Introduction

The L’Oréal Men Expert brochure which accompanies the selection of L’Oréal Men Expert products sent to Ape to Gentleman HQ summarises men’s changing attitudes toward male grooming aptly…

The macho cowboy has given way to the man who is informed, well-groomed and self confident…

In essence, the L’Oréal Men Expert range captures this shift in attitude and represents the industry as a whole. Let’s travel back 10 years to the year 2000, would you have seen an Eye Roll-On specifically for men in your local Tesco? No. The reason for this shift and emergence of such products is because men are more interested in male grooming, but why? There are various theories:

1. Men wish to look better?

2. Social pressures?

3. The woman’s market is saturated, the men’s is new – there’s money to be made?

4. Men are more aware?

5. Men wish to be healthier and take care of themselves better.

This list is by no means exhaustive but nonetheless the male grooming market is growing. Ape to Gentleman always try and advocate men to ‘groom’ not for vanity but as a part of taking care of oneself, it’s a health thing.

Why?

Back to the year 2000, your wife, girlfriend, sister or mum would have walked into Tesco, picked out a Gillette shave gel, job done. Or maybe an after shave balm too for those of you who suffer with shaving (of whom there are many). Of course there were more ‘advanced’ stores where moisturisers and such like were sold but the average ‘ape’ had no idea. Smearing moisturiser in the changing room after a football match in 2000 would have almost certainly earned you a transfer to a lower league club. Talking of football, let’s take David Beckham, from hero to zero to hero in football terms and also a catalyst or at least an example of why the male grooming market started to take off. Look at my 5 points above; Beckham represents many of them, and being a straight man with a wife and children meant it was okay for men across the world to advance their grooming regime. The underlying key to the industry is that everyman wants to look their best and why shouldn’t they.

L’Oréal Men Expert in 2005 paved the way in terms of offering the everyday man an affordable, more advanced grooming routine. The success of L’Oréal Men Expert is owed, amongst other things to various factors:

1. A healthy advertising budget.

2. Manly packaging.

3. For sale in places where men shop.

4. Efficacy of products.

Obvious right? Well yes… I’m just saying. The 4th factor and debatably least important (not to Ape to Gentleman), efficacy. Do the products actually work? This is what I’m here to find out. At Ape to Gentleman HQ we have the luxury of testing out just about every product under the sun, so when L’Oréal Men Expert arrived we were sceptical. Not being pretentious at all but L’Oréal Men Expert is mass market, supermarket range. To analogise; if you wanted a nice suit you would probably look elsewhere than Tesco. This of course depends on your budget, doesn’t everything!? It’s all about value for money.

Review

So does L’Oréal Men Expert provide value for money? I’m not going to suggest it’s the finest grooming range on the planet but as with all beauty industry super-powers L’Oréal have put time and money into research and created a great introductory offering for men who wish to look after their skin and subscribe to a ‘healthier you’.

The products themselves are ‘sold’ with enticing, manly words such as their moisturising lotion which is ‘Hydra Energetic’ with ‘Active UV Defence’ and ‘ADS: Active Defence System’ providing ‘Daily Anti-Fatigue’ with ‘Vitamin C + Anti-Oxidant’ for ‘Long Lasting Hydration’ which ‘Helps Protect Against Premature Skin Ageing’ with ‘SPF15’. And breathe. Jokes aside, how else are you going to attract men… in the first place. A skin care product should be captivating, like the latest Apple iPod. Well yes, maybe the first time, to capture men’s interest but second time around a man will come back for more if and only if the product works. Remember, it’s all about value for money and efficacy.

My experience of the L’Oréal Men Expert range leaves me feeling 50/50. Some products aren’t so good, some are. Call me a pessimist but I’m cautious when I read the marketing spiel and grand claims of huge reductions in saggy-skin. In no particular order…

1. L‘Oréal Men Expert Shave Gel – I wouldn’t recommend this over a Gillette gel (for less money). However, it does a job and is needed addition to complete the range.

2. L’Oréal Men Expert Post-Shave Balm – It’s a good texture but ingredients wise it didn’t suit my skin, I think a perfume free version would be better. It spread very well though and a little went a long way.

3. L’Oréal Men Expert Deodorant – A pleasant enough smell and a decent anti-perspirant but I’d choose Sure for similar money.

4. L’Oréal Men Expert Hydra Energetic SPF15 – a good consistency, a pleasant smell and offers good hydration with the added bonus of SPF (sun protection).

5. L’Oréal Men Expert VitaLift – Perhaps my favourite in terms of viscosity, a rich cream which smells good. Did it reduce my saggy skin? I don’t have any, yet. ATG readers please confirm?

6. L’Oréal Men Expert Eye Roll-On – my favourite product; the cooling, massaging effect was superb. It’s easy to apply, pleasurable and my eyes looked less tired.

Conclusion

The best way to summarise the L’Oréal Men Expert range is with success in the skin care department but in the shaving and deodorant category, there’s better out there – more specialist brands BUT you have to pay for them. I don’t want you thinking the shaving and deodorant range is a total fail, the products are good, there’s just better out there for the money. I’m not surprised L’Oréal Men Expert is strong in the skin care category, this is their forte after all. Overall the L’Oréal Men Expert range is great introduction into the male grooming world and importantly an aid for all men to start looking better to feel better. L’Oréal we salute your efforts!

http://www.loreal-paris.co.uk/men.aspx