The City Weekly, July27 - August 2 2000,Volume 5 Number 29.

Make-up that's macho


I've always been a little sceptical about men's skin care products. Not that I'm being old-fashinoned abou this. I don't hold to the theory that using such products is a threat to my masculinity. No, I regard the fact that I stand on a chair and squeal like a little girl whenever I see a spider as being far mor of a threat to my so-called butchness.

I've just always considered them to be just a bit of a waste of money. All hype and soemthing I thought I'd never really need. Until this winter, when a combination of really dry winds and I suppose not being 21 anyone (that's a nice way of saying "jeez, I'm getting on a bit") meant that my skin was starting to resemvle the Dead sea scrolls. I needed some serious moisturising and soon. I knew things were getting desperate when an old animal trapper asked if he could have my skin for luggage.

So I did the sensible thing _ I raided my wife's make-up cupboard for some of those magical little tubs that she swears by, and that was when the trouble started. First off, can I say that any fragrance that smells good on my wife makes me smell like the world's cheapest toilet freshener. More over, I got confused and couldn't actually figure out just what the moisturiser was so I put a hydrator on before a toner and then I put this stuff around my eyes that made the skin there go tight, really tight, so that I had this look of constant surprise. I then got some of that stuff in my eye, which stung quite a lot.

That's when my wife came in and was greeted by the sight of me rummaging through her make-up draw [sic] with tears streaming down my cheeks. Now this is one scene that require more than a little explaining. Anyway the upshot of that little episode is that I'm banned from the make-up cupboard and she gets the giggles when I complain about my dried and itchy skin.

So, I decided to take matters into my own hands (not a good phrase to use when talking about moisturiser) and headed to the men's toiletries section of the nearest department store, a section I've had very little experience with.

And what a fun world it is, a world of give-away umbrellas and sunglasses and an item called a "tote bag", which is an something I've always wanted. Somewhere underneath all this free stuff was the aftershace but "where" I asked "was the men's moisturiser?" "Well sir", I was informed, "we don't actually sell moisturiser, we sell sports gel." "Sports gel?" I inquired. "It's a . . .", I could see she was forming the word that some dork in marketing had told her never to for " . . . moisturiser for men." "Oh, you mean a men's moisturiser?"

I had her game set and match. Apparently in the world of men's facial products the word moisturiser is considered too "girly" and it has to be "butched up" by as many outdoorsy sporty buzz words as possible. It was all too much - I bolted for the exit giggling to myself.

I'm still giggling now as I type this, my face covered in Oil of Ulan, but can I add, I'm giggling in a very blokey way.

-Mikey Robins

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