was getting ready for a big meeting in which he needed to close a deal. He wanted to look his best: a clear complexion, without glare. Professional.
Pervez recalls visiting the nearest Sephora, asking for the men’s makeup section only to be told makeup “was gender neutral and that he could look around the store for a product that worked best for him.”
He couldn’t find anything that spoke to him.
“As I looked around more, I was really kind of confused. I looked up at the advertising and thought, ‘You have so many women here with different types of makeup, but which of these women looks like me and which ones can I aspire to? I want to go to a meeting tomorrow to close a deal, where’s that look?’” Pervez says.
That experience helped start a conversation between Pervez and his business partner Matt
in 2019 about creating a color cosmetics and skin care line aimed at men and male presenting people who don’t necessarily see themselves represented in conventional makeup products.
Enter Tribe Cosmetics, the company they launched officially early this year.
In an era when the Covid-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home—spending endless hours in front of Zoom screens and in the bright glare of ring lights—Pervez, 38, and Rodrigues, 27, say their brand of cosmetic essentials is perfect for the average person taking at-home video calls to feel confident and camera ready in their living rooms.
“We’re at a junction where it’s becoming more and more acceptable in society where men can wear makeup,” Pervez says. “You have this entire generation that is basically saying they don’t have these gender roles as defined, and then at the same time you have the pandemic with Zoom calls, staring right at your face, and you start to notice a lot of these things, imperfections.”
For the makeup-weary man, feeling bogged down by decades of often toxic social norms, this current era has removed some of the stigma that might be tied to cosmetics.
“They’re on Zooms all day, they are thinking of their appearance more, and they don’t have this fear of being judged,” Rodrigues says. “Now is a great opportunity to try something new, to cover up a blemish, and then realize, ‘If I look good on Zoom then I might feel more comfortable wearing it out in public.’”
Still in its early days, Tribe is focusing on the essentials. Rodrigues and Pervez say they want their brand to help men have an accessible approach to skincare and grooming.
They offer a moisturizer to combat dry skin and aging; the Skin Fix concealer to cover up blemishes, discoloration, and wrinkles; and the Beard Fix, which fills in gaps in uneven beards and facial hair.
Rodrigues says both he and Pervez understand the power of cosmetics because they have worked in the entertainment industry. They know how effective makeup can be to help people feel more confident.
“Then you take that feeling even when the day is over and go out to dinner and meet friends, and you don’t have anything to worry about anymore because you look your best,” Rodrigues says. “So, we want to eliminate that stigma that only celebrities or movie stars or people on TV can wear makeup—it’s for everyone.”
Individually, the moisturizer sells for US$21, the Skin Fix concealer for US$18, and the Beard Fix for US$12. The company also sells its Tribe Kit—which contains all three items together—for US$44.
When asked where they derive their brand’s name, Rodrigues says that the emphasis was on inclusivity.
“Who do you define as ‘your tribe’? We want it to be all inclusive, for everyone, especially in today’s society, to identify who their tribe is, to be part of their community,” Rodrigues says.
“We want to become the grooming company for men, but beyond that, a company that provides tools for your success,” Pervez adds.
WHAT’S THE GOOD?
Tribe’s products are fragrance free, vegan, and organic. They’re also Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free, meaning that none of the product ingredients—or the end products themselves—have relied on animal testing.
Pervez says Tribe has signed onto the Humane Cosmetics Act, which aims to completely phase out animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S.
Pervez and Rodrigues hope to expand Tribe’s offerings in the coming years, aiming to include more color lines and shades. They say they would also like to address more cosmetic concerns faced by men.
“We started off with addressing your face problems, your moisturizing and blemishes and splotchy beards,” Pervez says. “Next, we want to be addressing issues with hair, with eyes with your nose, basically, continue to move forward the conversation on all of these things and just be a part of your daily routine.”