The men refused to publicize their experience so, no photographs of them. 

When we look at the beauty industry, it is rare that we see self care products for men. It seems that there is a stigma around beauty products and services, society has shaped us into associating beauty product with women. For this reason, if men were to use these self care methods, they would be labeled as “less manly.” But who says this is only for women? Everyone needs a little pampering here and there, and since midterms are upon us, what better way to relax and take care of yourself than a spa day? We had three SJU men try beauty products; such as face masks, a manicure, and a pedicure. Here is what they said!

Face Masks:

“Is the face mask organic? If not, then we are going to have a problem.” – Pat Gillespie, Sophomore

These SJU men associated face masks and exfoliating their skin as a process of removing makeup. They found this skin care irrelevant to their daily routine because they did not use makeup. For this reason, we began to explain the benefits of taking care of your skin. On the surface, a benefit of a face mask is to take some time to yourself. As a college student, it is essential to take time aside in your day to relax. On the other hand, we explained the value in taking care of your skin on a daily basis. The benefit in exfoliating your skin is to remove dead skin, clean out your pores, and create a “fresher” look on you face. In addition, we explained the constant exposure to bacteria and dirt that has accumulated throughout the day, as well as the oils that a person’s skin constantly produces. They then became interested in trying out a face mask.

These men mentioned how relaxed they felt when placing the face mask on for around ten minutes. Once they removed the face mask and washed their face with warm water, they said they felt “refreshed”. They immediately touched their face and examined their pores. They mentioned they would want to do this experience again to see further results. Therefore, the SJU men who tried the face masks enjoyed their experience and learned about the benefits for the use of skin care.

Manicure:

“Does getting a manicure require painting my nails hot pink?” -Andrew Scott, Junior

When we told the men we would be trying manicures, the overwhelming reaction was that they were against polishing their nails. They immediately assumed we would be painting their nails a hot pink color. This was not our intention, we wanted to give them the experience that goes before getting your nails actually painted. “I am shocked at how much goes into this,” said freshman Dan Munley. “I thought getting your nails done was just nail polish.” We first sat the men down at a table with a bowl of water for their hand to soak in. We trimmed their cuticles, which we discovered is actually only for cosmetic purposes, but we needed to give them the full manicure experience anyway. After this, the men were given lotion and assumed they would just moisturize their nails. However, they thought wrong. We gave these men a hand and arm massage, this is one of the most enjoyable parts of a manicure. Finally, we painted their nails with clear polish. Therefore, they got a whole new perspective on the process and excitement of getting a manicure!

Our results were positive. Junior, Andrew Scott said, “I thought it was very relaxing” and “I would do it again but I would not go to a nail salon or anything.” These men concluded that this was a very relaxing experience, but they would not want to go out in public to get their nails done. Nevertheless, they hinted that if their girlfriends were to ask them to go the nail salon with them, they would not be against getting their nails cleaned up; and say that their girlfriends “made them go with them”. Although it was an enjoyable experience for them, the men declined to have their photos used online.

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Pedicures:

“I would totally pay for this, plus it is cool because no one knows once I put shoes on.” – Jack Heffernan, Sophomore

The last beauty secret we tried was pedicures, which we got a positive reaction from. We poured two buckets of warm water, for each person, and we had the men put their feet in to relax. We treated them to foot massages with lotion, which seemed to be the crowd favorite. “This really tickles, but at the same time feels so good!” said Andrew Scott. He mentioned that after a long day at school, he would take his “me time” to go to the gym; however, now he is thinking twice. He is considering taking a day off from the gym and getting a pedicure because the massage was well worth it. They also had assumed that we would be painting their toenails a bright color, yet we did not do so. Therefore, they enjoyed this form of pampering and would recommend it to their friends here at SJU.

Overall, the men at Saint Joe’s who tried these products were surprised by the instant results that these beauty products provided. They were happy with how relaxed they felt and how much it reenergized them. Most of these men hope to try these products and services again, but still are wary that they are considered for women. If self care is important for anyone to feel healthy and energized, then why are the products and services used in this area so gendered?

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