Eagle-eyed visitors to this site will have noticed something a bit different about Mankind of late. No, not the sleek new design or plethora of new features – it’s the addition of, er, me! Yes, Mankind now has its very own Grooming Editor. Having written about male grooming for over eight years for newspapers and mags and having appeared on countless TV and radio programmes discussing the merits of moisturiser (hey, it’s a living, ok?) I’m now your eyes and ears on all things grooming (check out my ed’s picks for starters).
And I’m especially thrilled to have joined Mankind right now because when it comes to male grooming, the internet really is where it’s all happening. In fact, according to market research company Mintel a quarter of men now shop for their toiletries online. This is probably for reasons you know only too well: shopping online is fast, efficient and cost-effective, as well as a lot of fun at times. But the research suggests another reason why an increasing number of men are surfing for skincare: the conspicuous absence of sales assistants. In fact, the Mintel research reveals that over half of us hate buying products from consultants in department stores.
I can’t say this comes as much of a shock to me. Earlier this week I thought I’d see what it’s like for the average male consumer to buy a moisturiser and headed for the counter of a leading premium brand in a major department store. Frankly, Captain Willard’s journey in Apocalypse Now was less of a challenge. You know what’s it’s like – just when you think you’ve managed to navigate the endless barstool makeovers and nail technicians, the cosmetic world unleashes its most devastating weapon: the fragrance-welding Fembot – orange, lethal and administering fragrance in the way most people administer Mace. Oh! (or should that be Eau?) the horror! The horror! It’s usually at this stage that I simple up tail and leg it before I’m permanently blinded by Hugo Boss.
My point is, I work in the industry, and if buying a grooming product in a department store scares the living daylights out of me how must everyone else feel? Thank God, then, for the internet (and yes, sites like this) where you can simply find what you want, pay for it and then get on with more important things like, er, life. Mankind, of course, was way ahead of the pack in realising that men have better things to do than shop (golf being one of them) and in realising that online is also where men want to get their grooming information from too.
But whether you’re here to discover how to apply a concealer, find a product to beat blackheads or are merely hunting down some new blades for your razor you’ve certainly come to the right place. What’s more, by shopping online you’re at the forefront of the new grooming revolution. And if that isn’t enough, I read in the The Sunday Times last weekend that surfing the web can actually act improve your brain, enhancing your ability to make snap decisions. Hell, look at it this way – ten minutes spent on Mankind is practically a mental workout!