Jared Leto has become the latest male star to confirm he’s launching his own beauty line.
The Oscar-winning actor and frontman of rock band 30 Seconds to Mars has created Twentynine Palms, an 11-piece range of gender-neutral skincare, bodycare and haircare products.
The star acknowledged his lack of background in the beauty industry, similarly to many famous founders of recent skincare and beauty brands.
“I know I’m a student here, but I think that’s the best place to be,” Leto told Vogue.
“I’ve never been really interested in beauty products,” he admitted, “but I’m interested in the idea of taking care of ourselves in the most natural way possible.”
Leto’s line is named for a town at the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park and features extracts of plants that grow in the desert.
“Because of this challenging, unforgiving environment, these ingredients have to be incredibly resilient to survive,” he explains. Fragrances that build on earthy aromatics are apparently next on the agenda.
This, in a week when Elon Musk announced he’s created a perfume called ‘Burnt Hair’. It was initially hard to tell if Musk’s creation was just another form of Twitter trolling the tech mogul and entrepreneur is fond of.
But then came the subsequent announcement from Musk that despite the unusual scent profile of what he called ‘the finest fragrance on earth’ he’s already sold over US$1m worth. This even though it’s apparently not being made available until next year.
The finest fragrance on Earth!https://t.co/ohjWxNX5ZC pic.twitter.com/0J1lmREOBS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 11, 2022
These announcements come hot on the heels of the arrival of Le Domaine, a skincare brand infused with grape-derived ingredients, created and fronted by Brad Pitt, as well as collections from Travis Barker, Pharrell, Harry Styles and Idris Elba. John Legend is also expected to launch a skincare line imminently.
While we have had more than our fair share of famous females founding or fronting beauty brands, it seems the era of the male celebrity line is only just beginning.
The upside of these new arrivals is the normalising of a regular skincare routine for males, something that has traditionally been seen as frivolous or unnecessary. Though many are branding their lines as ‘genderless’ or for everyone, and much as anyone should feel free to do as they please, it is still a powerful form of ‘permission’ for men to see other well-known figures openly embracing wider beauty and self-care rituals.
Among that shift is the increasing diversification of ‘men’s grooming products’ from simple items like shampoo, deodorant or shaving cream to a far wider scope of beauty items including cleansers, moisturisers, active serums and cosmetic items like concealers, bronzers and more.
Indeed the market for men’s beauty and aesthetics is booming. According to Statista, by 2024, the global male grooming market is estimated to be worth about US$81.2 billion dollars.
Another positive of these new male celebrity lines is that the stars – or at least their advisors and collaborators – are seeing the increasing market demand for clean and natural options and sustainable products and packaging. In many cases they are partnering with research and development experts and laboratories that are at the cutting edge of botanical science. Leto’s Twentynine Palms has involved Kate Forbes, previously responsible for the significant growth and innovation of Aesop, for example.
The downside? The price of many of these new releases far outstrip many other ranges and products with similar ingredient pedigrees. The most expensive item in Brad Pitt’s line is a serum for US$385, Leto’s new line has an eye cream for $153. Given both have admitted little previous interest or passion for skincare, it’s easy to understand why plenty of critics are suggesting a cash grab is the more likely motivator.
Whether these lines will be successful regardless? Only time will tell.