In Japan, the beauty market for young men is booming. More men apply makeup as well as skin care.
In interviews with high school boys on the street, the answer was that it is natural to use lotion and milky lotion. Another student responded, “I draw tear troughs and put on shadow.”
The market for men’s cosmetics is 1.3 times larger than it was five years ago. Manufacturers focus on making products and getting the word out about them with the growing men’s beauty market in mind. In December 2022, Kao launched a men’s makeup brand targeting Gen Z men. And Shiseido also launched a new skincare brand for Asian Gen Z men in the summer of 2022.
In Japan today, men are also expected to be “beautiful.” In the past, a man’s worth was based on “how much money he can make,” and a woman’s worth was based on her beauty. However, as women’s participation in society increased and they became able to earn money on their own, expectations of men in the role of earning declined. As expectations of earning power for men have declined, women have come to hold the same expectations of beauty for men that they have imposed on themselves in the past. This means that Japanese men face competition not only for earning power but also for beauty.
Men who actually wear makeup say that they do so with an eye toward looking clean and tidy. They utilize makeup to successfully cover up rough skin, pores, and five o’clock shadow. The power of makeup to improve one’s good complexion and make one look gorgeous has great benefits in the workplace as well as in private relationships.
A cosmetics sales clerk says, “In recent years, gender barriers have disappeared when it comes to cosmetics.” More men and women share the same cosmetics.