Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Dudes, want to look good? Grab some ‘beard lube’

Man putting on shaving cream

Catherine Yeulet/Getty Images/iStockphoto

As boys, we play with action figures. And as men, we're being asked to indulge in some "facial fuel" and "urban camouflage."

Don't be fooled by the gender-specific marketing lingo, what we're talking about is makeup for men, one of the beauty industry's strongest growth areas.  It's not a new trend, but one that has been raking in the billions of dollars long before metrosexual entered the vernacular.

But what's the true source of this phenomenon? Could it be young urbanites moisturizing their cheekbones against the grime of city life? Maybe, but it's hard to match makeup-wearing with the downtown beard-and-flannel look.

Story continues below advertisement

Maybe it's more a result of boomers in late mid-life crisis, looking at the bags under their eyes and envying their wives' makeup cases? Possibly, but that angst can only last so long before most men will give in to the inevitable.

No, the real thrust of the ongoing sales growth must be in marketing people creating new ways to call it anything but makeup, as noted in the Los Angeles Times.

Products such as Turbo Wash and Beard Lube makes grooming yourself and your car sound like one and the same. And the product name Power Brightening Serum, from Estee Lauder's Lab Series for Men, must have been a particular coup during one marketing meeting – "serum" sounding particularly earthy and corpuscular. The opposite of womanly moisturizer, right?

Men, would you consider using some of these man-products? And ladies, would you consider getting your man-friend some "Turbo Wash" as a gift?

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to