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The real male vanity

fashion and trends Updated: Oct 01, 2010 00:41 IST
Aaron George
Aaron George
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

A recent study revealed that more men than you could ever imagine, are as aware of their appearance as women. More than three million men in Britain have confessed to wearing make-up. The study, conducted among 1,800 men by Opinium Research, says one in seven men use a variety of female cosmetics, such as eyeliner, nail varnish and anti-ageing creams. It also emerged that the most popular products for men are hair dye, eye creams, anti-ageing products, eyeliner and fake tan.

Back in India too, it seems, the new dandy man does like paying special attention to appearance. Though the make-up regimen for men is subtler, with men admitting to use just a bit of concealer or may be face powder instead of a full blown mascara or a fake tan routine. Designer Suneet Varma says, “We grew up using hair gel and Dettol soaps for grooming. But now it seems the times are changing. Men are very careful about their appearances and a little make-up can only help.”

Not sissy any more
Though relatively a smaller number, still men in India, especially in the metro cities, are buying make-up products, sometimes even meant for women! Smriti Gupta, owner of the cosmetic store Kunchals says, “Until a few years ago, men only bought perfumes or hair gels. But now they are asking for face creams, eye serums, etc. In the last one year, there has been a 30 per cent increase in men shoppers, who buy cosmetics for themselves.” Sushant Gupta, a financial consultant based in New Delhi, says, “I have no qualms in wearing a little make-up if it can help me look good.” Designer Prashant Verma also reiterates the view. He says,

“I do use multiple hair products and tend to go for skin care products generally. I also use some MAC products, mainly the basic liquid foundation at times to cover dark circles.”

Just the beginning
Manish Chopra, art director with an international fashion glossy in the city, says, “Unlike the fabled metrosexual, the new-age Indian man doesn’t believe in wearing sarongs or pink nail varnish. I do use anti-ageing cream and serums, but I look at it not as not beauty products, but a part of my daily grooming process.” Make-up artist Ambika Pillai says, “Men now have options, which perhaps they didn’t until 10-15 years ago. And may be that is the reason why they now have pointed choices about their make-up.

They often bring along the products they want to use on their faces.” Soma Ghosh, marketing head, Nivea, says, “Men are definitely shifting their purchase patterns and are buying beauty products. The availability of men’s products has also made it much easier.”

Nothing to rouge over
But the urban Indian man is still not waking up every morning and going straight for his compact. Make-up artist Komal Gulati says, “There are times, for instance, at weddings the groom gets the basic make up done with the bride.

We cover the blemishes, add a little gloss to the lips, and of course take care of any dark circles. The look is focussed on giving a healthy glow, rather than a rouge pancake look. So while the Indian men may still be somewhere far from their British counterparts, who seem to be getting as comfortable with make-up as with shaving creams, the make-up movement is surely being noticed.

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