Not so long ago (and in some cases, even today) men and women were separated into very rigid marketing lanes. Anything bright and floral was targeted to women, while anything rustic and musky was targeted to men. As the culture continues to shift, people are experimenting with different parts of their lives, both personally and professionally. After all, there’s no law that says a man can’t wear jewelry, and people are no longer shocked at the sight of women wearing pants.
Much has changed: men (both celebrities and non-celebrities) are more comfortable embracing colours in their wardrobe (especially suits), and don’t feel a sense of discomfort when trying something new. Lil Nas X, and Billy Porter’s wardrobe at the 2020 Grammy Awards proved that the gender lines are blurred, and what was once ridiculed is now acceptable, like Lil Nas’ hot pink cowboy outfit by Versace.
How bold are consumers willing to go? Companies have been caught in the past pushing these boundaries to the point of possibly alienating customers. When products are marketed as gender-neutral, the potential profits are increased. While not all men are comfortable getting manicures and pedicures, there are some that just can’t get what they need from the men’s side of the store. So, to help ease the process, here are a few products that the common man can enjoy, even if they’re traditionally marketed towards women.
If you’re a guy that likes less clutter and more space in his pocket, then chances are that you’d prefer a card case. You’re not the George Costanza type and prefer to keep your wallet slim and full of only your essential plastic. But sometimes the card case options for men are much more difficult to find, especially with high-end brands. For those who prefer a variety of colour and creative designs, your best bet is a card case from the women’s section, from names like Alexander McQueen, Coach, Tory Burch, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gucci.
In general, fragrances could be seen as gender-neutral, but since the beginning of time, they’ve been marketed based on old social norms and test surveys. Not every guy wants a musky scent that makes him smell of fresh wood carvings—some enjoy a sweeter scent that isn’t too strong. As everyone knows (or should know), colognes and perfumes interact differently with each person, so there are many who don’t enjoy every scent they come into contact with. If you find yourself needing a break from the cedar and pine variety, then you can find more options with brands like Versace, Calvin Klein, and Saint Laurent.
If there’s one thing everyone needs as they get older, it’s a good concealer. Whether you’ve been staying up late partying or working on assignments, you want to do your best to look as rested as possible. Concealer is mostly marketed to women, but the truth is that there are some men who could benefit from the illusion of a good night’s rest. It’s also good for hiding scars or acne, so keep that in mind if you’d like to look fresh-faced or younger.
If there’s one thing every guy should adopt from the women’s section, it’s a reliable pair of tweezers. This item isn’t that hard of a sell since it doesn’t normally come in overly feminine packaging, and can be bought separately or in a grooming kit. You would be surprised how much your life will improve when you keep that unibrow at bay.
Smelling good always goes a long way. The kind of scent that let’s people know that you not only have a shower, but actually use it often. Sometimes the best scent is the one that isn’t geared toward men, but women instead. Ignoring the right body wash might actually hurt your professional and personal life, leaving you to miss out on more than one good opportunity. If your body is more responsive to a fruit-scented combination, then just go with it.
Never underestimate the power of a good moisturizer. While most guys assume that they don’t need to keep their skin smooth and hydrated, they couldn’t be more wrong. Keeping your skin lubricated (especially during the winter months) is vital to preventing future issues down the line that are linked to dry skin. Don’t be afraid to walk into your nearest Sephora and ask for the best serum to keep your skin healthy.
In keeping with the theme of treating your skin, one should always remember to cleanse the face. A man’s face builds up oil too, and depending on the job, that face can have countless clogged pores. To help prevent acne and rashes, it helps to exfoliate when needed, clearing your face of oil and dead skin cells. Finding a reliable cleanser may require you to leave your comfort zone, and take on a brand that’s a little more Neutrogena and a lot less Old Spice. Your face and self-esteem will thank you in the long run.
Dontei Wynter | Contributing Writer