Makeup for Men? An Investigation into Social Norms and Motivation to Use Appearance-Enhancing Products
This study aimed to extend beyond existing research on the male-grooming industry to examine the reality of marketing an everyday cosmetic product to men. This thesis contains a two-part original research study involving a qualitative, exploratory study (Study 1) clarifying college-aged men's attitudes toward male grooming products and makeup for men; and a quantitative, experimental study (Study 2) created to test theories developed from Study 1. Study 1 discovered a pattern among male participants of citing functional/medicinal qualities of male-grooming products as their justification for purchase. Study 2 tested whether this could be applied to makeup by comparing the effects of two advertisements for male cosmetic products on the likelihood of purchase of the product advertised. The main implications of this research suggest that one way to integrate makeup for men into the mainstream market is to release products in free trials before releasing them for sale, since men in the study were somewhat likely to use a free sample of the product in the test advertisements, but unwilling to purchase it. Additionally, the presence of acne in the participants moderated the effects of the ads such that men without acne were more likely to try a cosmetic product when presented with the medicinal benefits of the product in addition to the appearance-enhancing benefits, rather than appearance-enhancing benefits alone. Overall, men with acne were more willing than men without acne to use the product, regardless of the advertising appeal.