For years, traditional gender conventions have dominated the field of mass-market beauty and skin care. Consider the difference between heavy blue “men’s” plastic razors and dainty pink “lady” ones, for instance.
Traditional gender boundaries in this industry (and others) are blurring, if not vanishing entirely. Skin care-obsessed young women now often share their fascination with their brothers and husbands – and now we’ve also seen the rising popularity of male makeup artists on YouTube and social media.
Although it’s too early to tell if the majority of men would adopt cosmetics with the same zeal as women have, analysts say one trend is clear: beauty companies are shifting toward more gender-neutral items in unisex packaging.
Experts believe that newer brands are joining the market with gender fluidity incorporated into their DNA, using ads that represent racial and gender diversity, and packaging goods in ways that escape outdated assumptions.
GLOWGEAR offers self-care that belongs to everyone
One of these many emerging small businesses, GLOWGEAR (who launched in Hong Kong last year), aims to be “inclusive, transparent and customer-focused.”
We live in the era of social media, where everything is now available to be clicked and posted instantaneously. 2020 was indeed a challenging year that resulted in stress-related skin issues that became much harder to address due to being stuck in the confines of our households. Let’s admit it – healthy skin is both a must and an act of self-care, especially in hectic Hong Kong life.
Founder of GLOWGEAR, Mia Samtani, explains that her motivation to begin this company “came from the most unexpected place.” Having “studied dentistry at university … [she’d] see patients’ confidence completely change when they left with bright, healthy smiles – it was so incredible to see,” Samtani describes.
Inspired by the positive change she had seemingly brought into people’s lives, Samtani adds that she dealt with “adult-onset acne [herself] and realiz[ed] that this was a common, extended issue,” which made her realize skin care was analogous to this.
“Our skin is so closely linked to our emotional well-being and confidence that I knew I wanted to do something that could have a similar impact on people – that’s what motivates me,” Samtani continues.
Unlike other skin care brands on the market, GLOWGEAR is androgynous and promotes both male and female skin care products, where usually it is seen as “just for women and … about looking good,” Samtani explains. Though GLOWGEAR’s skin care products are not just limited to breaking gender normativity in the skin care industry but also aim to be a part of a bigger “movement that embraces everyone, all genders, all skins and all people,” says Samtani.
Samtani acknowledges this newfound shift in the beauty industry “to a place where people see it as more of an expression of self-care, something which is for everyone.” GLOWGEAR features diverse casting in their advertisements, interacts personally with their customers on social media and uses neutral colors in packaging.
To accommodate Hong Kong’s fast-paced and work-from-home lifestyle, GLOWGEAR has released two groundbreaking strategies to assist everyone in achieving optimal skin health and empowering fearless trust within – the GLOWQUARTZ and the GLOWDROP.
The GLOWQUARTZ is a high-performing face roller – a “literal face boot camp” which can be used to depuff and sculpt your face. It includes special muscle-kneading drills for chiseling cheekbones and sculpting the jawline. The GLOWQUARTZ is the perfect facial pain reliever, made entirely of raw Jade and Rose Quartz. It couldn’t be easier to offer good luck with Jade and self-love with Rose Quartz crystal.
The GLOWDROP is a 4-in-1 “dream device” that offers a gentle silicone face cleaning brush for sensitive skin, spots and stubble. Plus, there is the red and blue LED light facial inspired by NASA to reduce breakouts, plump up fine lines and reduce inflammation; a warming ‘Thermo-Glo Booster’ that boosts serum, moisturizer and other skin care product’s penetration for nurtured, glowy skin; and finally, a built-in acoustic facial massage tip that relieves pain when applied to pressure points. It’s a one-stop self-care activity that everyone will love.
The multifunctional GLOWDROP gadget is a concrete example of where Samtani gets her inspiration when developing new products. It was created with the goal to provide users with a single tool that will assist them with any step of their daily routine. “Funnily enough, I look for a problem because solving that becomes the purpose and inspiration for a new product,” she says.
“For us, simplifying the essentials into one product to make at-home skin care easier for customers was the inspiration behind GLOWDROP,” Samtani explains.
Although, one thing that has been a challenge for Samtani personally is “realizing that startups take time.
“Accepting that while still being proactive is a balancing act because it takes time to raise awareness, build trust and that true connection with people. But slowly and surely, it happens,” Samtani reveals.
Despite that challenge, she recognizes the success of GLOWGEAR is on the rise. “So far it’s been very encouraging as a small brand, but we have a lot of work to do and awareness to build,” she says.
GLOWGEAR has even more up their sleeve in the coming months, so be sure to keep an eye out for their launch in the next few months. A little insider’s hint – it’ll give more meaning to why they call themselves a skin and self-care brand.
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