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Morphing into man

Vicki Salemi is passionate about writing. As a regular contributor to AOL, MSN and numerous sites and publications she also blogs regularly for CNBC European Business, Women for Hire and Manhattan adventures on her website www.vickisalem...

Manly beauty

From beauty products to styling galore, a variety of items and services tailored to men may actually be good for women and get this -- their wallets. Whether it's spa packages or over the counter hair gel, what's the difference? A woman can walk into a salon and pay at least $50 for a wash and cut. As for a man? How's a measly $15? And how about fancy deodorants? Are the ingredients really that different to justify the cost difference and have female specific powder-fresh deodorant versus the manly man product?

Manly beauty

Don't judge a box by its cover

How's this for creativity? Instead of buying a do-it-yourself hair color kit for women, why not think out of the coloring box and get a moustache kit for men to touch up your roots? Products for men, although they're targeted towards men, take up a significant share in the market. For instance, anti-aging products account for nearly thirty percent of men's beauty product sales and are remarkably high for women, too. Consider this: Skin's Face Revitalizing Gel sells for $65 for 2.5 ounces whereas Shiseido's similar product for women, Future Solution Total Revitalizing Cream, sells for $225 for 1.7 ounces. Many of these products share the same active ingredients!

Sherean Malekzadeh Allen, an internationally recognized advertising, sales and marketing expert, founder and president of New Thought Marketing, Inc, says women are long time proponents of beauty products and are accustomed to associating quality with price. "The more expensive the product, the better it must work, right? Marketers bolster this ridiculous assumption with soft, luxurious packaging, fancy foreign or hybrid names, and opulent colors- we're paying for the pomp and circumstance."

Beauty on a budget

On the other hand, she notes men's products have simple plain-spoken names like Hydrating Lotion and Stop Lines. The tubes and bottles they are sold in have a no-nonsense look and are often packaged in neutral colors. The assumption? "Not offending your masculinity but still taking into consideration your concern for your physical appearance."

As for the good news? Women don't have to assume that they must only buy women's products. With a boom in the male beauty industry this leaves their options more open for the same results at a lower cost. "Primping isn't just for women anymore," notes Sherean. "Men are getting in on the act, thanks to hundreds of products that make even the most manly-man comfortable with gels, lotions, washes and dare we say, cosmetics. Men's grooming products are a multi-billion dollar a year industry and as a marketer, I know that sometimes the differences boil down to just packaging and scent!"

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