Embrace more than one kind of masculinity
Croono is a modular makeup brush for men that enmpowers them to define and assert their own masculinities.
It is an attempt at breaking down gender barriers forced on us through everyday objects.
By changing the design language and shifting the modality of an object, we can effectively deconstruct gender barriers in society by enabling both men and women to participate in formerly segregated consumer activities.
Croono consists of 1 handle and 4 brush heads. The handle has an opening on each end in order to accommodate 2 different sized brushes. Each brush head has its own lid to protect its bristles while in storage and ensure they needn’t be touched by the user’s hands while in use. Magnets make mounting the brush head modules easy and interactive.
Despite the changing habits of male consumers, such as their growing interest in ‘female-identified’ cosmetic products, socio-cultural expectations and pressures of masculinity persist. These pressures manifest themselves in objects in our everyday environment, herding those of the male sex into old-fashioned definitions of being a man. How can design break down this stereotype and promote better understanding, acceptance, and change in the concept of what masculinity can be?
Research and Insights
The orthodox definition of being a man is prevalent and continues to pose an established challenge.
Gender stereotypes manifest themselves in our everyday objects, herding people into old-fashioned gender roles.
To design an object for the male user that encourages him to trascend orthodox mascuilinity and expand his own subjective sense of masculine gender.
Gender barriers can only be broken down by expanding the idea of what they encompass to the point at which they become no longer exclusive.
Once taboo, more men taking up make up
Men’s interest in and demand for grooming, skin care, and makeup is increasing as standards of beauty shift. Yet, products that are available are gendered in ways that prevent men from participating in this new space.
Since masculinity defines itself as not being feminine, feminine-identifed activities, like makeup, have traditionally been taboo for men. The world is realising that this orthodox definition of masculinity places restrictions and limitations on everyone’s identity and men, more and more, wish to not be defined by those limitations. Yet, most designers have been only taking an aesthetic approach to the masculinity that is asserted through objects. I wanted to redesign the masculinity of the object by addressing the experience of the product and its use.
The handle has an opening on each end in order to accommodate 2 different sized brushes. Each brush head has its own lid to protect its bristles while in storage and ensure they needn’t be touched by the user’s hands while in use. Magnets make mounting the brush head modules easy and interactive.
Each aspect of Croono’s design was chosen to give a new look and feel to masculinity. Made of satin finished anodised aluminium, Croono is both sturdy and metallic yet also light weight. The silver, gold and copper colour combination give it a trendy and modern look.
Inspired by gentlemen’s barber and taylor shops, Croono’s warm and light toned oak packaging softens the colder impression of the aluminium parts inside. This classic appareance also suggests that makeup for men can also be an institution.
A modular make up brush expressing this soft side of masculinity, Croono’s name was inspired by the word crooner, “a singer, typically a male one, who sings sentimental songs in a soft, low voice.”
A make up brush set
Croono consists of 2 large, hexagonal brush heads and 2 small, squared ones. The user can tell the brush types apart by their size, shape, and colour without having to refer to labeling. A foam packaging insert ensures that the user stays organised by assigning a specific slot for the handle and each type of brush head.