Do Real Men wear make-up? It seems that, increasingly, they do – and now the trend is going even further.
We’ve had guyliner and manscara but now we have the guylashes – false eyelashes for men.
Stars such as Russell Brand, Brandon Flowers and Johnny Depp have encouraged men to dabble in the make-up box but many will be asking if eyelash extensions are a step too far.
Eylure – a brand endorsed by Girls Aloud and stocked in stores across the UK from Boots to Harrods – are selling fake eyelashes for men priced at £4.75 a pair. Wearers can choose from thick or fine varieties, which are designed to be discreet with invisible clear plastic sticky strips and both styles promise to recreate that ‘Hollywood gaze’.
Eyelash extensions have already been a hit on the Asian market, where eyelashes are shorter – according to the Japan Lash Association the Japanese lash is only about 5.8 mm in length, less than half that of a Westerner. And The Japan Times reported that when Japanese cosmetics brand Shu Uemura hosted an Eyelash Night party in Tokyo in 2008 there were more men than women wearers. It is yet another sign that men are becoming more image conscious.
According to market research company Euromonitor, US consumers spent $4.8 billion on men’s grooming products in 2009, double the $2.4 billion recorded in 1997.
Meanwhile the number of chemical peels, laser hair removals and other cosmetic procedures on men has increased by 45 per cent since 2000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
False eyelashes were first used by Hollywood stars and made popular again in the 1960s by the likes of Twiggy and Mary Quant. Today they are a regular part of women’s beauty regime. But they have also become increasingly popular with men.
Beauticians at Selfridges were surprised by the amount of men investing in eyelash extensions when in-store services were launched. David Walker-Smith, beauty and menswear director at Selfridges, said: ‘We first noticed this increased interest in male eye-grooming when the new Blink bar was bombarded by men.’
The Blink & Go bar at Harrods also reported a high number of male clients asking for top and bottom lash extensions. Last year a survey revealed that more than three million men in Britain regularly wear make-up.
And in South Africa? I guess comparing cosmetic brands and techniques could certainly make for a change of topic in the sports stands or around the braai!
This article originally appeared in The Daily Mail