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?