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?

Woman Looking at Cosmetics Box

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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Comments on "Morphing into man"

Scott R. January 06, 2011 | 8:05 AM

I am a hard working business professional who also loves the outdoors. I need a deodorant that really works for me and for those around me!

Ottawa Em July 22, 2008 | 8:39 AM

A lot of the men's products are exactly the same as the women's as the article states. I have found the only "issue" is with men's products that are much too scented. When buying men's products for myself I always look for UNSCENTED and FRAGRANCE free products because I don't want to smell like a guy! Clinique has a very nice fragrance free men's face moisturizing gel. It costs $25 for a 100ml tube. A Clinique women's product on the other hand is usually $50 and 50ml! Also most men's eye creams seem to be better for puffiness and are always much cheaper. They also do not seem as rich. I would never buy men's deodorant though....unless you want to smell like a man. Usually (I) buy unscented gel deodorants. They don't say men or women on the package and they do not clash with my perfumes. Note: The article had some good points. But where is the info. It reads more like the intro to an article. Did the writer forget to give relevant info? I would have liked to see some examples of men's products available. Not just a mention of one face cream. Maybe I should have written this article as I have experience with many skincare brands.

Kevin (ReturnToManliness) July 19, 2008 | 1:52 PM

Over at ReturnToManliness, we love the idea of men's beauty products. Your point on the branding of the names being nice and simple is really important. If men think they are buying a product used mostly by women or has any hint of that, it will not work. Return To Manliness

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