February 19, 2016

According to Benjamin Chong, Strategy Director at Anthem Asia, the change in men’s beauty revolves around two B’s — big B products and little b products.

Big B beauty is more about men finding products that allow them to express their individuality, like lip stick and eye shadow. Little b refers to men’s beauty in terms of convenience, basic hygiene, and problem solving products, like razors.

Read: Men’s Beauty Goes Big in Asia

In the West, men don’t typically talk about their personal grooming and beauty habits, let alone pursue them in public. In contrast, at the MAC Cosmetics in Singapore, nearly one in three beauty shoppers are men. In the East, it is completely normal for men to join the women in search of products that can help them convey personal perfection, self-expression, and life success.

Big B beauty products help men see how they can better themselves, and encourage them to go beyond their four preferred core products to using one or two more. Particularly in South Korea, men use an average of 13 grooming products per month.

Some other insights from around the world:

  • Sales of men’s grooming and beauty products doubled in Brazil in the past 5 years.
  • In developing markets, men are using a variety of products – lip-glosses, BB creams, foundations, etc.
  • 35% of Columbian men use nail polish on a weekly basis.

Men are looking for more than masculine stereotypes with their beauty products messaging. In the US, with the increase in “craft” beard care among popular grooming trends, it may be time for Western brands to go even bigger.

While many male grooming markets aren’t quite as on board with big B beauty products (yet), Benjamin offers 5 considerations for brand owners when exploring the grey area in between little b and big B products in the first 2016 issue of Patterns.

Read Benjamin’s entire article titled Men’s Beauty Goes Big in Asia: What Can Western Brands Learn? in the new issue of Patterns.