Green Beau Makes Sure Men Are Included In Clean Beauty
Like many men with no clue about clean beauty, William Powell was introduced to it through his wife. In Powell’s case, his wife, Citrine Natural Beauty Bar owner Melissa Lenberg, was pretty familiar with the subject.
“At first, I didn’t really know what to think about the products because they were coming from a store that catered to women, but she told me not to worry about it, and she explained that they all have good ingredients and work well on the skin,” he says, mentioning haircare and skincare products from Innersense Organic Beauty, CV Skinlabs and Tata Harper served as his clean beauty entry points. “I started using them, and I found they were really high performance. I enjoyed them.”
Powell didn’t stop at his personal enjoyment. He began recommending products to his guy friends. They’d mostly never heard of clean personal care before and were picking up cheap products at drugstores and grocery outlets. After Powell exposed them to better options, they were interested in more. However, they weren’t comfortable shopping at existing clean beauty retailers.
“They kind of withdrew. That’s when I thought, ‘I wish there was something for me in the clean beauty space.’ I was looking and looking and, every website, even if it said it was unisex, it was marketed toward women,” recounts Powell. “I got discouraged, but then I began thinking, ‘Yo, it would be cool if there was a site geared toward men in the natural space.’ That’s when I came up with Green Beau.”
Launched last year, Green Beau is an e-tailer and in-store display within Citrine containing nearly 20 men’s and unisex brands, including Innsersense, CV Skinlabs, Biocol Labs, Apothia Los Angeles, Brickell, DedCool, Crux Supply Co., Daemon, Meant, Way of Will, Osmia Organics and Ursa Major. Currently, fragrance, deodorant and beard oil are popular products in its selection, and Crux Supply Co. and Daemon are among the bestselling brands.
“I want to stand out as somebody not taking shortcuts, and I want the marketing to be hip, inclusive and fresh.”
Green Beau premiered with an assortment Powell describes as “small, but mighty.” Now, he’s out to step it up. Powell plans to expand the site’s sexual wellness, oral care and zero-waste offerings. He singles out eco-friendly Nude & Crude, a sister brand of Way of Will, as a brand he’s eyeing to bring into Green Beau’s collection. Green Beau adheres to Citrine’s strict ingredient standards and that narrows the field of brands that can be a part of its mix. Powell and Lenberg identify phenoxyethanol as an ingredient Citrine and Green Beau avoid that leads to them not being able to carry quite a few brands.
“I want to make sure I separate myself from the companies that greenwash,” says Powell. “When I look at a brand and get excited about it—I like the marketing and the concept behind the products—once I look at the ingredients, I’ve had my heart broken so many times. I want to stand out as somebody not taking shortcuts, and I want the marketing to be hip, inclusive and fresh.”
Green Beau’s design isn’t overly complicated. It’s largely black and white, and doesn’t let fussy accents or extra language distract from perusing products. It focuses on merchandise and the diverse array of men purchasing it. Powell says he tried hard to stay away from giving Green Beau a crunchy feel. Although it makes it clear it’s a destination for clean products, Green Beau doesn’t hammer consumers over the head with its clean positioning. The site’s customers target audience is men aged 22 to 45 years old. About half its customers are women shopping for the men in their lives.
“Men, when they come to the site, see it’s specifically for them. The imagery is masculine and clean and, as they dive in, they will see the products are natural,” says Powell. “You only have a couple seconds to grab someone’s attention. Men have much less of an attention span. I wanted to balance being all-natural and appealing to my demographic.”
“Men, when they come to the site, see it’s specifically for them. The imagery is masculine and clean and, as they dive in, they will see the products are natural.”
At Citrine, men’s products under the Green Beau umbrella constitute roughly 10% of sales. During the pandemic, sales on Green Beau’s site have been doubling to tripling. “People are waking up to what’s in their products and living a healthier lifestyle,” says Lenberg, whose clean beauty store is in Phoenix. “This is my eighth year in business, and it’s totally different than it was eight years ago. So many people are opening their eyes to it and, obviously, we are still a small fraction of what goes on in this industry.” Powell and Lenberg are merging the Green Beau and Citrine sites, and they believe the merger will increase Green Beau’s sales. Green Beau has been engaging in cross-promotional activity with Citrine. Instagram and Facebook are traffic drivers to its site as well.
Powell is considering eventually opening a Green Beau shop. Past pop-ups have been successful, proving to him that in-person experiences are worthwhile. Powell is moving into Green Beau merchandise, too. He has already created two items with the company Verano Bathery—Beard Oil and Beard Balm—and intends to extend the product line.
“I get a lot of compliments on it. It’s very moisturizing, and a lot of people tell me it helps their beard hair grow, so I’m very happy with it,” says Powell of Green Beau’s Beard Oil. Speaking of Green Beau’s selection generally, he adds, “I have a joke that it’s Green Beau versus Shaq. Shaq is on TV as the spokesperson for brands like Gold Bond and IcyHot, which are toxic. I have stuff that’s an alternative to that that is just as powerful, but clean.”