How many guys would “man up” for a manly pedi?
Don’t know about you ladies, but I have certainly been seeing a resurgence of metrosexual activity in our midst. At a recent visit to my day spa, I noticed several men donned in robes, sipping their herbal teas next to the water feature, awaitng their treatments. Even those who go for a more hipster bad boy appearance are putting serious effort into their stylized and strategically trimmed facial hair. The term “manscaping” has been floated about, but we’ll delve into that in a future post.
How did this interest in appearance and wellness come about, I wonder? Are men feeling more optimistic? Do they merely want a change from the scraggly, unkempt “despair” look that was rampant during the Recession? Have we really reached “peak beard”?
For some guys, what the ladies like is incentive enough. HELL yeah! In a recent CNBC.com article (“More men indulge in spa treatments, tailored just for them”, August 2013), there has been a steady growth in male customers at spas in the last 10 years – about 33 percent. However, that number surged to 47 percent in just the last year. According to spa association president, Lynne McNees, the main reason is the increased effort in catering to, and creating treatments around, men’s preferences.
Men’s spa rooms are decorated with a more rugged ambiance, such as wood paneling and more masculine colors, like purple. Spa menus reveal offerings and treatment names with a just-for-men angle, like a facial fragrant with sandalwood and citrus instead of flowers, and a deep massage using Texas ale followed by more for drinking.
Outside of the spas, men have adopted routines to maintain themselves. These range from the periodic, like pedicures, to the daily, such as using men’s spendy specialty face and body products. In my opinion, there’s nothing “sissy” about men taking pride in their appearance.
One such metrosexual is Chaz. While he’s managing and recruiting fresh talent for the rising-star company he works for, or hunting game in the wilderness with full-on guns-and-gear, there’s one thing you can definitely count on – his toenails are impeccable! Like many a metrosexual, he believes it’s important for a man to take good care of himself. For him, part of that means daily and periodic grooming rituals, monthly spa treatments and pedicures.
I asked him for his view on the manly pedi. “I like the salon treatment because then I know they’re being done correctly and my feet feel awesome afterwards. I have good toes!” Chaz told me proudly, “And yes I DO own more than eight pairs of shoes.” Like the men mentioned in the article, he doesn’t go in for the fragrant lotions or perfumed water. His preference is clean, basic pedicures that involve foot scrubs to remove dead skin, and finish with a clear polish to protect the nails. Haircuts for him are done at a trendy salon.
“To me,” Chaz explained, “spending a little bit extra to get the correct haircut is just as important as finding the right jacket.” And we all know, ladies, that the right jacket can really pull a look together. In some cases, it can also class up a look a few notches. Once a month, he goes out of town for hot tubbing and body wraps at a favorite hot springs resort. For those of you who haven’t tried it, this detoxifying treatment involves wrapping someone’s body with algae, seaweed, mud, clay, or hot blankets like a mummy (Chaz’s preference). The clients have these wraps removed in about 20 minutes, then follow it up with a warm, refreshing shower and an all-over slather of softening creams.
His daily routine includes a deep moisturizing treatment facial lotion he gets at a department store cosmetic counter. Because some ladies do like smooth soft skin on their guys. “Everything I do is for the ladies!” Chaz grins. And that puts you on our radar, my man!
The Slightly Dirty Martini (a la Chaz)
Jar of green olives
Portions are to taste
Put vodka in the shaker and add a little bit of green olive juice. Introduce the shaker to the vermouth, let the two mingle, then put vermouth back on the shelf. Shake it like you mean it, then pour it into a Martini glass.