Marketing skincare to everyone
The beauty industry is female dominated and, in all fairness, women may understand consistency and process in a way that men haven’t been forced to. This has been my experience as an esthetician and owner of The Lashelle Effect Atelier in Beverly Hills, California. I’ve been in this industry for over two decades. Women have reigned supreme for a long time, but I believe making it more inclusive for men is going to revolutionize the industry as a whole.
In the West, men have not been as in tune with skincare, historically. One of the catalysts for a more recent change is social media. Some social media platforms are like digital photo albums to the world, and modern men understand they can use their image to their advantage, and skin is a part of that image. One of our biggest opportunities to involve men is how we enhance the relationship with men and skincare. Skincare for men isn’t one dimensional, so how the industry appeals to masculinity can’t be one dimensional. We can maintain our focus on appealing to beauty, and in addition, appeal to men by marketing properly. I don’t think we know what that looks like in the beauty industry, but I suggest making skincare a part of healthcare, increasing the emotional connection men have with their skin. We must show men how to stay ready instead of having to get ready when it’s too late.
To start making that impact, I put together a men’s conference panel called Good Health Builds Wealth for The Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce. I brought together a hypnotherapist, acupuncturist, and LED light therapy specialist, along with myself, to shed light on how we compartmentalize skincare. I wanted to continue to form the narrative that skincare is healthcare, and by attaching that to wealth, we were able to bring more men into the conversation. Everyone is interested in how your skin impacts you in other areas of life, especially financially. The skin is the largest organ on the body and the first thing anyone sees, no matter who you are. It needs to be nourished and maintained properly, as it has an impact on how people see you and, more importantly, on the relationship you have with yourself.
My passion to make space for men in the beauty industry is personal. I am a black gay man from humble beginnings and through my upbringing, my grandmother molded me into someone who is comfortable communicating and caring for anyone. My love for people and understanding of men is what allows me to be a trailblazer in this industry and to fulfill my purpose. Masculinity is currently in a renaissance period, and what it means to be a man is being redefined. Now is the time, and we must be intentional about having more men in this field. This includes black and brown men, as well as straight men, because representation always matters. The more I see different men in the industry, the more comfort it provides for a wider range of clients to receive services.
Now more than ever, I see young black men focused on getting well. This is a demographic that statistically hasn’t always been at the forefront of wellness. As an esthetician, I have an opportunity to help men feel inclusive from all aspects. I want them to see what I do as a viable source of income that allows you to make a way for yourself. I also want to help men, as consumers, heal at a higher rate by introducing them to more than just facials and massages. They should also be taught maintenance and healing through the skincare process.
Who I am, my background, and my training gives me the skillset to reach men where they are. I understand that some are apprehensive to be nurtured, but that’s where I thrive. I provide a comfort level that opens them up to the possibilities of what I do and how it will impact their performance in life. A part of my mission is to introduce men to this world of skincare and connect it to the universe of healthcare.