"I wear makeup every day. I would never tell my father, I think he'd be pretty angry at me. But it's not obvious – just a little bit of concealer, some brightening products to enhance my skin.
It makes me feel good."
22 year old, Shanghai Jiaotong university student Andy Gu
For young Chinese men like Gu, the idea that luxury cosmetics are exclusively for women is an outdated notion. Traditionally, China has been a country of unshakable gender roles. But, in an evolving modern China, the male beauty industry is booming.

The Asia Pacific region has the highest market growth in the male beauty industry. In China, millennial male consumers are the key demographic of today's beauty market. More than influencer collaborations and product innovations – the shift in Chinese culture has been essential. Males maintaining their appearances isn't necessarily taboo anymore.

In popular culture, China's young male celebrities are now often seen wearing and advertising make-up and beauty products. In 2017, French cosmetics brand L'Occitane, with brand ambassador Chinese actor Joker Xue, achieved a 49 percent sales increase in China, and an 11 percent increase in their year-on-year growth, an amazing feat by a male cosmetics ambassador.
Despite these cosmetics brands originally using attractive male celebrities to target women, male-targeted marketing campaigns are starting to emerge. In 2017, 96 percent of male e-tail users purchased beauty and cosmetics products at least once, according to data released by China's e-commerce platform VIP.com and JD.com. For the past three years, the sales volume of male beauty products has almost doubled year-on-year.

The report also showed a high increase in male demand for face masks, bb creams, concealers and eyebrow pencils.

"Chinese men are wearing makeup now, it's not just about skincare and moisture creams. Lots of my male friends wear concealer every day."

Shanghai Jiaotong university student Andy Gu