Tribe Cosmetics is normalizing makeup for men

Makeup has always been gender-neutral, but it’s never exactly been pitched as something for men. It’s not uncommon for guys to feel a little judged when browsing the aisles of Sephora or Ulta. Tribe Cosmetics aims to change all that. 

Matthew Rodrigues and Pergrin Pervez co-founded Tribe Cosmetics to create a line of products that caters to men. Rodrigues and Pervez spoke to In The Know about joining forces to meet a need they felt other beauty companies were not addressing.

Before Tribe Cosmetics, the two men had known each other for years. They were eager to start a business together. The two had tons of ideas, but none felt like the right one — until Pervez got a zit. 

“One day, I had a meeting, but I had a pimple that I wanted to cover up. So we popped into Sephora. We looked around and around. All the advertising was geared towards women,” Pervez explains. “So it kind of came to a question of, well, which of these women looks like me?” 

Pervez just didn’t see himself in any of the Sephora models. That’s when the duo’s idea for Tribe Cosmetics emerged. 

“We thought it would be a good idea to start a company that would normalize the use of makeup for men,” Pervez says. “We would give men role models of what they can aspire to and what makeup can do for them, in terms of improving their confidence.” 

The idea was to address three major problem areas that men face — the kind of stuff you wouldn’t see targeted in women’s cosmetics.  

“One, we have a moisturizer. It’s for dry skin to combat aging, wrinkles. Step two, we have a concealer,” Rodrigues says. “It’s called a Skin Fix. So it’s basically a concealer you could put on as spot treatment [or] all over your face as needed, whichever you prefer. Step three, we have a Beard Fix. It’s to fill in the patches, the splotchy beard if you can’t grow a full beard. You could also use it to give yourself fuller eyebrows or even fix a receding hairline.” 

Despite a great line of cruelty-free products, Tribe Cosmetics still faces some hurdles. Men aren’t exactly socialized to embrace beauty products. While the founders swear every guy has probably borrowed concealer from a family member or girlfriend, it’s still not something men want to broadcast. 

“Men are embarrassed when it comes to buying makeup,” Rodrigues says. “As a guy walking into a Sephora — and I’m speaking from personal experience — you are walking down the aisles very nonchalantly. You’re acting like it’s a gift for your mom, your sister, your girlfriend.”

Tribe Cosmetics is educating the market and putting out positive images of men rocking makeup to show there’s no shame in the game. 

“I think we’ve made a lot of traction,” Pervez says. “We’ve had people of different ages contact us, telling us how this product has helped them to improve their lives, totally not anything we’ve expected, anything heartfelt like that.”

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