Ape to Gentleman is a highly regarded men’s grooming site which covers everything from the Top 10 iconic beards to the latest season’s grooming must-haves. Becy Hull is their first and only female writer and her boyfriend is the guinea pig who gets to try everything out.
So, with National Boyfriend Day upon us, Becy reveals how her other half has turned from grooming sceptic to (occasionally unwitting) convert. When I first began writing for a male grooming blog I couldn’t work out who would actually be reading it. Men in my eyes, and certainly the men in my life, didn’t care about grooming, moisturising and all that body maintenance.
Apparently, and much to my surprise, male grooming is profoundly popular and increasingly becoming more so on a day to day basis. In my first week I had been exposed to a whole new world of guys that looked amazing and spent just as much time as most females I knew. The part of my job that stood out the most was the stigma that surrounded male grooming – a massive weight on the shoulders of men. Taking care of the way you looked had something I, as a female, had always been proud of. Yet men were emasculated for having that pride, even though most females found it attractive. Soon into my writing for Ape to Gentleman I came to a point where I needed to give reviews on various grooming products. Staying true to myself I couldn’t write about a product I had never seen in use, so I enlisted my boyfriend as resident guinea pig. Being reluctant to start with, I’m pretty sure he only agreed because (a) the products were supplied by me and (b) I have really convincing puppy dog eyes.
For any females wanting to entice their partner into partaking in a few grooming rituals, it will most definitely have to be something you buy first. The first products he used were a face wash, a moisturiser and a detox face mask from a unisex brand. Although I could have just tested these myself, it was a great way to ease him into it and make it a couples exercise. Once he saw the results, there wasn’t really much need for my puppy dog eyes. In most cases, if the products are good the results really do speak for themselves. My friends instantly noticed the difference in him and were keen to get their partners into grooming. Easier said than done, it seemed most of them thought anything to do with the upkeep of appearances came across as feminine and socially embarrassing. One of my friends actually went to the lengths of moisturising her boyfriend while he was asleep! Utterly shocked, I let her in on our secret; after our evening showers my boyfriend and I have a routine of massaging moisturiser into each other, an intimate act, he isn’t even aware he’s part of a grooming routine.
When it came to him testing out Below the Belt’s products, getting him to find the time and have enough bravado to try them was the trickiest part. Once he did get round to testing them he said they were good. But he did add that he’d need me to keep bugging him to keep up the routine.
So although it can be a difficult subject to approach, grooming is beginning to have its day in the sun and, with so many great brands and publications to help guys become grooming experts, all us ladies really need to do now is nudge them into the right direction.