Monday, March 22, 2010

MALE VANITY

I am working on some communication for a fairness cream for men. And the research team has just unpacked a huge carton full of various cosmetic products solely dedicated to men's skinare. Face-washes, scrubs, anti-tanning lotions, post-sun-exposure gels, face-packs and, of course, fairness creams, all dedicated to the male peacocks of the species. A fascinating and bewildering plethora of pseudo-scientific-sounding stuff!

Back in the old days, I remember that my Baba (father) and Jethun (uncle) used to feel that a shave by the naapit (barber) when he came to out house every Sunday was the very epitome of luxury. And when he used to wipe their faces with water in which a piece of fatkiri (alum) had been soaked (for its antiseptic/astringent qualities), my Father's generation used to regard that as 'intensive, personalised skincare for men'. Quite the equivalent to a male-facial at a spa, probably.

And then when my Dadabhai (cousin brother) and Mama (mother's brother, who's younger by a decade) grew up, got jobs and got married, the ultimate in male luxury was to splash/spray on some aftershave after their daily bout with the razor. And the in-vogue stuff was OLD SPICE, with its distinctive red or white bottle and its special woody smell. For my teenage romantic dreams, the knight on a white charger always had to smell of Old Spice. And he would usually come, not riding an antiquated horse, but riding the waves on a surfboard like the rough-n-tough guy in the Old Spice TV-commercial that tugged at our hearts and hormones for years!

And then came Old Spice Fresh Lime, and Old Spice Musk. Things began to get complicated. And then arrived Brut and Denim and Aramis and a whole lot of other names. And a whole lot of other stuff to put on male faces. And goop for hair. And manicures and pedicures. A whole deluge of products and services and websites and salons and even magazines dedicated to promoting and maintaining male vanity. The metrosexual man is sure spoilt for choice.

Maybe men got clear skin. But they lost clear-mindedness. And got completely mind-boggled. Cosmetic-confusion, which was once the prerogative of women bombarded by over-information about beauty products, became the man's lot also. That's what gender-equality is all about, right?

SO, WHAT BEAUTY PRODUCT DO YOU/THE MAN IN YOUR HOUSE USE/USES?

14 comments:

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

I prefer fitkari always till-date. And yes, I agree visiting barber shop on sunday is/was a luxury.
I till-date shave while using soap though I have shaving creams but those are only for display or for people visiting home.

Lazyani said...

I am old-fashioned. I Still cannot bring myself to use all these fancy cosmetics, till date.:)

Kavi said...

Fancy cosmetics is not for me ! A neat shave and a good deo is just fine !

Ofcourse, the salon and charges thereon.. are my lifetime deo budget. Thats one more deterrent !

seana said...

I hadn't heard the term 'fairness cream' here in the U.S., so my first reading of the phrase made me think you were talking about a cream that made men more just!

lopamudra said...

My hubby despises anykind of lotion/cream,perfume gives him instant headache.In the harsh winters he gets hold of some odorless vaseline tube which too he applies infrequently.

Ugich Konitari said...

I dont remember my father ever dabbing his face with any lotions and stuff, nor di I remember an overcrowded dressing table from those days. But yes, Old Spice is just about the limit of whatever even now.

I just wonder if the hair quality of the male face has deteorated from using so many after shaves or something. How come in my childhood no one bothered about this, and didnt suffer ? Maybe its all a commercial thing propagated by those who've been sending cartons of stuff to your office :-)

Rajesh said...

Yes, once upon a time there were no cosmetics for men. But the market is now flooded with him. Some time in the past deodorants for men was introduced after the aftershave.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I recently bought some razors marketed as being for sensitive skin. I'm not sure my skin is all that sensitive, but the razors were cheap.
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Kabya said...

wow...a wonderful blog...i dont know how i got here...but i really felt nice after going through a few of your posts...being a bangali far away from home..missing home each moment...your posts brought a distinct 'chenaporichito' picture in my mind....and i loved it...thanks a lot...

欣盈 said...

cool blog,期待更新........................................

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

Ah! I am waiting for the day when an ad for a fairness cream will have the line, "Kaash! Agar meri ek beti hoti!"

Aleta said...

I'm not sure what the name of it is, but Greg received an expensive shaving lotion as a Christmas gift. (Something the boss uses and came highly recommended.) I have to admit, it's very nice! Greg has about 4 different colognes :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks, all, for the insights into the male psyche!!

OfficeTips said...

My father never came near any cosmetics during my childhood. These days, however, he uses my Johnson Baby Lotion on the sly. My husband's luxury is a perfume by Burberry.