CVS is Rolling out Stryx to Help Men Look Zoom-Ready. Are They Ready to Wear Concealer?

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Skincare startup Stryx getting their signature concealer tool on CVS’ shelves to help men look Zoom ready. Are men ready to use makeup?

As the COVID-19 crisis was breaking, I had a chance to interview Stryx co-founder Jon Shanahan about the impact of COVID-19 on his men’s startup.

Jon founded Stryx with Devir Kahan prior to the crisis with the goal of producing innovative skincare products targeted at men to help them conceal blemishes, dark undereye circles, and razor burn, and to look their best.

Then came the coronavirus crisis.

While Stryx initially saw sales drop, Jon and Devir quickly pivoted with messaging about how their concealer and moisturizer can help men look their best on Zoom calls every day.

(Another way to look your best on a Zoom call? Get a new Zoom shirt. Seriously. People notice that you have worn the same shirt a dozen times in a row, even if you don’t think they do.)

Stryx is one of the many direct-to-consumer brands helping men look their best in the digital age, and was part of a number of brands that pivoted their messaging around COVID-19. For example,

Washington Post business reporter Hannah Denham had a front-page story in the Sunday business section detailing how makeup for men is finding a niche thanks to Zoom.

She observed:

The company aims to convince men who had never considered stopping by a MAC counter or sitting through a YouTube tutorial that makeup is an option for subduing dark circles and razor burn. Discretion is a key part of the messaging, a spinoff of the classic no-makeup makeup look, and Stryx hopes changing ideas about masculinity will move the idea into the mainstream.

Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it helps with video calls: Makeup for men finds a niche, by Hannah Denham, Washington Post, 23 July 2020.

National drugstore chain CVS is giving shelf space to Stryx in 2,000 of its stores — the first concealer product to be rolled out by the company, according to Denham. (You can find Stryx’s concealer right next to men’s razors.)

Would you wear concealer?

About Jake

Jake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age.  Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.

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