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December 2005

Pretty Boys

Watch out ladies—men have discovered moisturizer!

Waxing, plucking, shaving, exfoliation and toning: words, which, for years, may as well have been a foreign language for your average man on the street. But times are changing. The days when a man’s maintenance regime consisted of “a bit o’ soap and water” are numbered—members of the beauty industry have realized that men represent an untapped market and have gone on the offensive. According to them, the rough and ready Indiana Jones type look is out and has been replaced by the well-groomed, immaculate man whose girlfriend can dip into his spongebag when her moisturizer runs out. Indeed, Munich’s salon owners say that the last five years have seen a significant increase in the number of men requesting services once deemed for women only.

“More men are becoming more aware of how they look and they realize they feel better when they look better,” says Krista Garbutt of Feelgood Salon (Görresstr. 34, Schwabing, Tel. 20 20 50 05). “About 25 percent of my clients are now male—all of them get facials and pedicures done, most have a manicure, and some choose chest and back waxing done as well.” The salon offers male manicures for € 18, pedicures for € 23, waxing for between € 13 and € 23 and facials ranging from € 39–€ 66.

“Men are by no means as embarrassed as they used to be at broaching the subject of beauty,” says Garbutt. “They’re getting more comfortable with it and, by all accounts, it seems to be getting ever more popular.” So why the sudden swing? “It often happens that the women are the ones actually sending their men in,” explains Edith Seidenhofer of Cosmo Beauty (Agnesstr. 6, Schwabing, Tel. 273 00 15). “The men know how their women want them to look, so they go along with it.” Seidenhofer says physical appearance is so important to her male clients, the majority of whom, she adds, are heterosexual, that many even schedule pre-appointment consultations. For the men here in Munich who want to keep sitting pretty, there are a handful of places to which they may turn: Tausend Schön (Müllerstr. 15, Glockenbachviertel, Tel. 26 01 97 05, manicures € 18, facials € 70-125), Puder Rosa (Zenettistr. 47, Ludwigsvorstadt, Tel. 76 75 79 78, manicures € 23.50, pedicures € 23.50, facials € 55, waxing prices vary), Ovid Beauty (Brunnstr. 7, Tel. 24 40 47 30, manicures € 33, pedicures € 40, facials € 50-100, waxing prices vary) and Deniz Friseur Studio (multiple locations, proper shave € 9).

Male beauty: Is it something for softies or smoothies? We sent MUNICH FOUND intern Mike Sidwell to the AltiraSPA at the Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel for a scrub up.

The first problem for those men who venture into the secret world of beauty is making head and tail of the hundreds of treatments on offer. I settled for the “Gentleman’s Grooming Treatment,” which, although it involved face packs and the like, at least sounds quite respectable. My answers to such questions as whether I’d had treatment like this before, “no,” and what does my cleansing routine consist of, any creams etc., “umm, soap and water,” couldn’t have really made me the ideal candidate in the eyes of my therapist. But, nonetheless, I was lying on my back ten minutes later, top off, towels on, only my face exposed. Then the process began. First my face was cleaned with a cream and warm towels—so far so good—but then it was time for a facial peeling. A facial what? I’m not sure how many male readers will know what this involves, but it sounded rather painful. In reality, though, it was far better than the name suggested—another cream was simply applied and then removed with a mildly abrasive goop. After this, steam was blasted onto my face to open up the pores allowing, as I was informed, “what shouldn’t be in there to get out.” Then it was time for my favorite bit, the facial massage. I quickly became aware of how I’ve been missing out by never having gone through this sort of thing before. As my beautician—and yes, guys, it was a lady, not a burly man named Hans—worked the various pressure points to aid circulation, I found myself almost falling asleep. Finally a face pack was applied, left for a while and removed, at which point I honestly felt as if I’d been given a new layer of skin. Which only seems right when you consider that AltiraSPA is run in cooperation with the Kanebo cosmetic company, which spent 10 years developing a € 600-a-pot anti-ageing cream! Short of breaking the bank, though, how should you look after your skin at home? The most basic tip for a man to follow in his daily routine is to invest in a good soap. It’s a good idea to get some advice on which soap is best for your skin type, as “normal” soap only serves to dry out the skin. Soaps are made for a variety of skin types—sensitive, oily, dry, etc. It is also worth thinking about using a moisturizer, as dryness, I learned, is skin’s worst enemy. Darwin would be proud—men are evolving.

AltiraSPA, ArabellaSheraton Grand Hotel
Arabellastr. 6, Tel. 92 64 88 00
The Gentleman’s Grooming Treatment costs € 75 for one hour.

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