I remember being asked a few months ago to give a quote for an Irish Independent article on the apparent decline of men's grooming heralded by a beardy George Clooney. After deliberating for a while, making sure I'd come up with something that might dupe the general public into trusting I knew what I was talking about, I said something along the lines of, "The 'metrosexual' is dead", and that an overly groomed appearance smacked of conspicuous luxury in a time when recession chic was taking hold.
Still, even if Brad and George were carrying out their own little backlash, their look was still groomed in a more, um, laid-back fashion, which brings me to the point that even if you're not a fan of the adulterous footballer preened-squeaky-clean look, it's still vital to get the basics down. And by that, I mean, a good skincare regime, shaving properly, and keeping your brows in check.
That said, I'd sooner shell out on apparel or shoes than extortionately priced cosmetics, and am a firm believer that a lot of the shite on the market is just not worth splurging your hard-earned shekels on, despite what the scientists and labels (do I really care that your moisturiser contains organic sage picked by blue-blooded virgins?) would have you believe. . So, the arrival of Guyliner and River Island is just a bit great for me personally. I loathe the thought of having to actually figure out what women's concealer might be best for a bloke, and yet if I'm not exactly blemish free, it's the first thing I'll be reaching for much to the dismay of my girlfriends.
Guyliner offers a fairly comprehensive range including a) the immeasurably useful: clear mascara (£9) and concealer (£7), and b) the not so useful for me: black mascara (£9) and kohl eye pencil (£9). Now, wearing mascara might arouse genuine fear in a lot of you but the clear kind helps to define both your lashes and your brows, which far from increasing your fruity factor, works to better shape your face and frame your eyes. As for the concealer, some guys adore it, some just can't see past the stigma, I say you'll look a hell of a lot better if that zit was staring me right in the face.
As for the black mascara and eye pencil, well, it's for the Bowies and Brandon Flowers amongst you. I'd not be against it for clubs or costume parties but unless you're model material, you're probably better off going au naturel (and do remember I don't mean this literally, so don't neglect the other two essentials) for the day.
Guyliner is available at River Island from Oct 14th.