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Crowsnest: Lockdown Grooming

Male Grooming Trend Horizon | Two

One thing the COVID pandemic has taught us is that we are conscious of grooming and maintaining no matter what our sex. And it’s no surprise that during lockdown the most searched for product within male grooming was ‘clippers’ and the ultimate ‘no-fuss’ style to maintain? The buzz cut. 

Craving structure and self-care in these uncertain times, men are turning to beauty and grooming, with an uptick in e-commerce sales for global brands. As more male consumers stock up on essentials and experiment with new products in lockdown, things are looking positive for the category.

Many of these start-ups use the direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel which appears to serve men well. Euromonitor says that men are less inclined to shop for leisure and more likely to shop online for privacy reasons compared to women.

Men’s wellness start-ups Hims, Manual and The Dollar Shave Club paved the way for male grooming DTC, due to lockdown the path has now become a runway. 

DTH : Direct to him

Covid has ignited direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, which were pre-pandemic showing no sign of slowing down, with positive growth charts for valuations, revenues, customers and sentiment through the roof. The true power of DTC is the start-to-end customer experience, which is completely controlled by the brand, gaining insights, knowledge and building their communities, especially during lockdown. 

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This DTC brand makes premium customised personal care products. Using a simple questionnaire & artificial intelligence algorithm, Hawthorne takes into account factors such as body chemistry, lifestyle & taste to personalise each product for each customer – making it hassle-free to elevate your grooming routine.

This DTC brand embraces clean-living standards with products that feature 100% vegan ingredients. In addition to its core offerings, the collection extends beyond the purely utilitarian, offering an eye stick infused with plankton & aloe to refresh & de-stress.

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Confidence Boost

The pandemic has affected us all in different ways. Men, in particular, are affected by issues caused by low self-esteem, and in terms of men’s health that can translate to other issues. Looking good and feeling good are just one aspect of a much bigger picture, that men are facing. 

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Tailored for men to fight wrinkles, tired looks, dark circles, dull skin, acne scars and more. Seeking out the most effective ingredients after consulting skincare experts in Seoul and Japan.

War Paint
Daniel Gray wanted to create make-up for men just like him, who needed the confidence. “The reason men do skincare regimes isn’t to prolong their lives but to reduce your wrinkles, make you look better and give you more confidence,” Gray said. “But what they’ve not got is anything to deal with the dark eyes, blemishes and broken capillaries. It seems crazy to me to spend all that money on skincare but then not use a bit of make-up.”

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Shake Up
UK brand Shake-Up Cosmetics offers a make-up skincare hybrid that taps into the growing male beauty market. Its three-piece range includes a concealer, BB cream and a volumising lip gel. The products are made to improve skin health and confidence for its customers. 

Gentlemen’s Fenty
A customised 5 piece complexion set, boasting 40 shades of foundation to match every skin tone along with a how to apply video because men deserve to have perfect skin too.

Self-Care Masculinity

The global pandemic and the aftermath to follow is one of the greatest impacts of our time. Mental health, financial, job insecurities, relationships are why we are needing more brands to help us calm down. Male grooming brands are embracing enlightened masculinity with new product development and marketing strategies that take inspiration from women’s wellness routines.

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Jaxon Lane – Bro Mask
Jaxon Lane is heavily inspired by Korean beauty and their breakout product, the Bro Mask, is produced in South Korea. The mask boasts redness-reducing vitamin B3, collagen, and botanical extracts.

Klur – Elements of Comfort
This genderless botanical blend of neroli orange blossom, Bulgarian rose, and French lavender work together to create a nourishing, healing, and hydrating oil that you can use just about anywhere. It’s great as the last step of your skin-care routine (to lock in moisture and replenish dry or dull skin), but it also can be used to condition and tame beard hair, or hair. Use a few drops, rub your palms together, and apply.

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With a tagline of “Modern care for the modern man”, US skincare start-up Disco’s ethos is rooted in the desire to look and feel better. It aims to build a consumer community which focuses on integrating self-care rituals as a daily practice. 

New US brand Colorsmith is shaking up the men’s grooming category with a game-changing, tech-led, at-home hair-colouring system. It’s a shrewd launch from the founders of hair company eSalon: US sales of at-home hair dye rose 23% in the fifth week of quarantine, compared with a year earlier (Nielsen, 2020).

What does this mean for my brand?

i) Do you know your community?
While many start-ups may not have the scope or financial muscle to pivot their NPD pipeline, they do have a valuable opportunity to build on the relationships they have already established by offering services online. These appeal to consumers as they adjust to taking care of themselves from home, whilst giving brands who are well versed in data analysis even more precious insights into their lives, wants and behaviours. It is an opportunity that we see growing momentum and is here to stay. Is your brand there yet?


ii) Are you taking UGC seriously?
User-generated content (UGC) has rocketed during the pandemic, due to consumer appetite for inspiration they can relate to. For brands, this content offers invaluable scope because it’s possible to furnish a growing suite of touch points with varying content, fast and cheaply. A 2020 study by Australian UGC specialists Stackla revealed 79% of people are influenced by UGC when making purchasing decisions, it is six times more influential than brand-created content and 9.8 times more impactful than influencer content. Spontaneity, credibility and relatability are always going to be more compelling than ‘paid for’ content. What will you do to ensure your brand is talked about?


iii) Post-Covid future grooming …
Will need to answer new demands from consumers and what they want from beauty – how can brands prepare for this? More at-home products and services will resonate, it doesn’t all have to be serious, a light-hearted approach goes a long way, whilst improved hygiene will be key for retail and salon settings. Brands will also have to answer a distinct need for comforting beauty experiences. How will your brand play in this space?


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