The Dawn of the Metrosexual
An Evolution in Skincare!
The idea of men taking an interest in their appearance certainly isn’t a new concept. After all, weight lifting gyms have been commonplace since the 1960s, helping men to tone their six packs and maintain their buff physiques. What is new, however, is the path that male vanity has followed, and the way in which it has evolved.
The metrosexual. Sometimes mocked for being rather feminine, this modern-day man was born out of years of gothic and ‘emo’ trends evolving and becoming more and more accepted by mainstream society. The typical metrosexual takes great pride in his appearance, with an interest in everything from daily skin care to the latest hair styles, even going as far as wearing makeup to keep his preened image looking sharp as ever.
Skincare products specifically designed for male skin were first introduced to the skincare market in the 1990s, although it’s only really in the last few years that the male skincare industry has really taken off. Now, rather than male skincare being something that can only be purchased from dodgy looking shopping channels, or from the classic infomercials in ‘just 12 easy payments’, moisturisers, creams, toners and lotions are all available in any pharmacy or supermarket – and they’re big name branded, too.
In a recent study of the UK male cosmetics market of the 3.3 million men questioned 28% use eye creams and 23% use anti-ageing treatments. With the exception of hair dye products, these are the most popular cosmetic choices among men. Although it was once thought that men became more distinguished and handsome with age, one therefore can’t help but wonder; are today’s men finding the prospect of ageing just as daunting as many women do? The figures seem to indicate yes!
Brands such as Clarins, Clinique and L’Oreal sell specialised shampoos, hair gels, holding sprays, wrinkle creams, eye roll-ons, pretty much anything you can think of, all designed to enhance male skin which is naturally more rough and tough than women’s due to additional hair growth.
Male skincare is one thing, but male cosmetics are quite another. Although makeup was once reserved for women, these days men are wearing eye liner, using face powder and going as far as making their eyes pop with mascara! Is it time for women to start putting locks on their makeup bags? Probably not, as there are specialised male cosmetics on offer, marketed directly at the metrosexual.
MAC is one of the biggest and most well-known suppliers of products that have been nicknamed ‘guyliner’ and ‘manscara’, and the increase in male cosmetics has been embraced by the beauty industry. After all, it’s a money-making niche that hadn’t really been touched upon previously. But has it been embraced elsewhere? Shockingly, yes!
In that previous study over 20% of the 3.3 million cosmetic using men in the UK report wearing their war paint for work, and 25% admit to wearing it in social situations, with employers and friends not even batting an un-mascara’d eyelid. Even women seem to be coming round to their idea of sharing their beauty products, especially if the popularity of those such as Russell Brand, David Bowie and Johnny Depp‘s Captain Jack Sparrow are anything to go by.
Whether it’s ‘moob’ reduction, pec implants (yes, really) or a face lift, or even less invasive ‘lunchtime’ procedures to freshen the face such as Botox, facial fillers or collagen lip injections, statistics confirm that more and more men are turning to surgery to give them flawless skin and ripped muscles.
Male cosmetic surgery has risen by 7% in the last year alone, with nose jobs and breast reduction topping the charts. The highest increases were seen in face lifts which were up by over 11%, and brow lifts up by more than 12%.
Cosmetic surgery isn’t always the answer, however. You just need to take a look at former Olympic athlete, Bruce Jenner, Hollywood superstar, Mickey Rourke and British singer, Pete Burns, to understand the risks involved in facial surgeries.
Will The Metrosexual Trend Continue?
Trends come and go; everything has an expiry date. While this may be the dawn of the metrosexual, can this fashion be expected to last? Although the increases in male cosmetic surgery procedures and in male marketed beauty products seem to suggest the trend is here to stay, others disagree.
It has been argued that society is changing to accommodate the metrosexual and that as a result both modern man’s appreciation of grooming (including an ever-increasing acceptance of male make-up use) and fashion is seen as completely normal. Give it a couple of years and this societal acceptance may even evolve to the extent that even male cosmetic surgery is seen as somewhat normal.
If all these things become ‘normal’, then metrosexuality is no longer a trend, it’s just a way of life. For as long as women wearing makeup or styling their hair hasn’t been thought of as a trend for centuries, guys taking care in their appearance has always been a part of society it’s merely the style of the time and the marketing that surrounds it that fills out the details.