Beckham to Chanel: Male grooming products making headway in Asia

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Beckham to Chanel: Male grooming products making headway in Asia
From Korea to India, cosmetic companies are rushing to be one of the first to tap into the fast-growing male-grooming market in Asia, with western brands like Chanel using Asia as a launch pad for male-centric beauty products.

While many typically view Asia as the home of more conservative cultures, cosmetic companies see it as a market with low barriers for entry when it comes to launching men’s cosmetics, not least because men in countries such Japan, Korea, and Thailand are more open to the idea of skin care and make up.

“Asia is a pioneer in creating extensive beauty and personal care products specifically for men, going beyond the typical shaving and shower products,”​ said Sharon Kwek, senior innovation and insights bnalyst, Beauty and personal vare, Mintel. “Tinted sunblocks, CC creams, and even grooming services like brow trimming, are common among Asian men.”

Kwek expects the skin care market for men to reach Europe faster than expected as it is accepted as good lifestyle habits.

However, she does not think it will be as easy for European men to accept makeup as part of daily life, even with legacy brands like Chanel paving the wake. “Chanel’s entry to market is no doubt a bold and timely move, but at this moment, it is likely to be a wait and watch game.”


Boy de Chanel is slated for launch on September 1 in South Korea before it is rolled out to the rest of the world in November 2018 via its website.

The whole collection will be available in stores in January 2019.

The ultra-chic, three-product line consists of a fluid foundation, an eyebrow pencil, and a matte lip balm.

The collection is the first of its kind for Chanel and its popular Boy franchise, which consists of the coveted Boy handbag, is named after Boy Capel, the lover and muse of Gabrielle Chanel.

“Just as Gabrielle Chanel borrowed elements from the men’s wardrobe to dress women, Chanel draws inspiration from the women’s world to write the vocabulary of a new personal aesthetic for men,”​ the fashion house said in a press release.


In May, ACRO, a subsidiary of Japan’s Pola Orbis announced that it will be launching a new brand just for men.

The developer of cult Japanese brand THREE, said in a press release that FIVEISM × THREE will be launched in September.

“By creating a new culture where makeup is part of the male grooming routine, will are responding to the diversifying lifestyle of men and awakening the potential need for improvement of male aesthetic sense,” ​said the company in a press release.

FIVEISM × THREE will launch in September with approximately 80 items housed in a masculine pale slate grey packaging., including a foundation which the firm produced in stick form for convenience and ease, “according to men's behavioural psychology in daily life”,​ said the company.

While the company shares that they do hope to grow globally, FIVEISM × THREE will be unveiled domestically first and sold at departmental stores in Tokyo and Osaka from their very own makeup counters.


Meanwhile, men’s grooming and skincare brand HOUSE 99 by David Beckham is now available in Asia through a pop-up store at the Shilla Duty Free of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

Located at the Curated Zone at Beauty&You, consumers will be able to visit the pop-up store until September 9.

The barbershop-inspired pop-up was designed to be an engaging, multi-dimensional brand experience aimed to showcase the personal styling rituals of Beckham himself.

Inspired by British barbershop culture, HOUSE 99 was a collaboration between L’Oreal and football superstar David Beckham. It was officially launched in January this year.

“For me, grooming is not only about how you look, but how you feel. It’s about being comfortable, trying new things and shaping your next look,” ​said Beckham in a press release earlier this year. “I created House 99 to give people the inspiration as well as the right products to experiment and feel completely at home doing so.”


An in an attempt to capture a piece of the men’s skincare market, Oriflame will be expanding its men’s product portfolio in India with Novage Men, an extension of the original Novage line for women.

Currently Oriflame’s male line consists traditional male grooming products, including shaving cream and aftershave.

Novage Men will include a minimalist set of four products the company says need to be used together to achieve optimal results.

However, despite their confidence in their products, the company is not expecting the products to be an instant hit without a little education and training.

Speaking to, Naveen Anand, Senior Director of Marketing, said that the company plans to educate men on skincare as part of their marketing strategy. “A lot of training is required to promote the range. And once the right education and training have been imparted regarding the men skin care, we are supremely confident about the product to do well.”

While the products are manufactured in Europe, Anand shares that the firm may decide to produce the products locally if popularity for Novage Men increases in popularity.

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