Honey, where did you put our mois­turiser?

No longer con­tent to hide be­hind scrag­gly beards, the male beauty mar­ket is boom­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING - SPE­CIAL WRITER

HEN it comes to bath­room pam­per­ing, the very men­tion of the word “beauty” used to have men run­ning for cover to the pub quicker than you can say kick-off.

But then the likes of David Beck­ham came along ad­ver­tis­ing guy-fo­cused prod­ucts and sud­denly groom­ing be­came a whole dif­fer­ent ball game.

A lot of it came down to the prod­uct mar­ket­ing. If men thought eye creams and spli­tend serums were for wusses, they might have no qualms about stock­ing up on manly “anti-fa­tigue sticks” and “hair putty” in­stead.

Now it seems male groom­ing has gone a step fur­ther... For­get the al­pha male-pleas­ing, tur­bocharged prod­ucts, men are now openly raid­ing their part­ners’ beauty haul and look­ing be­yond the pow­dery scents and flow­ery pack­ag­ing.

Over the past year there’s been a 50 per­cent in­crease in male cus­tomers re­quest­ing ad­vice about buy­ing women’s prod­ucts for their own use at Chemist­Di­rect.co.uk.

With prod­ucts such as hair straight­en­ers, wax­ing strips and St Tropez top­ping their musthave list, guys are unashamedly em­brac­ing the man-makeover.

WSo ladies, keep your favourite prod­ucts un­der lock and key. Just in case you were in any doubt about how much the non­fairer sex value their mir­ror im­age, the male cos­metic mar­ket is grow­ing at twice the rate of women’s in the UK, ac­cord­ing to L’Oreal’s re­cent Men’s Groom­ing Re­port 2010.

But de­spite the growth of male-tar­geted prod­ucts, the study iden­ti­fies 39 per­cent of men are still opt­ing to use prod­ucts de­signed for women as a part of their daily groom­ing rou­tine.

On a list of can’t-live-with­out prod­ucts, fake tan came sec­ond only to sham­poo in L’Oreal’s sur­vey, so Tango hand cul­prits should be easy to spot!

“While male groom­ing is big busi­ness, this is a new devel­op­ment – we’re talk­ing about men con­tact­ing our sales teams for ad­vice on how they can use women’s beauty treat­ments,” ex­plains Mitesh Soma, founder of Chemist­di­rect.co.uk.

“En­quiries in­clude ask­ing which hair straight­en­ers are best, how they should ap­ply fake tan and whether they should use con­cealer be­fore or af­ter they shave.

“Some tell us they started se­cretly us­ing their part­ner’s beauty gear out of cu­rios­ity and they liked the ef­fects so much they now want their own,” he re­veals.

The male groom­ing busi­ness in the UK has swelled to more than R6.4bn but guys are also shun­ning the mas­cu­line hype and seek­ing prod­ucts and treat­ments that work for them.

“The typ­i­cal groom­ing con­sumer is chang­ing,” ex­plains Dr Sach Mo­han, non-sur­gi­cal di­rec­tor of Trans­form.

“Men are be­com­ing far more skin-savvy and less gullible when it comes to the sales and mar­ket­ing tech­niques that brands are us­ing.

He adds: “I now spend at least 15 min­utes with most male clients dis­cussing clin­i­cally proven skin prod­ucts, and what they re­ally should be us­ing and how.”

Sign­ing up for the likes of Bo­tox, fillers and der­marollers, fel­las make up around a third of Dr Mo­han’s client list, who says: “The stigma is fir mly lifted, though not to the point where men ask their mates ‘Who do you go to, dahling?’ down the pub!

“It’s a closely guarded se­cret for most men, where their book­ing en­try will be for Bo­tox ‘for mi­graines’ or ‘cur­ing ex­ces­sive sweat­ing’, when in most cases they’ll even­tu­ally end up hav­ing Bo­tox or fillers for cos­metic rea­sons.” – Belfast Tele­graph

LOOK­ING GOOD: Soc­cer star David Beck­ham set the stan­dard for ma­cho ap­peal and now the men are get­ting into it, even if it does mean raid­ing their wives’ beauty prepa­ra­tions.

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