Yes, we care: the first of a few Men+Care reviews

Friday, March 12, 2010

What it is: Dove‘s newest Beauty Bar, the Men+Care. This one’s “Extra Fresh,” but the bar also comes in “Deep Clean.”

The manly-man aspect of it: For starters, they’ve dropped the name “Beauty Bar” and instead labelled it the “Face and Body Bar.” They’ve also tinted it a pale minty green, and made the box a rough-looking steel grey. Oh, and how could we forget — the normally rounded edges have been chopped into a more “manly shape”! Amused? Why yes, yes I am.

The actual product: For all of my hemming and hawing (and laughing) over this product, I have to admit — I kinda really like it. The bar is stiffer than the original Beauty Bars, feeling more substantial in my hands but still cleaning and lathering well, as to be expected. It does seem less moisturising than the “feminine” beauty bars, but that still means that it’s more moisturising than most bar soaps.

The real reason why I like it: Puns and mockery aside, I’ve always been a sucker for men’s scents. They can be done quite poorly, and they can be done quite well. This definitely places on the drugstore end of “quite well“! It has the typical “fresh” smell of a masculine fragrance when you use it (which it basically infuses the bathroom with, mmm!) but leaves a softer, more vanillic version of that freshness on your skin. The scent mainly dissipates after ten or fifteen minutes, but if I put my schnozz near my hands an hour after washing them, I can still catch a wiff! It’s perfect for me, personally, because I love men’s scents enough to enjoy them but not enough to wear them all the time — and I can easily wash my hands with this and enjoy it close to my skin while touting the sillage of my more feminine fragrance!

The verdict? Most men don’t buy soap — their moms or sisters or girlfriends buy it for them, and they use whatever’s in the tub. (Harsh truth!) But they do like things that a) smell good, and b) aren’t too drying. So, I’d definitely recommend this for your guy ;) In my case, however? Well, I’m without a guy at the moment, but that’s not going to stop me from rebuying this… for myself!

An interview on… gender

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to interrogate interview Michael Kauffman (a Canadian writer on gender equality working with Dove) and Sharon MacLeod, who works with Unilever. So here are my verging on overly invasive incredibly appropriate questions, and their answers!

I don’t care what they say about “real men” and all that jabber — I would not be upset to find this guy in my shower. He could even use my “feminine” products!

tN: Was there a specific reason that you became a gender expert? While gender is fascinating, most people wouldn’t even begin to think of becoming an expert in it — can you explain the allure of it that pulled you in?
MK: I became interested in gender, as I feel it is important for men to speak out in support of gender equality. This comes from our love for the women in our lives and the belief they should, in no way, be second-class citizens. After all, men still make about $1.45 for every $1 women make, men still control many governments, the economy, the media and religious institutions.
Gender equality is also important for men. Even though men have power in male-dominated societies, we pay a price for the way we’ve defined that power. We’re supposed to always be tough and in control and have no feelings. This is impossible for any man to live up to.

tN: Working with Dove, did you notice a specific philosophy towards gender, and if you did, could you tell us more about it?

MK: I was pleased to be asked by Dove to work with them on this campaign aimed at men. We both think we need to encourage men and women to have an authentic discussion about what it means to be men in an era of increasing gender equality. We’ve got to get beyond the macho-hype that has been bad for both women and men, and examine and celebrate our relationships with women, children and other men.

tN: Why would a company choose to create a body care line specifically for men, rather then a gender-neutral one?
SM: Men and women have very different personal care preferences. For many men, purchasing personal care products continues to be a chore born out of necessity, and many men have low expectations of their body washes and soap. However, men tell us that dryness and irritation are their top skin complaints, which led Dove to develop a new range of products specifically formulated for men that offers effective care with the added benefit of leaving skin comfortable.”

tN: We’ve been seeing a lot more men’s lines over the past year or two, from hair dye for men to “guyliner.” Can you explain this push for male personal care?
SM: We’ve always been proud to offer a product that’s viewed as a solution for the whole family – and now we’re excited to be tailoring our line-up with products specifically designed for the unique needs and tastes of men. We know that 40 per cent of current Dove Bar users are men, which is an indication that Dove products are already delivering the results men are looking for. The new Dove Men+Care range of products now gives men the option to choose a product that has been specifically developed to suit their tastes, including a range of masculine fragrances and size and shape of the bar for better handling in the shower.


Now, I feel guilty saying this, because Dove has always been wonderful with their PR personnel, but: is it just me, or do these answers sound really a little scripted to you? I feel like they’ve been read off cue cards — is that just me? I do know that I trend towards being unusual casual online, so maybe it’s just the PRspeak that’s getting me! Thoughts?

Anyhow, while I was mulling mulling mulling over this interview, I was also checking out some of the new Men+Care products (including the awesome new scrubby thing) and will be reviewing them soon. Mmm, they smell great (and by extension, so do I!) I said it a few days ago and I’ll say it again: I feel a giveaway coming on!

(Yah, I keep mentioning that. Why? Well, I figure if I repeatedly promise one, I’ll a) remember what I wanted to include in it, and b) remember to actually get my ass in gear and do it!)

A dove for your skin?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What it is: Dove’s Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar… is it just me, or does it feel like I haven’t done a review in ages? *sigh*

The basics: The SS BB (oh yah, acronym me, babyyy) is large, white, and heavy — yes; you read that right! A BB is 120g, but for whatever reason, it feels more dense/heavy than the Pears I grew up with (which is actually 5g heavier per bar.) I’m guessing this is because of the curved shape, which has two other positive effects: it looks pretty, for starters, and it keeps the soap from getting too soggy on the bottom! The SS BB has a light “soapy” scent, which I’ve been informed is from the maltol, an ingredient that is added in very small amounts to conceal the smells of the cleansing agents.
The important stuff: I know that if I was reading this, I’d only be asking one question: does it live up to that “no soap scum;1/4 moisturisers” PR? The answer is… I honestly don’t know. How the heck am I supposed to see soap scum?! I KNOW I ACT LIKE A GOD, BUT I’M NOT.

(Oh goodness. I’m sorry — I just can’t seem to stay focused today. This review is 98% hysteria!)

Anyhow. The BB does feel very moisturising when I use it; it doesn’t give the same stripped-clean feeling that other bar soaps tend to leave behind. (This bugs my sister to no end, though! She just loves that squeaky-clean feeling, no matter how many times I tell her it’s actually bad for your skin.) I’ve used it on my face, hands, and body, and have had no problems with it! The only thing I ask is that a little more lather would be nice — I know, I know, later doesn’t produce cleanliness. But it’s fun!
The verdict? I’m not going to rave or (excuse my French) shit rainbows about this, because really? It’s a bar of soap, not a gingerbread crêpe. But, for a bar of soap, it’s a good choice for those with sensitive skin. I didn’t experience any irritation or stripping, and it both cleans well and feels lovely. At just under $3 for two bars, I’d definitely pick these up in the grocery store before reaching for something like Ivory! (I personally have never liked Ivory, aside from the fact that it floats. Which is kinda fun.)

But there’s no way you’d be able to convince someone like my sister, in love with the squeaky-clean feeling, to leave her Pears for a BB!

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