Picture from Elle France on the wonders of surgery
Like any product life cycle, mainstream beauty care is in the process of taking one large step to the right.
Face cleansers, scrubs and creams, once for-girls-only, have been asked to step aside for the much sexier, cooler, more effective men's 'grooming' products. Much like cars, men need to be "turboed", "boosted" and "pummeled." Of course, this isn't new news. Seeing male models with their shirts open to reveal glistening six packs while handing out "ab sculpting" cream round the streets of Hong Kong on a Saturday night is no longer a surprise, and nor is the fact that all the Clarins for Men creams "ejaculate" rather than pour. But what has resulted from this obvious shift to the right, with women's products stepping out of the limelight and men's products stepping in, is a new participant to the left - surgery.
Once reserved for the rich and famous (and mad), surgery is now the new fountain of youth for women. Away with your oxygenating face cream! Flush your placenta masks down the toilet! We now have botox, eye lifting, face peeling, collagen implants all for under 100 GBP a pop! Magazines' beauty pages are now full of enthusiastic testimonials and undercover journalist's recounts of how yoga once a week and little prick of a needle here and there once a month has changed lives.
So, where does that leave the rest of us? Those of us 'old fashioned' types who would rather not schedule an eye lift with our pedicures. Next to the hopes and dreams of botox, Estee Lauder's Hydrationist Revival Plant Extract cream's promise to "leave skin youthful and healthier" seems rather feeble.
As I roam the aisles of Watson's pharmacy and Harvey Nichols' beauty floor in search of something that can meet the new competition, I find myself staring longingly at the men's aisle. Their creams aren't being overshadowed by a greater enemy, there's still hope with them. T's Men Expert Pure & Matt Bright Charcoal Black Coal suddenly has a whole new appeal.