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Men's Cosmetics

Nancy Wolfson
From the Print Edition:
Wayne Gretzky, Mar/Apr 97

(continued from page 3)

The Polo Sport "Team," is a four-item line with in-your-face names: SCRUB, SHAVE, LOTION and FACE FITNESS AHA (a moisturizing, protective alpha hydroxy acid formula with a SPF 8 that they dub their "do-everything-you-need-to-have-done-to-your face-in-one-product").

"These products are about a new definition of personal presentation as it relates to health and fitness," says Camille McDonald, senior vice president of marketing and creative services at Ralph Lauren fragrances. "It is about architecting your body, and going for a fitness of mind, body and soul." It's hard to believe that four small, fragrance-free tubes can do so much.

Clinique's line basically consists of its highly successful women's products repackaged to be more user-friendly to men. Cleverly, Clinique tagged the men's line "Skin Supplies," giving it the connotation that these are tools necessary to get the job done. The twice daily three-step regime entreats you to: cleanse (with "Face Soap"), exfoliate (using "Scruffing Lotion") and lubricate (with either "M Lotion" or "Turnaround Lotion"). The line also includes an eye cream ("Daily Eye Benefits") and an aftershave soother ("Post Shave Healer").

Joshua, a 40-year-old actor and Partagas aficionado, gave the products a try. "I've been using the Turnaround Lotion," he says, pointing to the phrase "de-ages skin's appearance" on the tube. "But I still feel 40." Kidding aside, men really do expect products to live up to their names and claims.

Men are used to evaluating things based on their performance, from mutual funds to cars to ball clubs. The men's grooming business hinges on the same standards. After trying the Aramis Lab Series line, 43-year-old Ken's initial comment was, "Once I blotted it, [the Sharp Shooter Anti-Oxidant Vitamin Lotion] performed great."

When it comes to anti-aging, keywords are repair, replace and renew if you want results, results, results. Men do. The Lab Series for Men Sharp Shooter Lotion tube declares, "READY to fight the effects of yesterday. AIM to battle today's signs of aging. FIRE away fine lines for firmer, healthier looking skin tomorrow." The graphic logo on the box is a target. And the other moisturizer in the line is called Lift Off! Moisture Formula. This is Space Age skin care meeting the needs of every good goal-oriented American male.

Nancy Wolfson is a former beauty editor on Glamour, Redbook, Parents and Seventeen.

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