MASC Vancouver

MASC – next-generation men’s skincare in Vancouver

Since 2007, MASC’s mission has been to offer men of all ages the tools and information necessary to maintain a healthy and well-groomed appearance in a simple no-fuss manner. “Look good, feel great” is their motto, because when you look good and feel great, you have the confidence to face the day-to-day challenges in your busy life. Mr Hudson speaks to Patrick Levesque, co-founder, about the MASC brand, trends in male grooming, and some of his favourite places.

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Tell us about yourself

My name is Patrick Levesque, and I’m the co-founder of MASC. I was raised in Terrace, a small town in Northern B.C. and have been living in Vancouver since 2002. In my spare time, I do CrossFit, play soccer in an LGBTQ2+ league, and explore the world with my partner Callum, who is an adventure travel photographer.

Patrick Levesque

Patrick Levesque

Patrick Levesque

Patrick Levesque

“My business partner and I would find ourselves going into a women’s store and finding one shelf of men’s products”

What made you decide to open MASC?

We opened our store in 2007 after my business partner and I recognized that it was hard to find an assortment of men’s products/brands in one location. We would find ourselves going into a women’s store and finding one shelf of men’s products. We wanted to create an environment specifically for men, with a large selection of products, where they would feel comfortable knowing all the products were options for them, and that they could ask questions and get expert advice on which would be best for their specific needs.

MASC Vancouver

MASC Vancouver

“On the surface level, MASC is partially an abbreviation for the word ‘masculine’ – beyond that, MASC is also a play on the word mask”

What does your brand stand for?

On the surface level, MASC is partially an abbreviation for the word ‘masculine’ in reference to offering an assortment of male-specific grooming products such as shaving cream and beard oils. However, beyond that, MASC is also a play on the word ‘mask’. In life, we want to put our best face (or mask) forward. It all starts with knowing that you deserve the best in life and that by taking care of yourself, you are telling yourself and the world that you are worthy: Look good. Feel great.

What makes MASC special?

We are a one-stop-shop for all men’s skincare and grooming needs, with a curated selection of the best products on the market. Our products are available in-store and online and we have always made exceptional customer service a priority.

MASC Vancouver

Patrick Levesque

Patrick Levesque

“Men want quality products that work well and are willing to expand on and upgrade their routine with the aim to look and feel their best”

What product do customers keep coming back for?

Customers keep coming back for their essentials and their favourites. Some popular essentials include face wash, moisturizer, scrub, under-eye gel, and deodorant and hair products. Many also find their favourite fragrance, toothpaste or candle at our store. Brands that are flying off the shelves include Menscience, (MALIN+GOETZ) and Jack Black. With so much to choose from – it’s like a candy store for men, as our customers often put it.

Photo: Lee Robinson

How has the male grooming market evolved over the last decade?

There are exponentially more brands available to men these days, and these men’s brands are giving more credit to what a man is looking for. I think initially, brands thought the products had to smell manly and have a super macho sounding name – but for the most part, that is not important to men. Men want quality products that work well and are willing to expand on and upgrade their routine with the aim to look and feel their best. Also, a decade ago, beards were not as prominent among men as they are today, so there are many products and brands that reflect that.

What are current trends in male grooming?

Trends in male grooming include a demand for products with more natural and cruelty-free ingredients, brands that are environmentally conscious and responsible, more selection in the anti-ageing category, and more comprehensive ranges as men expand the assortment of products they use.

Patrick Levesque

Patrick Levesque

How do you keep up with changing customer expectations?

We have always kept a pulse on the industry, quick to make changes and evolve as our customers and changing their changing demands do. We are always bringing in new brands and products, but we are very selective because we know our customers well and understand what they would or wouldn’t like. We’ve also evolved with social media and the increase in online shopping as well.

Why is your brand so popular with the gay community?

MASC offers so many different brands and products; there is something for everyone. More importantly, MASC IS for everyone: male, female, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, however you identify, you are welcome. Since the very beginning, we continue to support many local LGBTQ organizations. MASC is also proud to be a VPD (Vancouver Police Department) Safe Place, offering people shelter if they are feeling unsafe due to crime, harassment and bullying.

MASC Vancouver

What makes Vancouver such a great destination?

Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With easy access to mountains, ocean, fresh air and the activities associated with that, it makes Vancouver a great place to visit any time of the year. It’s a walkable city, people are friendly, and the food is delicious, with cuisines from all over the world.

What are some of your favourite places in Vancouver that people need to know about?

English Bay, Stanley Park, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge to name a few. Also, Vancouver Pride is an excellent time of year to come – the city is more alive than any other time of the year, and the weather is always amazing. This event happens at the beginning of August.

Stanley Park | Photo: Kyle Thacker

Capilano Suspension Bridge | Photo: Ivana Cajina

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