In­side man

What to buy and why—from a man who knows.

ELLE Man (Canada) - - GROOMING -

As the vice-pres­i­dent of global beauty and groom­ing for Net-a-porter (women) and Mr Porter (men)—two brands that de­fine on­line lux­ury shop­ping—david Olsen is re­spon­si­ble for every­thing re­lated to plan­ning, buy­ing, sales and mar­ket­ing. He’s the guy who de­cides which skin­care, hair­care, shav­ing, makeup and fra­grance items—nearly 4,000 of them—will be sold on the shop­ping sites. In other words, he can prob­a­bly teach you a thing or two about eye creams.

“They’re shocked to dis­cover that a mid­dle-aged man with three kids is the beauty buyer for Net-a-porter! I got my start work­ing as a lit­i­ga­tor by day and help­ing my der­ma­tol­o­gist mother de­velop an e-com­merce busi­ness by night. I quit law and started an on­line busi­ness for plas­tic sur­geons and med­i­cal spas to sell their own prod­ucts, and I even­tu­ally sold it off. I joined the Net-aPorter Group in 2012, and we started sell­ing beauty prod­ucts on­line in March 2013.”

“That it’s okay to use high-end skin­care prod­ucts. It’s an in­vest­ment, and good prod­ucts are bet­ter at main­tain­ing your skin. A $2 shav­ing cream is easy to get, but it’s not do­ing much for your face.”

“It takes time for men to get com­fort­able shop­ping for groom­ing prod­ucts be­cause we’re still skep­ti­cal and we don’t know what to do. Here’s what made me start to take a se­ri­ous in­ter­est in the prod­ucts I use: When I was around 27, I was in a bar with friends play­ing that ‘How old do you think I am?’ game with some women we were hit­ting on. One of them guessed that I was 42. I said, ‘What? Why?!’ She said, ‘You have hor­ri­ble crow’s feet.’ From that day on, I was an eye-cream fa­natic.” [Laughs]

“Ev­ery year they fore­cast that this will be the time when the men’s groom­ing mar­ket ex­plodes, but I think it will be a slow burn. It’s im­por­tant with beauty or groom­ing prod­ucts that we ex­plain to peo­ple very clearly how to use them so they don’t need to go into a store to try it first. We make videos and re­ally ed­u­cate those who come to our sites about the prod­ucts they’re buy­ing.”

“Pay at­ten­tion to what your wife uses. If she loves YSL Touche Éclat, then go buy her that. You can also look at gifts as an op­por­tu­nity to get a lit­tle of what you want too. If you haven’t seen her wear red lip­stick but you love how it looks, buy her one!”

“I got this sim­ple but very real ad­vice from my mom: Treat peo­ple the way you want to be treated. It gets you a long way in both busi­ness and life. To suc­ceed, you have to have a vi­sion. I be­lieve in cre­ative vi­su­al­iza­tion. Write down your goals and have a very clear idea of where you want to go or what you want to do. When you know what your end game is, mak­ing de­ci­sions be­comes that much eas­ier.”

It­takes­time­for men­to­get­com­fort­able withshop­ping­for­groom­ing

prod­ucts­be­causewe’re stillskep­ti­ca­landwe­don’t


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