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1 post categorized "shopping"

September 08, 2008

Secret Men's Business...

I like shopping for men’s things (clothes, accessories and bric-a-brac) because male shop assistants are a totally different breed to your female garden variety; firstly, they don’t operate on a preconceived notion of ‘all women being insecure.’ If you don’t believe me, enter any department store and try buying simple facial moisturizer; you’re assessed by age, ‘wrinkles’ (or crows feet as they are called by the cosmetic counter pussy posse) and given suggestions that almost break the frigging bank. The La Prairie range for skincare is the cream of the crop; it’ll set you back a minimum of five hundred dollars for your standard ‘three step routine’ and I think it’s bollocks. Everyone ought to know that no amount of fancy chemicals they add in moisturizers isn’t going to inhibit skin damage (solar damage) unless there’s an in-built SPF. Anyway…

I had to accompany my son to buy a father’s day present. We settled on a cordless shaver, and of course I had no idea about them. I don’t shave my face. The first thing I was asked:

“How coarse is the facial hair?”

As me anything. Ask me about the probability of being struck by lightning versus finding your soulmate, and I’ll have an answer. Ask me about average penis size, and I’ll give you an answer. If you want a quickie lesson in penile anatomy, the cardiovascular system or the complexities of the renal system, I can give you an answer. If you want to know who created the color “Shocking or Hot Pink,” I can even tell you that (Elsa Schiaparelli - it’s something I retained from my high school years and my first ambition, to be a fashion designer). As for shavers? You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t use an epilator on my legs because I find it far too torturous; it’s like plucking hair in batches. I tried to use an epilator on my bikini line once, and I wasn’t happy, disposing of the horrible ‘Christmas present’ (nothing says ‘gift’ more than a hair removing machine eh?), so I thought, ‘why do men have it easy?’ Why don’t they have epilators hmmm?

“If the growth is course, the rotary blades won’t do,” the assistant said. I kept staring at his clean shaven face, wondering which version he used?

“It’s not as course as an iron file,” I said, so he showed me the appropriate electric shavers, but - as all assistants do - hovered around shavers in the three hundred dollar range, which I thought incredible. I didn’t have that kind of dough; I had all my earnings from Saturday Night in the Kitchen. Not bad I may add; more than what I’d make in a day at the stupid telco, but I also needed to stock up on cat food on the way home.

“I’m looking for something that does the job, between a hundred and a hundred and fifty,” I said. I’m not a tightarse, but I do know about the (few hundred) percent added to the wholesale price of things. I eventually settled for a Braun, but there was more. Assistants love selling you other shite. I caved and bought a lubricant - yes, you do apparently need a spray lubricant for electric shavers, but I stopped short of buying the ‘facial oil’ that apparently, ‘lifts the hair, enabling a smoother shave.’ Yep, sales spiel that I immediately registered as ‘bullshit’ in my circumstance. It’s not like my son’s dad has a Neanderthal crop of neck hair each morning. I declined, maintained my stance because I knew I’d get a sample, not that I needed or wanted one, but he gave it to me anyway, which was kind I suppose. After all, what are samples for?

Me? I prefer shopping for menswear and accessories. As for the male ranges of skincare, I think they’re a bit over the top. Men don’t need much in the sense of facial care. When they shave their faces each day, they exfoliate. A moisturizer is just packaging really; real skin care occurs from within. Its dietary more so than face creams. My own personal skin secret isn’t anything exciting. I eat a lot of olive oil. I don’t use margarine to butter my bread, I dip it in olive oil. Every salad I make, is dressed with olive oil. I’ll also use light olive oil (not Virgin) for cooking. But good skin care is also about eating lots of veggies and fruit. One thing that is obvious, especially when women go on those ludicrous diets, is their skin. It’s one of the first things to go when they deny themselves good fats and restrict their fruit intake (due to fructose - which is the fruit version of sugar). They say that women, as they get older, have to decide whether they sacrifice their face to maintain their arse; me I’d rather let my arse be cushy than resemble a gaunt scarecrow for the sake of my butt. After all, the first thing a person sees is your face, and if they’re focused on your arse (as the first thing) then I think there’s something really ‘gay’ about that to begin with.

The other thing I love about shopping for blokey things is that male assistants really listen to you when you tell them that you’re “looking” (which means, ‘bugger off, leave me alone’). Males store assistants ‘get that’ and leave you alone to look, they don’t hover like their life depends on a commission. On the whole though, I'm pretty good at shopping (for male things). I can pick a winning shirt. I'm great at tie selection, and I can give you a shortlist of suit brands that are noted for fit, fabric and style.


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