The Evolution of Gendered Beauty

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It’s 2018, and the rules constructed around masculinity, femininity and style as a whole are finally changing. When it comes to beauty, we’re seeing more makeup and skincare brands than ever, moving past the idea of creating products designed only for women, and embracing the creation of products for men. Clinique’s line of skincare features products like a mattifying moisturizer and an exfoliating tonic, while Tom Ford’s line of grooming essentials, includes a twist-up concealer, a purifying mud mask and a brow gelcomb. It’s brands like these that are leading the way in erasing the idea that skincare and makeup for men is nothing more than a novelty, and making it evident that beauty was never meant to be gendered. 

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The next big name entering the realm of revolutionizing society’s take on beauty is Chanel. From the very start, Chanel’s brand has always been focused on breaking societal norms – first, in women’s fashion, when Coco Chanel herself drew from the world of menswear to create a new, revolutionary idea of what everyday wear could look like for women. Most recently, the brand has set out to do the same for male beauty products. Chanel is set to release their first line of male beauty products dubbed “Boy de Chanel,” this September in South Korea, with plans to release the line globally in November.

The line, drawing inspiration from the world of women’s beauty, showcases three new products for men: “Le Baume Lèvres,” a matte moisturizing lip balm; “Le Teint Foundation,” a sheer, hydrating liquid foundation available in eight shades; and “Stylo Sourcils,” a retractable, waterproof eyebrow pencil available in four shades.

In an interview with WWD, Chanel stated,

“By creating Boy de Chanel, its first makeup line for men, Chanel reaffirms the ever-changing codes of an unchanging vision: Beauty is not a matter of gender, it is a matter of style.”

In creating this line, as it does only feature three products, Chanel is proving that the quality of their rewriting of gender roles in beauty, is worth much more than quantity.

In the spirit of celebrating this revolution in de-gendering the beauty industry, VALLEY has pulled together a few lesser known brands completely founded on the idea that beauty is fluid.

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First up is Noto Botanics. Noto is a cruelty-free, gender fluid line of multi-use cosmetics and products created with all-natural and organic ingredients. The brand is a firm believer in inclusivity, stating that through their brand, they hope to cultivate a diverse, yet mindful community. One of their most popular products is the Ono Ono Multi-Benne Stain, a burnt peach colored stain that can be used for a flush of color on the lips, cheeks or eyes. Another is the Agender Oil, that made with organic hemp oil, lavender and vetiver, is meant to soften and protect the hair anywhere on your body. The Agender Oil is also a 100% non-profit product – all of the proceeds going to organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the LGBT Youth Center.

The Essentials Kit

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Panacea Skincare is brand of skincare that with only three products, packs some major influence. Cruelty and sulfate-free, Panacea is a gender-neutral brand, focusing solely on the idea of an easy to commit to skincare regimen that everyone can stick to. Their line features a Daily Facial Cleanser, a Daily Facial Moisturizer, and a Daily Facial SPF.

And last, but definitely not least, is Fluide, a wildly colorful and cruelty-free line of makeup products that cater to everyone – all gender identities, all gender expressions and all skin tones. Not only is Fluide working to change  the way that beauty is tied to gender, but they also donate five percent of all of their profits to organizations that support the health and legal rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Their products include 7-Free Polish, a nontoxic, cruelty-free and vegan nail polish; a matte, all-day stay Liquid Lipstick, and a whole line of multi-use loose glitter.

Now that the societal norms constructed around beauty and gender are finally breaking down, bigger and better brands are beginning to embrace this movement. Once again, in the words of Chanel,

“There is no absolutely feminine or masculine prerequisite: Style alone defines the person we wish to be.”


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