Men’s grooming, as you will all know by now, has changed beyond all recognition over the last decade. Blame it on the metrosexual (a word I hardly ever hear nowadays) of the mid 2000s, since their emergence, men are taking their grooming habits and brands much more seriously. Even my 83 year old dad is interested in what pro-ageing cream I’m using and has been known to give me tips on brands he’s heard are good.
A recent report by Euromonitor claims that although men take 30 minutes (including the shower bit) compared to women’s 40 minutes, on their daily grooming, both genders think they invest ‘considerable effort’ in how they look. Men clearly think they can pull off that drop-dead gorgeous look in less time.
Although there has been a huge increase in beauty brands aimed at men, there aren’t many (any?) men-friendly beauty stores for them to shop in. Enter Beast, a new store in London’s Seven Dials, in Covent Garden, which aims to change the way men buy beauty. Around the perimeter of the neatly organised store are shelves of over 700 clearly laid out products, all logically marked and tagged in the way men like. Not fancy stuff, just easy shopping and helpful helpful, no nonsense staff ready to talk beard oils and mouthwashes.
Another interesting fact, since beards became fashionable, the sale of ‘aftershave’ has plummeted. Instead, according to Beast, beard oil is the fast selling category and there are quite a few different brands on the shelves here, Dr Harris being a popular one. Aftershave has been swapped for longer lasting eau de parfum, and there’s and selection here, with brands such as BeauFort (try Fathom V), Odin ( No 09 is a good place to start), Penhaligon’s (Bayolea is lovely) and the now infamous Escentric Molecules (01 is the best seller).
I bought Middlagedad the Ernest Supplies moisturiser, its camping-supplies styling feels quite groovy and the product is good- hydrating and clean smelling. The apothecary-style Marvis toothpaste is a cult product and sells out fast, I’d never heard of it but I loved the packaging and it’s delicious to use.
For the next two months, one of our favourite artisan beauty brands, Haeckels of Margate is taking up residency in the basement of Beast, where they will be offering beauty treatments for men (and women) in the suitably manly Thalassotherapy Room, as well as selling the entire Haeckels range of product. If you haven’t tried the balms and lotions made from distilled Margate seaweed and botanicals, you have a treat in store. You might want to start with the Geranium Hand Cream.
For those who can’t visit check out the Beast website, where middleagedads can also connect to book their detoxifying seaweed wrap or deep cleansing seaweed facial. Watch out though, he may want more space on the bathroom shelf soon….