmetic content increased by 10% year-on-year in Q1 in 2019. With the development of Internet, education, and technology, people, especially men in China are more willing to accept new ideas, even the idea that altering and beautifying external appearance using cosmetics is not exclusively for women.
Popular cosmetics among male consumers
According to 2018 Cosmetic Industry Report, the search volume for male hair care products increased by 351.8% while skin care products increased by 11.5%. This is mainly because hair loss has become a more open issue for Chinese men.
The top performing products in the make-up segment were eyebrow pencil, BB cream, and lipsticks. According to 2019 China Cosmetics E-commerce Industry Analysis and Consumer Behavior Comprehensive Investigation Report released by iiMedia Research, the growth rate of male make-up was 89.0%. The number of make-up products used by men continues to increase, the market is maturing, and demand is trending towards specialization and high-end. Here are the TOP3 male make-up products in 2018:
Interesting findings were also revealed on analysis of data included in the 18-35-year-old men’s trend consumption report released by Taobao, the biggest E-commerce platform in China. The data from this report shows that 18-35-year-old men bought about 1.2 million units of BB cream and more than 350,000 eyebrow pencils in 2018 on Taobao. Men’s eyebrow pencil sales increased by 163% year-on-year. The Top3 cosmetics for men in this report are BB cream, eyebrow pencil, and lipsticks.
Large Multinationals in China’s Male Cosmetic Segment
Other brands are now accelerating their China market entry campaigns. In April last year, Kiehl’s, (another brand from L’Oréal) carried out a “massive” promotion campaign (its first major campaign since launching in china over 9 years ago) for its men’s skincare products. Domestic brands are getting in on the act too with Chando, a well-known Chinese brand also releasing male only products in May last year. In August last year, CHANEL created a new line of makeup for men, BOY DE CHANEL, focusing on foundations, eyebrow pencils and colorless lipsticks.
Armani also decided to update its whole line of men’s skincare products. Its new product line launched in America in early June and hit both the Canadian and the European markets at the end of June and will be available in Asia in the second half of 2019 and will be officially launched in China in 2020.
Armani Beauty also launched a poorly received men’s skin care line in 2008. Its main function is anti-aging and it is marketed as a high-end cosmetic. The price ranges from 450 yuan to 1500 yuan, however despite its positioning in the market, sales were less than stellar. For its new range of products Armani has taken a different approach, positioning itself as a midrange and affordable product. On the US official website, the products are priced between $30 and $65 (about 207 to 420 yuan). After the launch of the new men’s skincare line, Armani Beauty’s original high-end men’s skin care will be discontinued.
Male Cosmetics in China Set for Continued Growth
-  Pinduoduo published “Soon-to-be college students” online shopping data, male students consume 40% of beauty products.
-  2018 Weibo Makeup Industry White Book
-  2018 Cosmetic Industry Report
-  2019 Makeup User Insight Report
-  2019 China Cosmetics E-commerce Industry Analysis and Consumer Behavior Comprehensive Investigation Report
-  18-35-year-old men’s trend consumption report
-  New sales of men’s make-up products increased by 279% in 2018
-  Armani called off the original high-end men’s skin care series, the new product line will enter China next year