Remember the days when male grooming meant a shave, deodorant and perhaps a splash of Old Spice if you were heading out somewhere fancy?
Times sure have changed.
Believe it or not, men are now spending $125 a month on average on their appearance, quickly catching up with the $167 a month spent by women, according to a new survey by comparison site mozo.com.au.
Unsurprisingly, young men are jumping on the ultra-grooming bandwagon faster than their older counterparts, with blokes in the 25-34 age bracket shelling out the most, and those aged 65 and above spending less than half the amount younger men did.
But even at less than half, or say $50-$60 a month, it seems an unexpectedly large amount.
So, what on earth are they spending so much money on, you wonder?
It’s going not just on male-specific skincare products, but make-up (yes, really, Mozo’s survey found that one in five Aussie men were now using it), manicures and pedicures (one in five are also into these), facials, and hair removal, as well as health-related items such as vitamins and gym memberships.
“Male grooming used to be limited to a shave, a new haircut, and a spiffy suit but the standards of beauty are being redefined,” Mozo director Kirsty Lamont says.
“One in five Australian men are now getting manicures and pedicures and they’re not afraid to drop cash on other luxuries like hair colouring, skin care treatments, and hair removal.”
Lamont put the change down to men coming under pressure to put their best face forward in selfies and on social media.
“We’re seeing a growing trend of men wearing makeup, whether it’s concealing dark circles under the eyes or hiding a blemish,” she added.
Overall, Aussies dropped an amazing $33 billion in the past financial year on looking good, averaging out at $1,754 per person, up 49 per cent on the previous year.
Australian Capital Territorians were the biggest ‘vanity’ spenders, outlaying $2,779 a year on average, while Tasmanians were the least fussed, spending $1,240.
As Lamont noted, the large sums were pretty surprising, though, given that many Aussies were feeling the strain from the rising cost of living.
“Over the past five years, household expenses have skyrocketed, property rates have risen by 32 per cent, gas, an ongoing household concern for many Australians, is up by 30 per cent, and even fruit and vegetables costs us 16 per cent more,” she said. “While looking and feeling good is paramount, be sure to check your budget to avoid financial pressure or potential debt.”