It’s 2020 – are men ready for makeup now?
”There is loads of advanced makeup for women but now there is a straight forward concept also for men,” says Carl&Son’s CEO Andreas Wiik after the launch of their ”no makeup makeup” line.
23 Jul 2020

With a solid career within beauty and fashion, Wiik’s wife Jessica was contacted by investors to put Carl&Son on the market a few years ago. She then spent 1,5 years developing the concept and product range.

Andreas, on his side, is raised on a farm with a low engagement to beauty.

— I used to go to soccer practice with my deo and shower gel in a plastic bag. I just got introduced to skincare when Jessica told me her idea to launch makeup for men. I remember I was surprised and thought, really? But when she explained the concept and I got to try the products, I realized that she was on to something. I decided to join Carl&Son in the beginning of last year to strenghten the sales and prepare the launch at world’s biggest beauty fair, Cosmoprof, in Italy. Two days before the fair, the former investors decided to file for bankruptcy. Jessica and I went from super excited to suddenly unemployed. Slightly shocked we decided to follow through the fair and fight for Carl. The response was overwhelming and we decided to buy the brand ourselves with a new investor and continue the journey.

The brand, he tells, aims to be a modern and conscious choice for all men who want to look and feel good, regardless of age.

— It’s based on a simple philosophy; we want to offer men the best possible solution for their skin that is efficient and gives visible results, yet keeping it simple. Therefore we offer men high quality products that are vegan, dermatologically tested, cruelty free, and easy to use. Our skincare is made in Sweden with always a minimum of 95% natural ingredients and organic moisturizing agents. Oils and plant-extracts specifically target the needs to strengthen the skin barrier and give an instant feeling of freshness and a long lasting hydrating effect. All products are free from parabens, silicons, microplastics, and sulphates. Our signature scent is allergen free and contains, amongst others, cedar wood, mild grapefruit, pink pepper, sage, ginger, notes of musk, and marine tones. Like a fresh and masculine, yet subtle scent of pure, clean Scandinavian air.

When the brand started to develop their range of ”no makeup makeup” products, makeup for men did more or less not exist.

— You could find single products but not a complete concept. Six months after we started to develop the range, Chanel launched Boy de Chanel in South Korea. Then we knew that we were on to something and last autumn we finally launched it. Two major players at the Swedish market — Åhléns department store and Apotek Hjärtat pharmacy chain — saw the potential and listed the entire assortment, says Wiik.

The collection is a lightly pigmented range that covers small flaws and aims to give men a natural and fresh look.

— Since men in general are a bit novice around makeup we offer easy to use products with straightforward communication. We name our products according to what they do instead of industry standard names. Instead of concealer or powder, our products are named Dark Circle Eliminator, Beard Filler, Spot Fighter, Face Filter, and so on.

What’s the reception? And who’s the customer?

— There is really no particular customer profile. I’ve met so many men, from young guys to older gentlemen, during the last year who are struggling with their skin in different ways or just being positively surprised how such a small thing can lift their appearance so much. I believe my history going from zero knowledge regarding beauty to today being confident to both discuss and wear makeup enables me to understand men’s uncertainties regarding grooming and in particular makeup. I always assume that men do not know anything about makeup and see every talk as educational and informative. The gratitude and happiness when they understand the concept and see themselves in the mirror after a small touch up is priceless and the best response I can get.

Would you say 2020 is the year when men are finally ready to wear makeup?

— I believe men have been ready for a while but the options have been few. There is loads of advanced makeup for women but now there is a straight forward concept also for men. Men need to understand that you don’t have to spend 30 minutes in front of the mirror to put on makeup, it takes me a few minutes to do a touch up.

How will you develop yourself and the concept?

— We have a couple of exciting products in the pipeline and we are continuing our sustainability journey with packaging being next in line. Another focus is of course to grow distribution and find suitable partners. Since our launch we have continued to expand and now have 4 export markets, with the latest addition being Australia, says Wiik, adding,

— The other week Danish prince (and model, Ed’s note) Nikolai was wearing our makeup at a photo shoot so who knows where Carl will end up. •