Hey everyone, given we’re in lockdown and I have a bit more free time than usual, I thought I'd write a quick blog piece giving you a peak behind the scenes of Altr, why I started it, and my thoughts around the industry. This first post will outline the reasons why I started the business.
I had the idea for starting Altr while I was studying history at uni. I've always suffered from skin problems like acne and eczema, and this caused me to struggle with self-confidence and anxiety. Ironically the stress this caused actually made my skin problems worse, it was a vicious cycle. I tried all the various over the counter creams, as well as a few from my GP, with no luck.
As a 20 year old guy I’d never even considered cosmetics before. I think that back then there was a stigma around male cosmetics, but also it had frankly never even occurred to me to wear makeup to cover my acne until a friend recommended it to me.
After some initial hesitation, I decided to order a couple of basic concealers from Amazon, one being a male focussed brand, and the other from Yves Saint Laurent. After a bit of failed experimentation to begin with (definitely some dodgy finishes going on then!) , I was like wow, why aren’t more men doing this.
At that point I started to do a lot more research. At that time most cosmetic brands had zero male presence, and marketing for cosmetics was focussed on female customers.. There were hardly any brands that catered for guys, and the ones that did had poor marketing and off the shelf formulas that didn’t appeal to me as a guy in my early 20’s. The consistency was not good and the pricing seemed pretty excessive given the quality of product.
That was when I had the idea to create Altr. There was a clear trend of men taking better care of themselves in their day-to-day lives. Men were spending more on clothes, haircuts and other men’s skincare products such as moisturiser. The introduction of social media platforms such as snapchat and Instagram also meant young guys were spending more time than ever with their face on show.
I wanted to create a brand that would help spread the word that cosmetics are for everyone, while also helping to boost mens’ confidence and show them that they can also wear cosmetics and that, with a bit of guidance, it’s super easy!
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my journey to creating Altr, the next post will delve into how I turned the idea for Altr into a working business.
Alex Doyle, Founder.