Women’s beauty products that every man needs to know about
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the past twenty-years has been men’s cosmetics – the idea that an increasing variety of pustulating ointments will make men feel more like men.
A big part of this has been to fool gullible blokes into thinking that their trip to the bathroom could feel like some kind of Thor-like adventure. Just listen to this form a bottle of Adidas’s new “Ice Dive” shower gel: “With marine extracts and a clean, ozonic fragrance, this refreshing shower gel is made for a man who loves the thrill of intense pleasure and dives into life headfirst.” Ridiculous.
For me, using women’s cosmetics started with pinching the odd bit from my girlfriend. But I’ve branched out since then and done my own research. I’m not against using men’s stuff now, I just refuse to let such an inane a concept as the gender of a bottle of cream affect my purchasing process.
Men’s razors are still your best bet for any fiddly grooming (shaping your high-street stubble, close-shaving your soul patch). But many women’s razors are larger, designed to cover a bigger area and catch longer hairs, which is handy if you’ve been letting your beard grow and don’t have access to electric clippers. They’re also was better for shaving your chest or nethers in the shower: the bigger surface area means fewer strokes and less irritation. Plus most of them (like thesefrom Wilkinson Sword) come with some kind of moisturing strip which is less silly than it sounds.
Aveda Light | Elements shaping wax
Pretty much all men’s styling products that cost less than £20 leave your hair rigid and plasticky, like an angry anime cartoon. They make your hair horrible to touch and often appear thinner than it is because hair clings together in thick patches. Women’s styling waxes, like this one from Aveda, are lighter, more malleable, and won’t turn your hair into greasy gloop.
Estée Lauder Idealist pore minimising skin refresher
This stuff is magic. As far as I know there is no male equivalent. You put a tiny bit of it on your face and even the coarsest, beard-covered cheek will turn to silk, immediately. It’s more noticeable than any moisturiser in the world. I have no idea if it’s actually doing good for your skin – my guess would be nah – but this stuff is so smooth it makes a baby’s bottom feel like the Rockies. It’s particularly good after you’ve shaved and moisturised, and will stop you from getting nasty shaving spots.
I’ve had really bad dandruff all my life. I’ve used men’s shampoos from Head & Shoulders, T-Gel and Nizoral without any joy. I bought this stuff once on the recommendation of a female friend and in three days it had by and large cleared the worst of the dandruff completely. The best thing about it is that you can just use it any time on your dry hair; you don’t have to wash your hair more than once a week. Also, it doesn’t even mention the word “dandruff” on the bottle (although it does mention something else but, hey, whatever works).
Now this stuff is legit. Basically conditioner for your balls, bum and back, you use it in the shower just like soap. It’s wash-off moisturiser which makes your skin feel human again, probably because of the shea butter, which is particularly pleasant after a weekend of heavy boozing.
Dove Go Fresh cucumber and green tea roll-on deodorant
The worst thing that advertising ever did was make men think that scented deodorants would help them get laid. Those ads, largely effective on teenage boys, mean that Lynx is now the default scent of virginity. Not only that, but scented deodorants totally mask the smell of any potentially decent smelling aftershave you may have applied. Instead, get some Dove deodorant, which does exactly the same thing but makes you either smell like clean bedsheets (original) or a posh gin and tonic (cucumber).