BOOM, BABY, BOOM

I have a Monday morning routine that is similar to most. Snooze the alarm 3 or 4 times, jump out of bed, check my phone/shower/shave/eat/brush/etc… During which I check my work e-mail to get a head start on the day. Working in digital media, I always need to be connected even on the weekends so there usually is not much that I have not already seen in terms of new content and relevant information, but this Monday was different.
18, count them, 18 new Google alerts on Men’s Grooming, 12 hits on men’s cosmetics, and about 20 other duplicate alerts catching news that is picked up by many of the different media outlets around the world; ALL talking about the Men’s Health and Beauty industry and its various segments. This abundance of discussion can be explained by a simple phenomenon.
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times ran a front page feature on this very industry and like the popular kid at school with the newest fashion, the masses wanted to get their own signature piece of the popular pie. 100s of major and minor media outlets across the nation cut and pasted bits and pieces of this story and ran their own version in their various publications. Even more impressive is the amount of different articles that have come out in the past week alone highlighting different reasons as to why this is a burgeoning market. From Time Magazine to major industry blogs, everyone wants to get in on this discussion and we don’t blame them. The numbers do not lie, the growth is REAL! Boom, baby, BOOM!
The numbers speak for themselves:

  • $3.2 Billion – The projected sales of the men’s toiletries market in 2016 up from $2.2 billion in 2006 and $2.6 billion in 2012 according to the LA Times
  • $217 Millon – The size of the Men’s Skincare market compared to $40.9 million in 1997 according Time’s Magazine.
  • 420% – The sales growth of men’s grooming products in the past 2 years according to Hautelook
  • 76% – The increase in Men purchasing Women’s grooming products in the past 2 years according to Hautelook
  • $1.2 billion –  The amount of money Men’s Health readers spent on grooming products between June, 2011 vs. June, 2012
  • 37%, 37% & 79% – The % amount rise of ad pages in that time period in publications such as GQ, Men’s Health and Details magazines respectively.

Rather than bore you with more numbers, suffice it to say that you get the point. This market is alive and flourishing and the point we are trying to instill in you is that it is that it is okay to talk about grooming and cosmetics. It is okay to buy your own products rather than use your girlfriends. We are in the Mansome era; it is not just OKAY, it is ENCOURAGED.

LA Times Features Menaji on Booming Men’s Makeup Market

Accoring to the LA Times: “Men’s grooming is one of the fastest growing segments in the beauty business. Chicago-based research firm Mintel forecasts that sales of men’s toiletries will hit $3.2 billion by 2016, up from an estimated $2.6 billion this year and $2.2 billion in 2006.”

Concelars for men made by menaji, along with face powders can be found at major retailers such as Nordstrom.

View Article  Shop Camo Concealers  Shop HDPV Powders

Look Pa, No Hands

Over the years Father’s Day has been a second tier holiday in my family. We never did anything big for my father and he never expected any gifts. He was happy with being in the presence of his family and that was more than enough for him. Even in society, Father’s Day takes a back seat to Mother’s Day in all aspects of the holiday. Sure our fathers did not carry us in their womb for 9 months, but that doesn’t mean they should have to be relegated to the forgotten sibling status of holidays. Not only do many families place less importance on Father’s Day than on Mother’s Day, in addition, companies don’t spend nearly the same ad budget on the two holidays.  Furthermore, the time frame to which Father’s Day is spoken about is also significantly shorter in length than Mother’s Day.   To my pleasant surprise, this year seems to be different. Maybe it’s because I’m more aware of things or maybe it’s because of the increased exposure social media has brought to everything. I do know one thing: I want to get my father a real gift this year, something that will make him proud to have me for his son. I will be a father one day and I can only hope that my children revere me in the same way I respect and love my father. My gift to him this year will not only be my presence, but this editorial.

As a young man who’s been lucky enough to be raised by both of his parents for the full extent of his life, I am truly blessed to have a family like mine. So this blog is not only for my father, but for anyone who has been as blessed as I am to have such an amazing support system over the span of their lives as I did.

My father was the original confident, metro, male before it was chic. He worked as a cosmetic’s buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue and lived a high pace lifestyle that few ever get to experience. From parties with designers and models to being the guy that did not even need to be on a list at a nightclub, my father did it all. He was the guy everyone knew and wanted to be around. Immaculately polished from head to toe, my father always kept himself properly groomed and decked out in the latest fashions and styles. He was a socialite, the portrait of today’s modern metro-sexual.

