The world of fashion and cosmetics is evolving rapidly. Millennials and GenZ buyers believe that the skin and hair have no gender and pays attention to the ingredients only while buying a product for themselves. Arjun, a 30-year-old guy, uses florals and citrus fragrances and tinted lip balms without being label-conscious. Sangeeta, a teenager with oily skin uses men’s charcoal face packs and even likes to wear musk cologne. These people are dismantling stereotypes and are moving towards gender-neutral cosmetics, which are the new mainstream.
Manish Gupta, COO, Accessories Division at Titan Company says, "The lines are blurring between fashion for men and women. This is apparent from the choice of cosmetics to personal care products as well as apparel. It is mostly because grooming has become equally important to both the sexes, and there is an internal gratification in terms of feeling good about one-self and external in terms of getting the right look."
Sensing this cultural transformation, various Indian brands are gradually coming forward with 'inclusivity' as their key agenda and thus reflecting the same through their range of product offerings. Following the footsteps of Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and M.A.C Cosmetics, India based brands like Super Smelly, WOW Skincare, MCaffeine, Studio West, and Fastrack (fashion accessory) have also come up with gender-neutral products.
With renowned names like Alia Bhatt (fond of using men’s perfume) and Ranveer Singh (often spotted in men’s long skirts), the lines of gender-specific branding have started to blur. As a result, India’s cosmetic market is currently flooded with gender-neutral products ranging from perfumes, cream-sticks, face packs, body butter, lip balms, and even BB creams. Dipali Mathur Dayal, Co-Founder of Super Smelly, says "Brands are going beyond an ROI-based initiative and striving to be part of a larger purpose. It feels really good to see numerous brands finally rolling out products that can be used by everyone irrespective of their gender."
Along with new-age brands like Super Smelly, WOW Skincare, MCaffeine, that offers a range of gender-neutral products, other big brands are also offering gender-neutral products like Studio West by Westside, and The Brant Brothers by M.A.C Cosmetics which has come up with its unisex make-up collection. Additionally, the rise of the LGBT movement has led to a surge of gender-fluid brands, with GenZ and the millennials paving the path for gender-fluid brands. Gupta of Titan adds, "Gender fluidity is a trend which is catching up, the youth is becoming more progressive in its approach. The roles people are playing in their lives are becoming gender-neutral and the fashion needs are becoming gender fluid."