Lining up a bunch of “exfoliants” and “moisturisers” on my bathroom cabinet, I hardly felt like Wolverine. However, despite my initial reservations, it turns out smearing my face with sweet-smelling goo helped me embrace my masculinity more than watching any bout of UFC ever could.
Before we get ahead of ourselves: full disclosure — my bum fluff did not transform into a Viking-strength beard. My biceps did not mysteriously enlarge. My languid Aussie accent did not convert to gravelly Spartan tones. And — disappointingly — I did not assume any unearned powers of attraction.
However, on my week-long journey, I learnt a few important lessons. From overcoming stereotypes to (almost) vanquishing my resident eye-bags, a lot happened when I started wearing face moisturiser.
But first: the terms. Utilizing Jackson Miles’ $74.95 ‘Fig & Cedar’ Face Kit (consisting of two bottles: a cleanser and a moisturiser), I followed the kit’s instructions (apply each cream one after the other, morning and night) to see how fresh I felt.
Here’s what I learned.
The Placebo Effect Is A Real Thing
Upon my first application of the moisturiser, the moment it arrived in the post, without having completed the exfoliation that would usually come before it, I felt a tingling sensation from forehead to cheeks. I then ‘noticed’ an immediate glow in the mirror. Alas, my co-workers did not concur (or at least, no one commented on it).
I Like A Good Tingle
Arriving home that night, I’m ashamed to admit I ignored the instructions and applied the moisturiser on its own again, hoping to re-create that ‘pleasant prickling’ feeling. To my dismay: nothing. Nada. Rien de rien. Note to self: don’t chase the skincare dragon.
The Moisturiser Is Easier To Use Than The Cleanser
Resolving to take my challenge seriously, on the morning of day two I actually used the cleanser (this involves splashing it around your face with water, working up a laver and rinsing it all off) before applying the moisturiser on top.
While I had no difficulty with this process (some minor flecks of exfoliant on the mirror aside), it made me realise that if I were to incorporate “looking after my face” into my long term routine, I would probably just buy the $49.95 moisturiser on its own (and keep my fingers crossed for that elusive tingle).
Showers Are Over-Rated
Short on time? Rub out the sleep from the corners of your eyes, whack on some moisturiser and the only thing left to be
desired fixed is your hair.
Having Bags Under Your Eyes Isn’t Cool
Much as I love the ‘zombie chic’ look, finding a way to make it appear that I am not a raging insomniac has actually been quite useful. While you may not become a Tinder sensation overnight, people are not as hesitant to engage you in conversation (lest they be struck by a pre-coffee death stare) or appear confused as to why you are not trying to eat their brains.
Following Simple Instructions Is Not That Simple
Despite reading The Face Kit’s instructions twice daily for a week, I am still not sure if it’s necessary to totally rinse off the cleanser (or if it’s ok to just get most of it off) before applying the moisturiser.
Anyone Who Uses The Word ‘Metro-Sexual’ Is Stuck In 2005
Forget the stereotypes; beauty products aren’t just for women. The male cosmetics industry is growing fast and — whether you put it down to LinkedIn or Instagram — is poised to boom.
Once You Start Looking Fresh, People Expect You To Always Look Fresh
Is there a downside to looking good? It makes your ‘off days’ more obvious. But as any personal trainer or fashionista will tell you: “No pain, no gain”.
It Is Possible To Overcome One’s Internal Prejudices
I have always told those that suggested I commit such atrocities as wearing sunscreen for my pre 9 am, 20 minute stroll between the train station and my office that I’m not afraid of looking my age, with everything from “Wrinkles are just dermatological wisdom” to “I don’t mind aging naturally” leaving my (cracked) lips.
Long term vanity goals aside, I can safely say the short term benefits of keeping your skin looking #fresh have helped me understand the attraction behind these kinds of products.
That said, before I sign up permanently, I’d like some more research to be conducted on whether using them affects your body’s ability to look after itself (much like over-using lip balm makes you more prone to cracked lips when you stop using it than someone that has never used it would be).
I also thought that looking attractive, as a man, came down to your genetics and the amount of time you spent in the gym. However, I can now confirm there is a sneaky third factor, which helps you accentuate everything from your wobbling jowls to your pretty cheekbones.
Just remember to rub it all in.