My parents have both worked steady jobs that have had them on the run for years and just working forty hours a week was almost nonexistent to them. But they were always home for dinner, around for every birthday and weekends in Connecticut. My father lives his life for his children and his family. Money was not an issue if it meant his family was happy and satisfied. Family is everything to him and I could only hope to be half as selfless as he is in my life. The joy he gets from giving and doing things for others is seen daily (except for when its his turn to clean the kitchen). He was always there to drive me and my brothers to a friend’s house, be the taxi driver to and from train/bus stations and be the soccer dad during our years of intramural sports. From Armani to Land’s End, my father has played every part in his life for others. On holidays and birthdays when asked what he would like for a gift, he would say “World Peace”. He had everything he needed and tomorrow will be no different. So when I head back home, I will not only surprise him with my presence, but with the gift of praise and gratitude that this blog cannot even start to express.

I ask all of you reading this to take a moment and think of your fathers and all they have done to get you to where you are today. Go the extra mile this Father’s Day, and thank your Dad for all that he has done for you.

So here’s to my father and all of the fathers out there who have lived their lives for their families, this one’s for you Pa!

The Confident Man Blog

Yesterday I sat in Madison Square Park during evening rush hour. I took part in the ever-celebrated art of people watching, in search of the different styles and portrayals of what I would consider the confident, modern, metro male. I saw it all; the young professionals with their wool three-piece suits and silk accouterments, the hipsters with their 50/50 poly cotton blend garbs, the Grunge, the Goth and the fanny pack laden tourists. While I’d like to think that the majority of these men have chosen their own style in these daily uniforms, the stark truth is that the majority of them are living by the rules their particular sect in society has set for them. Few choose to break the mold and test the accepted norms in search of something exceptional.

We live in a judgment laden society that tells man that he should not dress a certain way, wear a certain color, or even take part in a certain act or use a certain product because that is not what  “men” do. It’s an ignorant picture that has been reinforced by decades of rudimentary grooming techniques and style practices as well as stigmas that particular attributes are “gay” or “feminine.” “Men” shave once a week, they don’t use cologne, they wear straight leg Levi’s without any particular wash. He is blue collar and works too hard to tend to himself materialistically; he is praised for being this portrait of hard work and rugged antiquity.  While there is nothing wrong with this “man,” the fact remains that it’s 2012, not 1957. It’s not all doom and gloom for the confident, modern, metro male. However, society is moving in the right direction to acceptance. Only in the last decade or so has it become acceptable for men to wear pink, purple, yellow, and other pastel colors outside of the “preppy” style. Millions of men daily take part in grooming rituals that rival that of the fairer sex and the art of “manscaping” is becoming a commonly accepted practice for young professionals and hipsters the like. I could list off more examples, but that would just beat a dead horse. The point is that the “manly” man needs to shed off their layers of blind hubris and get comfortable with their own skin.

It is 2012, dirty is no longer sexy. A little scruff is good, but people fear the beard for a reason. No man is going to say no to a complimentary mani/pedi (I know because I polled a few of these park patrons and there was an over whelming sentiment of “why not”) The sheer fact is curiosity drives many of these converters more than anything else, we try something, we like it, we continue to do it.  I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I was adamantly against skinny/slim fit jeans until I actually put on a pair and loved what I saw. I am a confident, modern, metro male; I like trying new things and I have an open mind to any grooming technique that will allow me to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. The old saying goes: “Looking good is feeling good,” and I feel great.  Judgment should no longer outweigh tolerance and even acceptance. The confident, modern, metro male is here and he does not look to be going away anytime soon.

Hello World

Greetings readers,

I am going to keep this introduction short and sweet. My name and professional credentials are unimportant, my socioeconomic background is irrelevant…but I will share a few things about myself that I believe are necessary to paint the picture behind the voice of this blog. I am a twenty something male living in a major metropolitan area, I enjoy going out and exploring new and exciting opportunities. I indulge in shopping excursions and grooming rituals that may not be the most traditional for the common man. I understand the necessary means to an end to get to that point and I rarely take my personal appearance for granted. I have a stable group of friends, each with their own particular styles and methods of personal grooming.  The city is our oyster and there is nothing holding us back from getting the most out of our youth.  Those are the basics; take with it what you will.

Now that we have a basis for who I am, I would like to speak to a few of my beliefs.  Wherever you are, in whatever lifestyle, perception is STILL reality and people often judge a book by its cover regardless of what we were taught as toddlers.  My fellow man should no longer be ashamed to spend 10 minutes in front of the mirror or have to worry about being too “feminine” for trying out a couple of outfits before finding the right one. It is a necessary evil that should never go over looked, especially in this day and age. From living in a small town of a few thousand to living in a city that has more people than some countries, I have experienced quite the cornucopia of characters and styles. One life lesson that I have carried through these experiences is that  good taste transcends all borders. There is no one right way to dress or groom, but there are definitely wrong ways. Men, I ask you to look in the mirror and ask yourself: “Am I getting the most out of what I have been given?” And the answer is probably no.

So I say to you, take back the mirror, take back the medicine cabinet and take back the closet: “I am a confident man and I take what’s mine!”